When Evaride, the pop-rock duo of Sean Michael Murray and Hayden Maringer, wrote “Warrior” in 2018, they didn’t think much of its reach. To them, it was a great anthem of hope and positivity. Then, it quickly latched on, featured on NBC’s The Titan Games, World of Dance, and even sports broadcasts, getting play during the Stanley Cup playoffs and MLB World Series. Now, three years later, the song has reached an even larger audience: The 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Airing nationwide, “Warrior” is an anthemic burst that still resonates now, specifically following 2020.
“I think it resonates even more now, because of this past year,” says Maringer. “It’s an uplifting song that is applicable to not only sports, the military, or things like that, but everyday warriors—anybody and everybody. That’s the message I feel we need to be spreading during all these dark times that we’ve experienced with COVID.”
He adds, “‘Warrior’ is just an uplifting attitude to bring others up when they’re down and rise up to the occasion and continue to spread that message of positivity because it’s something I feel lacks in every aspect of our daily lives. Everybody’s still in their shell right now.”
Originally written during the Los Angeles-based duo’s first trip to New York City, while they were doing press for their first single “Heartless,” the two connected with producer Gregg Wattenberg (Train, Phillip Phillip and Daughtry) at his studio near Times Square, where they co-wrote “Warrior” with the pair.
“The song came together very organically,” says Murray. “In a matter of two days, we finished the entire song from the writing process to the recording process.”
Initially, the pair thought it was a joke when they were approached to have their song featured in the Olympics in December of 2020. “It was a really big deal,” says Murray. “Obviously, the 2020 Olympics were postponed, and it kept getting pushed back, so we didn’t know what was going to happen, because we didn’t know if the Olympics were still gonna happen. We were really thrilled when we found out that this was officially a go. We knew that our song was finally going to be heard by millions of people.”
Slightly shifting the lyrics, Evaride only switched the opening chant of Warrior to We’re warriors from the time it was originally written to make the song more inclusive.
“This kind of song was something that we always wanted to write, something anthemic,” says Maringer. “In the case of ‘Warrior,’ and one of our other songs ‘Wanted,’ they’ve just been placed in a lot of different things that have that same mentality of uplifting and positive messages.”
For Maringer, who starred in FOX’s Glee and featured on various television and awards shows, and Murray, who was discovered by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and played him on the Broadway show American Idiot, Evaride has reached a new peak. Working on their debut, the pair have already pulled in Wattenberg, along with producers Captain Cuts (The Chainsmokers, Keith Urban) and Colin Brittain (Papa Roach, Dashboard Confessional).
“We’ve taken this opportunity with the Olympics to sit back and wait to see what happens, knowing the songs we’re sitting on,” says Maringer. “We just want to live in this moment, and let the song have its moment before putting other songs into the limelight.”