Cursive Singing

Cursive Singing

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Updated Nov 05, 2019 at 02:06PM EST by Sophie.

Added Nov 05, 2019 at 12:46PM EST by Sophie.

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Cursive Singing is a style of singing which parodies the vocal fry/jazz inspired singing of indie pop musicians like Halsey, Sia and Amy Winehouse. Although singing has informally been described as cursive (referring to handwriting) since 2009, TikTok users popularized the label through videos in which they mock indie singers.


On June 17th, 2009, Twitter[1] user @TRACKDROPPA tweeted the first instance of the label online, "Voice so smooth its like I'm singing in cursive" (shown below).

TRACKDROPPA @TRACKDROPPA Voice so smooth its like I'm singing in cursive.. 5:18 PM Jun 17, 2009 Twitter Web Client


In 2015, some Vine users began uploading videos in which they parody "Indie girls" by singing in a certain way. For example, On December 13th, 2015, YouTuber Vinestagram uploaded "Chrish – Indie girl introduces us to her kitchen (Vine)" (shown below). The video gained over 2.8 million views in four years.

On July 8th, 2018, Redditor barihakiim posted "The SZA jokes where people say she sings in hieroglyphics and italics will forever be funny to me. No matter how much of a fan I am.😂" to r/sza.[2] Redditor FKAnugs91 responded by saying, "When TDE first released that she lost her voice someone commented 'well if she stopped singing in cursive maybe she’d still have her voice' I died." On September 13th, Aries672 asked a LipstickAlley[3] forum "Why Are Singers Singing In Cursive Now? What is this new style that Jorja Smith, SZA, FKA Twigs and etc sing in and what is the purpose? I just watched this and it pissed me off" and attached a video of Jorja Smith singing (shown below).

Lipstick Alley user Beatchoas responded by commenting "Tryna imitate jazz singers while sounding retro, like Erykah Badu." O users responded with their own examples of cursive singers like Corinne Bailey Rae, Amy Winehouse, Sia and Halsey. In 2019, TikTok users began "singing in cursive." The most notable example was @callinallgamers' rendition of Flamingo. On April 9th, dueted @callinallgamers to compare the singing to cursive handwriting (shown below, left). The video gained over 500 likes and 160 shares in six months. On May 25th, TikTok user @kaylicious uploaded a video in which they sing in cursive which received over 393,300 likes and 43,100 shares in five months.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – TRACKDROPPA

[2] Reddit – r/sza

[3] Lipstick Alley – Why are singers singing in cursive now?

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