Happy Endings

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"Happy Endings"
Single by Mike Shinoda
Recorded 2020-2021
Released February 19, 2021
Format Digital
Length 3:32
Writer(s) Mike Shinoda, Pete Nappi, Samantha Roson, Taylor Upsahl
Producer(s) Mike Shinoda, Pete Nappi

"Happy Endings" is a single by Mike Shinoda featuring Iann Dior and Upsahl, released on February 19, 2021.


In fall 2020, Mike hinted that he was making music at other times of the day besides just the hours he dedicates to streaming on Twitch.

On February 5, 2021, Mike announced that he would be selling music on the cryptocurrency auction website Zora.[1]. The first item Mike sold was a 40 second video of a GIF that he made containing music of the unreleased song "One Hundredth Stream". The announcement confused many fans on social media as the cryptocurrency auctions and NFTs were a new concept to many people, but Mike began explaining the process in replies to fans. On February 7, he accepted the final bid of $30,000 on "One Hundredth Stream" and said, "$30k US will be going to the “Michael K Shinoda Endowed Scholarship” at @artcenteredu to benefit students based on artistic merit and financial need."[2] Over the next few days, he began to experiment by selling a variety of different digital items - mainly sketches, artwork, and also his name in Times New Roman font.

Mike discussed the song on Twitch on February 18, 2021.[3] He started, "I've got a new song that I've been hiding from you guys for a while. I've got Iann Dior, who is a superstar in the making, and Upsahl. People know who Iann is, he had Justin Bieber on his remix of "Mood", but Upsahl, fewer people know about her. If you look her up, you can see she's been writing people for so long."

On September 21, 2020, Mike Shinoda raided English DJ, singer and songwriter Samantha Ronson on Twitch. She is a member of Ocean Park Standoff and said they have a song with Mike which would be coming "one of these days."[4] A folder named "FOR S" was seen on Mike's desktop on July 27,[5] possibly meaning "For Samantha". Their drummer, Pete Nappi, produced "Sickness" on Amends. It is not confirmed that this project ended up turning into "Happy Endings", but this was the first known time that Mike worked with Samantha.

Mike explained that the song was written via Zoom, saying, "I immediately felt comfortable. We got on the Zoom and it was comfortable, it isn't always like that." Upsahl added that sessions are already weird for her but Zoom was a super weird experience. He added, "For me, it was like, "This song is dope, I want to put it out. It's not part of an album. It's a moment.""

He added, "I'm so excited about this song. Shout out to Sam Roson and Pete Nappi on the production. It's about the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, I just had to find the right tone to find what I wanted to say. I think I started it right then and the very first thing that came to my mind was, "This whole last year was a shit show." And that's where we were going with it, that's how I feel. That's what it ended up being."

Later in the chat, he took fan questions. In response to a question about who he is addressing in the third verse, he said, "I feel like that's just trolls. If you think back to December of last year and how toxic it was... social media is always toxic, but in particular when things would ramp up around political stuff, I feel like everybody would just fight. I try my best to not follow that stuff but you kind of can't avoid it sometimes. It seeps into your feed from even people you follow who are not horrible people."

In response to a question about if he misses doing vocals, he said that he does them but he has to figure out at this point in his career what his next step will be.

Lastly, he mentioned the possibility of a new album, saying, "I'm not working on a new album, no, but I have music. Does that make sense? I make stuff all the time, I've made some things. And if the song were to do well, I could very easily see organizing some of the things I've been making and putting it out as an album. It sounds like you guys want more rapping. What do you guys want? What kind of album should I make if I did that? More rapping? A lot of people said more rapping. I don't like "making something like a thing", but, I could make a bunch of new songs with the Fort Minor drum pieces and things like that. I don't really WANT to do that but it's a possibility. But I've got stuff, I could do it."

In his interview with The Needle Drop, Mike said, "We talked about doing the instrumental tracks last year. But the rest of the day, I'm kind of open, exploring different things. I've been in a research and development kind of phase, writing with some people. It kind of was not working, it was a little bit discouraging. On Twitch, it was really fun. While I was doing #ShinodaProduceMe, the momentum was... I was starting to write some cooler stuff. It even forced me to get out of my own concepts of who I am and what I do. I wrote a song with Sam Ronson and Pete Nappi and Upsahl. We literally wrote the song on a Zoom and it sat on a hard drive. A month or two later, this random guy from my publishing company was like, "Hey Mike, we don't know each other, but this song that you did back a while ago with Sam and Pete, what's happening with that song?" And I was like, "I don't know, I'm just in my weird little cave making stuff every day." And he's like, "You need to pay attention to this song, I really like this song."[6] Mike went on to say this conversation broke through the barrier he needed to release it, and it gave him the mindset he needed to finish the song.

When asked about why he chose to start the song with UPSAHL's vocals he said: "To be honest, the way she sings the chorus... there's a run in the middle of the chorus, it goes really high to low. It's a hard part to sing. I can't sing it very well, it doesn't sound good when I sing it. And when we were thinking having other people sing the song, Iann included, that spot is too hard for a lot of singers to nail gracefully and so... I got recordings of everybody in the thing, and when I was like putting it all together I was like, 'We'll just keep Iann in the pre-chorus and we just use Taylor on the chorus, and that would be the song.' I think it's a nice arrangement."[7]


On Twitch on February 18, 2021, Mike said, "Cain Caser is an artist who I've been seeing around. So Cain's really dope, go check him out on Instagram. Frank Maddocks was like, "What if we asked Cain to do it?" And I was like, "Oh I've heard of that guy." We had been thinking about a few different artists and Frank had gone out to a few different artists to ask, "Are you interested?" And Cain came back with images right away, like, "I want to do this, check this out." And one of them was the start of this cover image. And I loved it, I was like, "That's pretty sick, let's do that. Like would he be down to collaborate with me on it?" And he was, so basically he did it in photoshop and then transferred that to a physical painting and started painting them. And from the physical pictures he took of the painting, I took those and then manipulated those. So, the physical painting of this thing he actually finished and went in a slightly different direction. So the physical painting is different than the digital art that's the cover. So he'll probably post his version, which is great, it's so cool, and my version is the version that ended up on the cover. He's in the UK which is the main reason we didn't physically do anything and physically pass it off because it'd be too expensive and too slow too. Because you have to ship a physical painting and the single release was coming up too fast. So the timing and money didn't make any sense. Yeah, but I'm all about that cover, I love that cover. Fun."


Digital Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) Mike Shinoda, Pete Nappi, Samantha Roson, Taylor Upsahl 3:32

Slowed + Reverb / Nightcore Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) [Slowed + Reverb] Shinoda, Nappi, Roson, Upsahl 3:57
2 Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) [Nightcore Edit] 3:12
3 Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) 3:32

Music Video

On February 22, 2021 on Twitch, Mike said, "In fact, the plan is I will not be streaming Wednesday because I'm going to go shoot a music video for #HappyEndings. We've gotta shoot it with a skeleton crew, we've gotta shoot it outdoors, we've gotta wear masks, get COVID tested."[8]

He gave an update on March 8, saying: "It's on the way. I saw a rough cut, the first version of the video, yesterday? The day before? And it's looking good. Still running through revisions and adding some things. So, that is on the way."

The music video was announced on social media on March 10 ("Happy Endings (feat. @ianndior & @upsahlmusic) music video out tomorrow 3.11")[9] and released the following day on March 11.[10]

Mike gave some details about the video in an interview with MYX Philippines, recorded on March 11, 2021: "Pixel Face is the name of the director. I love the way he uses like... it's like this weird blend of very modern and also very nostalgic, like throwback kind of animation and stuff. It feels like raw. It doesn't feel too polished or something. That felt like the song to me. It has this kinda like indie aesthetic to the song, that I wanted to be in the video. We shot it with like, you know, there's COVID safety regulations and stuff, so we didn't shoot together. But the way it was edited it makes it look like we were all just kinda there. In fact I didn't see UPSAHL at all, we texted her but I didn't see her in person. And then iann and I crossed like, I finished my part and I was leaving and he showed up, just then, so we talked over there and then that was it. I think it was a crew of only seven people. 'Cause you have to stay safe. I thought they did a great job, I'm so happy with how it came out. The animations in the video, we did them together. Pixel Face and his crew did some of the illustrations and animations and I did a bunch of them too. Some of the drawings I did on Twitch, I animated them and then send those to him for the inclusion in the video too. After I saw the first cut of it I was like, 'I love the effects in the beginning, do those the all time!'".[11]


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Happy Endings Happy Endings 3:32 2021 February 19, 2021
  • Features vocals by Iann Dior and Upsahl.
Happy Endings Happy Endings 3:32 2021 February 19, 2021
  • Censored.
Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) [slowed + reverb] Happy Endings (feat. iann dior and UPSAHL) [slowed + reverb / Nightcore Edit] 3:57 2021 April 2, 2021
  • Remixed by Jeff Jackson.
Happy Endings (feat. Iann Dior & UPSAHL) [Nightcore Edit] Happy Endings (feat. iann dior and UPSAHL) [slowed + reverb / Nightcore Edit] 3:12 2021 April 2, 2021
  • Remixed by Jeff Jackson.


"Happy Endings" was debuted live on May 14, 2021 at the See Us Unite For Change virtual event. Iann Dior and Upsahl joined Mike on stage for the performance.


At the end of his stream on February 15, 2021, Mike ended his Twitch stream with, "We will have plenty to talk about tomorrow."[12] The following day, he posted a short clip of music on social media and said, "Something big is coming this week. #HappyEndings"[13]. On Twitch that day, Mike said that he would talk more about the post tomorrow, on February 17th.[14] Later that afternoon, Shazam accidentally leaked the song's title and guests.[15]

Following some teasers[16], Mike announced via Twitter on February 17, 2021 that the song would be released on February 19 and that the guests Iann Dior and Upsahl would join him on Twitch on February 18: "New single HAPPY ENDINGS out 2.19 | Chat with @ianndior and @upsahlmusic on @Twitch tomorrow at 10AM PT #HappyEndings"[17]

Ten versions of the same video (a repeating GIF) containing one minute and fifteen seconds of "Happy Endings" were put up for sale by Mike on Zora on February 17, 2021.[18]

Mike world premiered the song on Twitch on February 18, 2021, answered fan questions, talked with Iann Dior and Upsahl, and accepted the final bids of the "Happy Endings" auctions on Zora.


  • Mike Shinoda - Writer, Vocals, Producer, Additional Guitar
  • Iann Dior - Vocals
  • Upsahl - Writer, Vocals
  • Pete Nappi - Writer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Programming, Synthesizer
  • Samantha Ronson - Writer
  • Manny Marroquin - Mixer
  • Brian Gardner - Masterer



External Links

  • Happy Endings (Official Lyric Video): YouTube


  1. LPLive: Mike Selling Music on Zora, February 5, 2021
  2. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - Art Center Scholarship, February 7, 2021
  3. YouTube: Mike Shinoda - 2.18 Talking with Iann Dior and Upsahl about our new song Happy Endings + Accepting bids on the H.E., February 18, 2021
  4. YawningPuzzledLyrebirdPhilosoraptor - Twitch, September 21, 2020
  5. What should we make today? /// 7.27.20 - YouTube, August 04, 2020
  6. YouTube: fantano - Mike Shinoda INTERVIEW, February 19, 2021
  7. DC101 on YouTube: DC101 At Home Hangout with Mike Shinoda May 5, 2021
  8. YouTube: Mike Shinoda - 2.22 producing "What You Want" by Daniel Sherman February 25, 2021
  9. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - Happy Endings Music Video Out Tomorrow, March 10, 2021
  10. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - Happy Endings Music Video Out Now, March 11, 2021
  11. Facebook: MYX Philippines - In this #MYXclusive interview with VJ Ai, multi-platinum, GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter and producer Mike Shinoda recalled his last visit to the Philippines. He also talked about his #ShinodaProduceMe project, his latest track "Happy Endings" feat. iann dior and UPSAHL, and him being a fan of Olivia Rodrigo's hit song "Driver's License" March 15, 2021
  12. Twitch: Mike Shinoda - "2.15 Art Day: drawing fan requests and a few things for the channel", February 15, 2021
  13. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - Something big is coming this week. #HappyEndings, February 16, 2021
  14. Twitch: Mike Shinoda - 2.16 Producing Bella Goldwin's "Just A Dream", February 16, 2021
  15. LPLive: Mike Shinoda - "Happy Endings" (Feb 19, 2021), February 16, 2021
  16. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - NFT Terms via MikeShinoda.com, February 17, 2021
  17. Twitter: Mike Shinoda - "New single HAPPY ENDINGS out 2.19", February 17, 2021
  18. Zora: Mike Shinoda - "Happy Endings Debut (10 of 10)", February 17, 2021