"Instead it's T-shirt and jeans / Filters and livestreams, graduating on screens," Maylyn sings on the track

By Darlene Aderoju
May 19, 2020 12:00 PM
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One Mississippi-born, Alabama-raised singer has created a new tune for high school students who cannot attend what would have been their prom due to ongoing safety measures, which include social distancing, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Maylyn is the singer behind "Prom Night," a heartfelt tune that couldn't have come at a better time for students whose traditional celebration was halted due to the health crisis. PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the music video which features photos submitted by high schoolers nationwide dressed in what they planned to wear for the special occasion.

"I didn’t realize that telling this story would lead to so many high schoolers and parents of high schoolers reaching out," Maylyn tells PEOPLE. "It has led to conversations about their disappointments of prom being canceled and conversations about making the most out of a quarantined prom."

"I’ve received pictures and videos of people coming up with the most creative ways to still celebrate," she adds. "If I could capture these seniors' pictures in words it would be, 'It’s not a reservation, it’s take out. It’s not a dance floor, it’s my living room. It’s not high heels, it’s slippers, but even still, I’m having a great time.' It showed me that you can’t stifle joy and fun can be had regardless of an event being canceled."

Maylyn
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn
Maylyn
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn

"This should've been prom night / Pick you up at 5, hey you're looking fine / In the mirror get your tie right / All that we had planned, perfect circumstance," she sings. "Instead it's T-shirt and jeans / Filters and livestreams, graduating on screens / Thought this was prom night / But it's alright."

"I really thought we'd be together / One night we'd always remember, gone," she continues in the song.

Of all the submissions Maylyn has gotten, one stands out to her the most. "I received a message from a mother of a high school senior that really moved me. She said she had listened to my song, 'Prom Night', and had cried pretty hard while doing so. She explained that her son’s prom had been canceled. But she wasn’t about to let the occasion slip away. She decided to make the prom come to her son."

"She threw a socially distanced prom in her cul-de-sac, complete with decorations and delicious homemade food," Maylyn tells PEOPLE. "Her effort to throw her son a prom is the kind of love and creativity we need to hear about. We could all use that kind of encouragement right now."

"Prom Night" art
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn
Maylyn
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn

The track has gone viral on TikTok. Maylyn released her song to demonstrate what prom looks like for the teenagers who are posing for photos even though they aren't able to attend their big night.

"I loved my prom night," says the singer. "Looking back, I think it might have been one of the funniest nights of my life. I got dressed up with my best friends, ate, and danced. How can that not be a great time? But whether a person's prom night is magical or [not], there’s always a story and the seniors of 2020 didn’t lose their story. If anything, they have a better story to tell. They survived a pandemic and as you see from the music video, [they] looked fabulous doing it."

Maylyn's mother — a high school English teacher in Huntsville, Alabama — encouraged her to write the song for this year's graduating class. The track was written by Maylyn, Scott Effman and Garrison Starr.

"My sweet mother Charlotte came to me with this idea. She told me how sad she’s been for her seniors because they will have to miss their last prom," Maylyn says. "She’s the kind of teacher or friend you’d be lucky to come across once during your school experience. When she pointed out what her seniors were going through, it really made an impression on me. The graduating class of 2020 won’t get to have a lot of the hallmarks of senior year, including prom night. I wanted to commemorate this time for them and hopefully give them a positive outlook on the situation."

Maylyn
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn

Piecing the song together was a one of a kind experience for Maylyn and her co-writers who wrote the track, conducted photo outreach and shot cover art for the song within days. "Oh man, it was a doozy," she recalls. "I worked with the video director to fully execute my vision as we began the process of constructing the music video. All in all, we turned this idea into a song with a music video in roughly a week! It took a village!"

Maylyn's musical journey took off in 2018 when she was finishing school at Auburn University. A song she wrote resulted in her first publishing deal with Purplebeat in 2018. She went on to secure a management deal with Bob Doyle & Associates in 2019.

Maylyn
| Credit: Courtesy Maylyn

"My family, like every other family, has been affected by COVID-19," Maylyn says. "Personally, I‘ve had a lot of changed plans. All of my songwriting sessions that had been planned four months out, business trips to Los Angeles, even my own wedding have been postponed. All of these changes have, admittedly, left me feeling a bit disheartened and like my important events are being brushed to the side. This is how I imagined the seniors of 2020 to feel about a canceled prom. I think that’s why I felt the need to tell their story, because in a way, it was my own. We both lost important events. But I learned from them that you can make it somehow beautiful."

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