G Flip tells PEOPLE why "Cruel Summer" is "one of the best pop songs of all time" and how Swifties have responded
After Swift, 34, noticed the “Cruel Summer” cover — which features G Flip pounding on the drums while accompanied by violins and other string instruments — on Instagram, the 12-time Grammy winner double-tapped on the video to give it a like.
“I honestly still can’t believe that she liked it,” the 30-year-old artist, born Georgia Claire Flipo in Melbourne, tells PEOPLE from Australia. “I never thought she would see it, let alone like it. ... Taylor is so generous with helping up and coming artists, so I’m really honored, grateful and honestly in disbelief that she offered that to me.”
G Flip proclaims that “Cruel Summer” is “one of the best pop songs ever written” and describes their cover as a “masc-lesbian version.”
G Flip changed the pronouns in the lyrics because “I am very gay and I wouldn’t be singing about bad boys.“ In Swift’s original, she sings, “Bad, bad boy, shiny toy with a price, you know that I bought it.” G Flip instead sings, “Bad, bad girl shiny pearl with a price, you know that I bought it.”
Near the 2-minute mark during the sing-along bridge, G Flip picks up drumsticks and spins one of them in their right hand before pounding on the drum kit as the string section assists bringing the cover to its crescendo.
“All of my music is built around the drums so it was fun to approach this cover with that mentality,” G Flip says. ”I also put together the string arrangement in the cover. ... The bridge rhythmically is almost like a bongo/conga part. It satisfies my brain so much and f--- it’s fun to sing.”
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At the end of the bridge, G Flip belts, “She looks up, grinning like a devil,” instead of the original lyrics of “he looks up, grinning like a devil.”
The “she” whom G Flip is singing about is their wife, Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause. The couple married at a Las Vegas chapel in 2023 after meeting on Halloween 2021 and confirming their relationship in April 2022 during the Selling Sunset Season 5 reunion.
“It was a very small group there with us and some friends and family watching on a live stream,” Stause told PEOPLE about the wedding.
A few months after the nuptials, Swift’s “Cruel Summer” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — four years after the song’s initial release.
The track from Swift’s seventh studio album Lover got a second life during the Eras Tour, where Swifties shout-sing the bridge.
“The message of the song is universal, which is the magic of Taylor’s songwriting,” G Flip explains. ”I can relate to the story of a summer romance, having to keep it secret, and the intense emotions around a whirlwind relationship like that.”
As of Friday, “Cruel Summer” is holding strong at No. 2 on the Hot 100.
G Flip points out that “Cruel Summer” having this moment four years after its release proves how special Swift’s song is. Elaborating on why they think it’s “one of the greatest pop songs of all time,” G Flip zeroed in on Swift’s rhythmic melodies that scratched the itch in their drummer brain.
“I feel like her songwriting switches between longer held elegant emotional melodies, to rhythmic bouncy melodies, to straight up undeniably catchy ear worms — and she flips through all these vocal styles in just the one song,” G Flip says. ”Then add being an amazing lyricist to the mix and there’s no wonder she is the most successful artist in the world. Not every songwriter can do this. It’s a superpower.”
G Flip released this cover on all streaming platforms on Friday.
“I’m just really taken aback with the love and warmth I have received,” G Flip admits. “It was a little scary to put out because Taylor is such a treasure and her music is so fiercely loved and protected. I just really didn’t want to butcher it. I honestly thought I was going to get a lot of hate.”
“The Swiftie community is really beautiful and have been so generous by offering their praise and sending me really kind notes about this cover,” G Flip adds. “At the end of the day, it’s Taylor’s song and Taylor’s magic. I am just honored that the world has been blessed with such a song for us creatives to interpret and put their own spin on it.”
With Swift's Eras Tour still going strong throughout 2024, G Flip says it would be a “more than a dream come true” to be asked to join Swift as an opening act on some tour stops.
“I would say absolutely yes straight away,” G Flip says. “I would also cry my little heart out and truly feel like I made something of myself in this life.”
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