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The Fray Perform ‘Heartbeat’ and Reveal Song’s Meaning [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

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When the Fray performed their hit ‘Heartbeat’ exclusively for PopCrush’s Off the Record video series, the band delivered an emotional performance, taking advantage of the intimate, stripped-down setting to riff on the tune and slightly change up the pacing of the song — one of the marks of a true live performer. But the band also took the time to explain the meaning behind the song, and its origin may surprise you.

“The inspiration from ‘Heartbeat’ came from a trip I took to Africa to go write,” frontman Isaac Slade revealed to PopCrush, explaining that he visited the genocide museum and met with the local people while in Rwanda.

“We were actually standing in a circle, holding hands, and this woman next to me – I couldn’t tell if it was her heartbeat or mine in my hand, but I felt it, like a metaphor for the people there and the country – that it’s coming back to life,” he explained. “It’s been down for the count, and by all intents and purposes it should never rise again from those ashes because a million people were killed in 100 days [during the Rwandan genocide in the ’90s]. That kind of thing knocks a country off the map usually. And they’re back, and they’re stronger than ever. That was the original inspiration for the song, and really capturing that moment that they’re in right now as a country.”

Watch the Fray’s acoustic performance of ‘Heartbeat’ above.

See the Fray Perform ‘Love Don’t Die’ + ‘Break Your Plans’ Live at PopCrush

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