LGBTQ Pride Month

When This 20-Year-Old Musical Artist Rewrote Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You,' It Transformed Into An Epic Pride Anthem

"No my heart will not be bound / Sing it out, sing it loud / I'm proud."

Rapper, singer, and songwriter Jane Oranika isn't in love with the 'Shape of You.' She's in love with herself.

And she wants every single member of the LGBT+ community to love themselves, too. That's the powerful β€” not to mention catchy β€” message she belts out in her "Pride Anthem" version of the Ed Sheeran pop hit

Oranika was just listening to the beat of the song when something inspired and compelled her "to flip it to empower people." Turning the original lyric "I'm in love with the shape of you" on its head, she decided to view the line's meaning from an internal perspective, rather than an external one. "I thought of the shape of someone as being the entire person they are, regardless of labels and orientations," she told A Plus via email. 

"Not only can we love other people holistically, we can love ourselves that way, too. I especially wanted to reiterate that for Pride Month."

The full lyrics, provided by Oranika, read:

"Let me tell you about pride 

The struggle to survive

Living every day with your loving under fire 

People questioning the ways that you self-identify 

Who you choose to date isn't ever on your mind 

I swear, people so fascinated, they passive hating, 

And y'all repeat the rhetoric just like a class was taken 

I bet we could settle it, just if the paths were traded 

And you were born a certain way and told you have to hate it 

I'm doing me

You can disagree

But people paid to talk and you do it for free.

But you can see me marching up and through the streets 

And I'm still gonna sing


I will not be ashamed,

This is just who I am,

Who I was meant to be 

No mistakes

And right here I stand 

I'm out on my own two feet

No, you will not shut me down

No, my heart will not be bound

Sing it out, sing it loud

I'm proud." 

Courtesy Jane Oranika
Courtesy Jane Oranika

After recording the song, the musical artist based in Montgomery, Ala., posted the video to Twitter on June 13, where it has since received more 21,000 likes and nearly 10,000 retweets. 

As "a member of the LGBT+ community" with a Twitter presence 11,000 followers strong, Oranika "wanted to use [her] platform to speak up and make people happy to be themselves." When she realized she hadn't "said very much" about this year's Pride Month on social media, however, she knew she wanted to write a song about it. "There's not many rappers who speak about Pride, simply because they can't relate," she explained. "As someone who can, and someone who is proud of who I am, it almost felt mandatory." 

Even with her extensive social media following, Oranika never expected her video to go viral. All that mattered to her was that the song reached the people it was intended for.

"There's so many conflicting feelings that a lot of LGBT+ citizens have regarding their identity and sexuality. I just want the song to resonate with them and help them to be proud to live their truth," she said. "... I did hope that it would be shared to brighten someone's day, though." From Twitter's overwhelmingly positive response, the song seems to not only have brightened someone's day, but many people's entire month (and, of course, the 11 other months of the year).

Courtesy Jane Oranika
Courtesy Jane Oranika

While Oranika's song remains a powerful anthem no matter when or where it's played, she believes Pride Month is "so necessary" because it's a designated time where marginalized groups can "be free and celebrate." In both her song and her everyday life, she encourages everyone to never be ashamed to be themselves. "So many people spend a good chunk of their life being closeted, so when they finally are able to come out, this month is their time to shine surrounded by people like them," she explained. "... That acceptance and love is indescribable."

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