A lot has been said of the power of song: It’s a release. A refuge. A force. It transcends language barriers and defines moments and reminds us of times and places and friends we haven’t seen in years. One song can mean so many different things to different people. And that’s what’s so brilliant. It’s so simple and universal, and yet can speak to each one of us so personally. And that is real power.
When we rebranded Airbnb , our reason for doing so was much bigger than wanting a shiny, new look. We wanted to share with the world our story and the vision we have for our community and for the world. This message of “Belong Anywhere” can feel like a pretty lofty ideal, and one that needs a little more to make it whole than, say, a new logo.
To help share our message, we chose the medium of song for all of the reasons mentioned above. We wanted it to be a story that could be universal and unifying for our global community. To do that, we partnered with Music Dealers, a group that represents the largest pool of emerging artists from around the world. Music Dealers understood us from the very beginning as our missions were well aligned: we wanted to work with an independent artist who could relate to our story, who perhaps even lived it, through music.
“Our artist community is very much rooted in the Airbnb community,” explains Josh Burke, VP of Marketing at Music Dealers. “A majority of these people are out there roughing it on tour. They aren’t Beyonce. They are driving across country over night, doing different shows in different cities and countries looking to make connections and build their music, person to person. A lot of them use Airbnb to make this lifestyle possible. So the message behind ‘Belong Anywhere’ strikes to the heart of their meaning.”
And, oh, how it shows. After receiving so many amazing songs from artists all around the world, we culled it down to eight possible choices. (Even that was hard to do, and of course, we could only choose one in the end.) When we heard Moth & The Flame’s airy, intimate “Follow Me”, we knew we’d found the song.
As our CMO, Jonathan Mildenhall, put it, “What’s beautiful about ‘Follow Me’ is the way it describes a journey. It’s not about searching for one destination of meaning and belonging. We are always evolving as people. We find different connections to different places and friends around the world at different times in our lives. Lucy [lead singer of Moth & The Flame] has this voice and these words that break your heart and mend it all at once and, when we heard this song, it felt perfect. Universal, yet so unique to the Airbnb experience.”
We’re proud to share with you the music video for our first ever song, which we recorded at an Airbnb listing in London with Moth & The Flame. Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the song…. and how music (or any song in particular) defines belonging for you!
This is “Follow Me”.