Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Cristobal Tapia de Veer, Composer of the Viral White Lotus' Theme Song, Reveals His Process and Expectations for Season 3


Plenty of TV sitcom theme songs stand the test of time. The singability of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, clap-infused pop of I'll Be There For You from Friends, and nostalgic harmonies of Where Everybody Knows Your Name from Cheers each holds a notable slot in the cultural zeitgeist. It's less common for a drama's theme song to meet the same reception. And that picture is even more complicated when the theme is a wordless instrumental used-in the first moments of the show-to set the scene for dead bodies washing ashore.

Yet composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer's Aloha! and Renaissance, which serve as the theme songs for first and second seasons of The White Lotus, respectively, have reached such success. Each track features a consistent melody with high-pitched instrumentation, a danceable beat, and breathless vocals. Each is also tailored to reflect its season's location-Hawaii in the first and Sicily in the second.

Each season, The White Lotus offers colorful, suspenseful commentary on exploitation, wealth, class, and race with a backdrop of murder and dysfunction set in a fictional luxury resort. The combination of Cristobal's masterful composition, the show's alluring storytelling, and a rabid global fan base has propelled both themes to viral fame and millions of Spotify streams, and raised the profile of their composer.

Fans on the prowl Since its July 2021 release, Aloha! has been streamed most by fans in Warsaw, Berlin, and Paris. The song's popularity only grew in the lead-up to the October 2022 premier of the second season, with fans taking to the internet to share commentary on the song.

One popular fan theory was that its repeated notes created a musical allusion to the Gregorian chant Dies Irae, or The Day of Wrath. In a rare interview with For the Record, Cristobal explained that this is but a coincidence. Those melodies are the result of chanting with voices and finding a melody that works with the sound. For lots of reasons, I ended up with those types of harmonies, but I wasn't specifically inspired by that music or trying to use it intentionally.

Following the debut episode of the second season on October 30, 2022, searches for White Lotus on Spotify increased more than 500%. But to the chagrin of fans, Renaissance wasn't released on Spotify until December 11, the end of the season.

Even so, dedicated fans steadily played Aloha! on Spotify while they waited, and on December 12, streams of Aloha! jumped 200% compared to the month prior. Searches for White Lotus soared to 4,800% compared to two months prior.

Once released, daily streams of Renaissance hit an all-time high on December 13, 2022, with fans in Paris, Oslo, and Berlin leading the charge. And as for Cristobal? The composer saw a 162% lift in his own catalog's daily streams following season two.

Even after the season came to an end, fans continued to circulate the song, using it as the musical background to their viral videos. On February 17, 2023, Dutch DJ Ti sto put out his own remix of Renaissance, which became a favorite among fans in Sydney, New York, and Oslo in particular.

Soundtracking suspense So what went into creating the right soundtrack? Cristobal employed wind instruments to create the whirling bird sounds on Aloha! For the first season, I wasn't trying to make Hawaiian music. It was more about making something about nature kicking the characters in the ass, and the wild stuff coming for the characters, Cristobal explained. To hit his mark, he combined bird calls with tribal chants for an island feel with a spooky tropical depth.

Composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer

The temp score was this loungy, rather soft thing-something that would be playing in a nice luxury cafe when you're on vacation somewhere, he recalled. It was very different from what I came up with. I went with a tribal, rather aggressive screaming, and drums and flutes.

That screaming, which seems to be the best way to describe the vocal sounds, became a driving force behind the song's virality when it came time to adapt it for the second season. Cristobal knew he wanted to match the vibe of the location and utilize disconcerting vocal tones.

The oululus' are the most important thing, said Cristobal, using his tongue heavily to propel the sound from his own mouth. For the second season, I was trying to fit into the Italian and the Sicilian vibe. We spoke about having some renaissance sounds, some harps, mandolin, violin, things that we'd connect with Italian music and opera. I did a demo of some classical Italian music, something operatic, and that's the beginning of the track. From there, I wanted to somehow bring back the sound of the first season, which is these screaming voices that are so recognizable.

He also wanted to evoke a different journey for a new cast of characters.

In the first season, there's a lot of conflict in the music, he said. It feels very stressful and more tense than how it should; it has more dissonance. But this was something calculated. And I think the second season is funnier because things become dark later, towards the end of the show. So the song keeps it more playful, more light and harmonious.

A trip to Thailand Cristobal finds the composing process as tumultuous as life is for the White Lotus patrons at times. I don't do anything particular to get into the zone, he notes. Sometimes people try to have the best conditions-relaxed and with a view-but surprisingly, for me, I like to see the stuff that results from being in a bad situation, a stressful situation, not having the right equipment, or not being in the right place.

For Cristobal, discomfort is more impactful, motivating, and conducive to creativity than pleasure or perfection. When I feel tha
See more stories from spotify

Europe Stories


Dalet Releases Dalet Cut, the Fastest Web-based Editor

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, announced the release of Dalet Cut, the cloud-native, lightning-fast multimedia a...


10 Great Musical Biographies That Tell the Stories Behind Your Favorite Artists

You might know all the songs and albums of your favorite musicians, but do you know the experiences and inspirations behind their work? Luckily, you can find ou...


Level Up With These 12 Motivational Audiobooks for a Productive Workday

There are times when the daily grind might not leave you feeling the most inspired. But it doesn't always have to be like that. Words of wisdom may be just ...


9 Trending-On-Social Audiobooks To Appeal to Your Inner Influencer

Sometimes you might notice on a thoughtful review from a friend on your feed, or stumble upon a flash summary straight out of your favorite social influencer...


Kick Back With 9 Audiobooks To Help You Unwind

Whether it's chilling on the couch or crashing into bed, nothing beats settling into a nice long rest at the end of the day. And few things are more frustra...


7 Compelling Book-To-Screen Adaptations That Are Now Available as Audiobooks

Which was better, the book or the movie? It's a common argument that has withstood the test of time and has only gotten stronger as more and more hit tele...


Start Your Day Off Right With 9 Audiobooks for Your Morning Commute

Whether you like to begin your day the moment you get out of bed or ease gently into it with a cup of coffee, you can count on audiobooks to boost your mornings...


9 Audiobooks To Start You on Your Literary Journey

With elaborate storytelling, immersive worlds, and an enthusiastic fandom hyping it up, getting into a new book can be an exciting and fun moment. And with the ...


Spotify EQUAL Presents the All Things Go Creator Summit to Inspire Action Through Music

Fans flock to music festivals to see dozens of their favorite artists in one go,...


Launchpad Season 2 Takes Flight

Now streaming on Disney+, Launchpad Season 2 comprises six original live-action short films from underrepresented filmmakers whose unique voices bring new persp...


A Lively MWC Las Vegas in Partnership With CTIA Lit Up Debate Across the Mobile Ecosystem, Vertical Industries and Start-ups

The 2023 edition of GSMA MWC Las Vegas saw a rise in attendees from vertical ind...


Small but mighty: Why compact OB vans are perfect for live events's managing director, Simon Roe, looks at the ways in which compact OB Vans are the epitome of efficiency, proving that size does not limit their po...


Bringing the story of the greatest sporting curveball in history' to the screen

TVBEurope talks to the team behind the film about Eddie Jones and the Japanese r...


MediaKind makes key appointments to accelerate innovation and growth'

Ashish Patel has been appointed president, MediaKind operator platforms, and Tony Goncalves joins as strategic advisor By Jenny Priestley Published: Septembe...


Webinar - Optimize California Proposition 28 Arts Funding

Webinar - Optimize California Proposition 28 Arts Funding Secure Funding for California Arts Education Programs Focusrite Group in Education is proud to prese...



Eutelsat Group Press release - 29 September 2023 09:05 EUTELSAT GROUP ANNOUNCES ADMISSION TO TRADING ON THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE Facebook LinkedIn Twitte...


Baz Ashmawy's new gameshow The Money List lights up Sunday nights on RT

RT 's brand-new Sunday night quiz The Money List starts this weekend on RT One and RT Player. WATCH THE PROMO. The Money List, presented by Baz Ashmaw...


Thales Alenia Space celebrates 60 years of expertise and innovation in Belgium

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Charleroi, September 29, 2023 - Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), is celebrating i...


Introducing the Eurovision News Podcast

Introducing the Eurovision News Podcast...


All Gymnastics to complement EBU Members' FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships coverage

All Gymnastics to complement EBU Members' FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cham...


Shortlist for Young Journalist Award 2023 revealed

An astonishing array of talented journalists from around the world have made it through to the shortlist for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2023....


Everything In Store for Podcast Listeners and Creators This International Podcast Day

At Spotify, you could say we think about podcasts 24/7. Spotify is now the most-...


10 Years Later, HAIM Dishes on the Success of Debut Album Days Are Gone'

Ten years ago, L.A. trio HAIM announced its arrival to the world with the album Days Are Gone, an indie rock classic that has continued to resonate with fans ar...


Piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of Boiling Point

TVBEurope talks to editor Alex Fountain about his work on the BBCs new drama Boiling Point, and how hes followed the project from short to feature to TV By Jen...


Keeping Ukraine connected: Kyivstar CTO addresses GSMA Sec Con at MWC Las Vegas 2023

28 Sep 2023 Keeping Ukraine connected: Kyivstar CTO addresses GSMA Sec Con at M...


Despite the Storm Clouds, IBC 2023 Had Energy, Direction and Pace

There seemed to be much trepidation ahead of this year's IBC. Would the Schiphol fiasco and train strike that blighted the escape from the RAI in 2022 be a...


alter ego selects Baselight for new Santa Monica facility

LA's new commercials-focused post house installs two Baselight TWO systems and expands worldwide team alter ego, Canada's premiere commercial post-prod...



Press release - 28 September 2023 11:31 EUTELSAT AND ONEWEB COMBINATION HERAL...



Over the past five years, Apple has deepened its investments in the U.K., inaugurating a new U.K. headquarters and a new Apple Store at London's Battersea P...


Dermot Kennedy and Moving Hearts join line-up for Ireland 100: An Old Song Resung

Concert at Dublin's RDS on October 7th will air on RT on October 30th Sing...


Mother and her autistic son call on Department of Health to apologise after compiling a secret dossier on them

Mother and her autistic son call on Department of Health to apologise after comp...


Shure Announces Agreement to Acquire Ab Wavemark Oy

Shure Announces Agreement to Acquire Ab Wavemark Oy posted: 28/09/2023 Wavetool A2 iPad Racks ADX Medium Horizontal Shure has announced that an agreement...


Spotify Advertising Kicks Off Spotify Sparks in Brazil to Bring Marketers and Listeners Closer Together

Audiences worldwide are tuned into digital audio at record rates, and Brazil is ...


EQUAL Fest Turns Up the Volume in Madrid

Over two years ago, Spotify created EQUAL, a global initiative that aims to promote gender equity in music and give female artists around the world the prominen...


Pixcom chooses EditShare for seamless media collaboration and management

Pixcom Chooses EditShare for Seamless Media Collaboration and Management Montr al-based production company moves to latest hardware for increased flexibility ...


Clear-Com's FreeSpeak II Truly Shines on Set of America's Test Kitchen'

eds3_5_jq(document).ready(function($) { $(#eds_sliderM519).chameleonSlider_2_1({...


The R&D and product development landscape: Black Box

By Jenny Priestley Published: September 27, 2023 Updated: September 28, 2023 John Hickey, senior director of R&D and KVM Systems, Black Box details how t...


Vizrt heads to the metaverse with blinx

The company is working with start-up blinx, which delivers narratives produced by younger people, for younger people By Jenny Priestley Published: September ...


Finding the heart of Welcome to Wrexham: How the show's editor turns 30 hours of footage into each episode

TVBEurope sits down with editor Michael Brown to find out how he goes about cons...


Writers' Strike officially over; AI protections revealed

Writers are expected to return to work today even though the deal has yet to be voted on by the unions full membership By Jenny Priestley Published: Septembe...


Take five with Liam

Posted on 27 Sep 2023 Tell us a little bit about your job? Im a Junior Web Developer and I joined the team at ICG earlier this year. As a junior I am learning...


Spotify Unveils Jam, a New, Personalized Way to Listen With Your Entire Squad

There are few things more powerful than connecting over a shared love of music. So over the past few years, Spotify has unveiled a wide range of new features, i...


Share Your Biggest Mandopop Moments With My Mandopop Memories'

Whether it's an unforgettable first love or heartbreak, those adventurous road trips with friends, or planning for the dream wedding, millions of fans aroun...


India's Classical Music Takes Center Stage in Spotify's Echo Campaign

In India, music fans are diving into classical music. Recent data shows that over the last two years, India's classical music consumption grew by nearly 500...



Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover, enjoy, and support their favourite podcasts, featuring millions of shows covering every topic - and ...


Media sector urges MEPs to vote in favor of meaningful Article 17 in the EMFA

Media sector urges MEPs to vote in favor of meaningful Article 17 in the EMFA...


Europe supports a secondary allocation to mobile for the sub-700 MHz UHF band

Europe supports a secondary allocation to mobile for the sub-700 MHz UHF band...


Scope Rating GmbH Revises Outlook To Positive On Magyar Telekom's BBB+ Issuer Credit Rating

Scope Rating GmbH Revises Outlook To Positive On Magyar Telekom's BBB+ Issue...


Riedel and Studio Automated Collaborate on AI Video Production Solution

Wuppertal September 26, 2023 Riedel and Studio Automated Collaborate on AI Video Production SolutionRiedel Communications and Studio Automated today announced...