Joshua Evan Lee, who has previously collaborated with another successful creator-turned-singer, Tyen Rasif (on the song «You Got This», which Edo co-wrote), co-wrote and produced the ironic and unapologetic banger.
The partnership with Joshua Evan Lee has been a crucial turning point for Edo, motivating him to develop and produce music on his own, giving the track an unmatched level of vigour and imagination. «The instrumental’s production primarily borrows from hip hop, with a little help from house music. I suppose that’s why I naturally drew from techno and house music events as I was attending more of them at the time I wrote the piece. It all goes together because house music is a significant component of the queer party culture», said Edo.
«I Ate» acts as an anthem that emanates happiness and empowerment, telling listeners to love themselves unconditionally, tackle challenges with sarcasm and sass, and always embrace their feisty and magnificent personalities. The song has an uplifting synth-rap backdrop.
Edo creates a potent tapestry of emotions, representing the distinctive spirits of the Gen-Z TikTokers and drag queens who brighten his life by drawing inspiration from the various personalities he is exposed to. «Edo remembers overcoming the distractions and discovering his actual self by connecting with the right people and communities, tapping into the anxieties and insecurities he had as a child. No matter how challenging life becomes, you can triumph and look ferocious, young, sexy, and slay, which is a sentiment shared by most Gen-Zers», according to Edo.
One of his role models is fellow TikToker Qilah, who dramatises everyday events in her life and creates humorous content for the social media network. More importantly, Edo and his crew were motivated to work in the studio by the clever, nuanced way Qilah uses sarcasm to counteract negativity in life. Edo remembers one TikTok in particular that caught his attention and was the inspiration for «I Ate». It is appropriate that Qilah appears in «I Ate».
The TikTok in question featured a monologue, one of Qilah’s signature modes of humour, and it goes: «The other day someone asked me, Qilah why you so fine? Why are you so goddamn fine? And I think the question you should be asking is why not? In a world of ugliness, hatred, smelliness, disgust. Why not be the fine one? Why not be the gem?»
«When I saw that, I sent it to my producer straight away before we worked with her to get it into the song», Edo explains.
Clubs and parties in addition to Gen-Z personalities served as inspiration for him. Observing that indie, acoustic, and indie-pop were frequently used as backing tracks for songs in Singapore, Edo had the idea to provide the public some party bops, which are not frequently heard in the local music industry.
«I Ate» is not only the musical debut of Edo as an artist, but also the debut of another one of his online personalities—an extension of his online alter egos. The «Italian in Singapore», a persona that propelled Edo’s popularity on TikTok during the circuit breaker period in 2020, is seen as a character that is really extra and over the top. With «I Ate» comes the birth of another side of Edo, much like the «Italian in Singapore», but as he calls it: the «party version».