Story of Your Song

Behind every song, there is a story – and we intend to share them.

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

Definitely not just a song about sneakers, Pumped Up Kicks is one of those songs that takes you by surprise.

A bouncy beat that hides a tragic tale, the song has struck a chord with audiences across the globe for its juxtaposing lyrics and music.

In an interview with Spinner UK, vocalist for the band Mark Foster let loose on the meaning of the song.

Pumped Up Kicks is about a kid that basically is losing his mind and is plotting revenge. He’s an outcast. I feel like the youth in our culture are becoming more and more isolated. It’s kind of an epidemic. Instead of writing about victims and some tragedy, I wanted to get into the killer’s mind, like Truman Capote did in In Cold Blood. I love to write about characters. That’s my style. I really like to get inside the heads of other people and try to walk in their shoes.”

In a separate interview with the Vancouver Sun, Foster spoke more on the lyrics, saying that sometimes the song’s meaning mistaken to be something its not.

“The funny thing is that a lot of people equate Pumped Up Kicks with a school shooting, but it’s not. I don’t say anything about a school in the song. That has more to do with people’s affiliation with kids and guns and applying it towards a school thing.”

A very serious subject matter indeed, but for me, the song has a lighter meaning.


As a child of the 1990’s, I’ve been seriously in awe of Nike pumps since an early age.

The classic white. The red and blue stripped. The hot pink with velcro straps. I’ve known and loved them all – admiring them from afar.

I myself have never owned a pair – I didn’t consider myself quite ‘dope’ enough to be able to pull them off.

However, this all changed after an my first overseas trip last year.

A two week rendezvous in the United Kingdom saw me eating, walking, drinking, walking, sight seeing and walking around the fabulous country that gave birth to chip butty (look it up, you wont regret it.)

Perhaps my favourite past-time of the trip, however, was going shopping.

Whilst I purchased my weight’s worth in clothes, jewelry and gifts, nothing that I bought could compare to the following…

My very own pumped up kicks.

And I know this will sound horrendously corny, but I’m not bull shitting here, when I was ‘umming’ and ‘ahhhing’ on whether to buy the shoes that I had spent my whole life dreaming of, a familiar tune came over the store’s speakers.

It was this.


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