Dominic Fike is a young American singer, songwriter and actor. His career began with posting songs on the SoundCloud platform, but already in 2018, at the age of 23, Dominic released his debut album (EP) Don’t forget me, Demos, which appealed to the taste of the Australian public, and his first full-length album – What Could Possibly Go Wrong – released in 2020 and gained somewhat more popularity. From 2020 to 2023, Dominic was involved in a variety of projects: he co-wrote songs, recorded songs with Halsey and Justin Bieber, starred in the second season of the series “Euphoria” – and on July 7, 2023, he released his second studio album, Sunburn, which was preceded by several singles. Among the latest is the acclaimed track Mama’s Boy, released on June 23.
About the album itself, Dominic said that it would not be the story of an established artist, but a painful and vulnerable discovery for an up-and-coming artist who is still charting his path, the album’s purpose was to show who Dominic is, according to producer Sunburn. The album contains songs about addiction, sex, envy, regret and heartbreak, but Dominic positions it as very honest and personal. It should be assumed that Mama’s Boy is also a personal or at least significant story for the artist. Little is known about the creation of the song itself, only the names of the co-authors of the lyrics: Sam Homai, Jim Stack, Henry Kwapis and Devin Workman. All of them are credited in one way or another as co-authors on other songs on the album, as well as producers.
Let’s start with the first lines of the first verse to understand the meaning of the song. “How do my plans fit into yours? You are a doll, and I am a boy” – the lyrical hero, the protagonist, from whose face the story is told, is significantly different from the “doll”, he is a real child, at the same time, at least he wants, in some sense, to live with the doll in order to their plans coincided because they already coincide, despite the difference between living and nonliving. “Where did my parents go?
They are in Italy, they love home on vacation more than me” – the protagonist talks about a difficult relationship with parents who prefer (or preferred) a vacation in a sunny and pleasant country to their own child. “You are made of plastic, I am made of blood, when I was born, you were made” – the hero emphasizes his identity as real, living, although being plastic seems a more joyful prospect: “I would like to be a toy… And you laugh, and I I’m crying.” Toys and dolls usually laugh, and the protagonist is real, alive, made of blood – but he cries, and the plastic toy is happy with everything, everyone is happy with it.
“Half of my heart is in your chest, I’m not a mama’s boy, I would go to Italy, I would go to Tuscany if you could come with me” – obviously, the hero was turning to someone close all this time, but who? Most likely, to someone equal, a comfortable doll that everyone likes – first of all, their parents, maybe the parents of the protagonist himself. There is an opinion that the hero turns to his own mother, in whose chest is half of his heart, but most likely it is his brother or sister or just someone close; one way or another, someone is convenient, plastic, unreal, but the hero does not play with him, does not take advantage of the convenience, but builds a normal, close relationship. Max-A-Million and Izzybell are a band and an artist, respectively, who have stopped creating, the protagonist encourages them to come out of their house onto the stage and play some more.
Considering that the entire album is quite personal for Dominic, the young artist probably mentioned them to emphasize the thirst for real, real creativity, not “plastic”, but “from the blood”. At the end of the song, the words “Mama’s boy” are repeated not in Dominic’s voice, but in a tune, then the tone rises, the atmosphere turns from childish, as if in a kindergarten they were chanting “mama’s boy”, into a frightening, oppressive one – the image of the desired behavior was imposed on the protagonist in childhood, into which he never fit in, but now, as an adult and seemingly already decided on who he is, the hero still wants parental love. He is attracted to the “doll”, he would like to be plastic, to be loved, although he is ready to go on his own to all those places where his parents did not take him. The hero can stand on his own two feet, but the trauma from lack of parental love is not cured.