&friends and Phina Asa photo

&friends and Phina Asa reimagine Armin Van Buuren’s iconic anthem, entitled, “This Is What It Feels Like”

&friends is the musical concept and brainchild of New York-based, Sean Thomas. Not too long ago, he released an official afro-house cover of Armin Van Buuren’s iconic anthem, “This Is What It Feels Like,” featuring vocals from Cameroonian and Nigerian vocalist, Phina Asa, via the legendary Armada Music.

&friends (feat. Phina Asa) – “This Is What It Feels Like” (Official Lyric Video)

“This record is about overcoming, and triumphing despite all odds, bumps, bruises, and our deepest scars. It is a celebration, an honoring of how far we’ve come. At its core, this song speaks to the essential human need for connection and love. This song speaks to the power of love to transform us, to give us purpose and meaning, and to sustain us through the darkest of times. It reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles and that even in the midst of pain and loss, there is always hope for a brighter future.” – &friends/Sean Thomas

As the official reimagination of the iconic dance track builds, the melody swells to a powerful chorus, driven by a pounding drumbeat and Phina Asa’s soaring vocals. Frank Malloy IV is a skilled percussionist and proclaimed, priest of the drum, he lent his expertise of sound healing and the intricacies of organic drum work to &friends’ rendition of “This Is What It Feels Like.”

Across the entirety of the track’s production, all organic percussion elements comprise the lifeblood of the song. Lyrically, “This Is What It Feels Like” sings of resilience and strength, and the sense of triumph earned from overcoming adversity. Brimming with passion and emotion, Phina Asa brings her unique energy to the cut, conveying the depth of her conviction and the power of determination.

Armin van Buuren (feat. Trevor Guthrie) – “This Is What It Feels Like” (Official Music Video)

2023 is the 10th anniversary of the original release of Armin Van Buuren’s pivotal, “This Is What It Feels Like.” The single catapulted the trance legend to the forefront of popular culture, setting the stage for a meteoric rise and positioning Armin Van Buuren as a permanent fixture in dance music.

Since the project’s 2022 inception, &friends has already touched every corner of the globe with Sean Thomas’ thoughtfully woven collection of musical stories from global creators. 2023 has seen the burgeoning project maintain momentum, seeing Phina Asa’s vocal introduction to the project with “Dangerous” and the year’s first single, “Love Is The Way,” featuring Oluwadamvic.


&friends press photo
Photo by Austin Morales

&friends draws the breadth of his inspiration for these musical works from global cultures. He had the vision to create a project embodying tradition, culture, and community culminating in the coining of &friends.

&friends (feat. Featuring El-Jay & Oluwadamvic) – “Ode Ireti (Nitefreak Remix)” MIDH Premiere

Since the project’s 2022 debut, the sounds of &friends have made their way to every corner of the globe. The Nitefreak Remix of “Ode Ireti” featuring Oluwadamvic saw unprecedented, viral success. Receiving massive radio and touring support from top names in the space, the infectious chorus “o-le-le” has become a staple in the sets of many titans of dance music.


&friends press photo
Photo by Austin Morales

From New York, to Miami, Marrakech, Madrid, Mexico City – Tulum to Toronto and beyond, &friends is already making his mark on dance floors around the world. In his short time on the scene, &friends has received support from Pete Tong of BBC Radio 1, Black Coffee, Diplo, &ME, Keinemusik, Michael Bibi, Blond:ish, and Francis Mercier. Also, he has caught the eye of major media tastemakers.

2023 is already delivering a thoughtfully produced, artfully composed compilation of works set to make its way to listeners in the time ahead. Through a holistic, multifaceted approach, the project is set to make its way to even more dance floors around the world to unite us all.

Phina Asa

Phina Asa (originally known as Rophina Asa) is an artist who has captured the heart of the audience with her R&b – Afro genre of music. She’s versatile when it comes to music and she keeps surprising us every day.

&friends (feat. Phina Asa) – “This Is What It Feels Like”

&friends (feat. Phina Asa) – “This Is What It Feels Like” cover art

We recommend adding &friends’ “This Is What It Feels Like” cover featuring Phina Asa to your favorite Afro-house playlist. Also, let us know how you feel in the comment section below. Mel Blanc’s famous catchphrase, That’s All Folks! Thanks for reading another great article on Bong Mines Entertainment – the hot spot for new music and entertainment news. Always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation (P.E.A.C.E). Contact us on social media via Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, and let us know what’s going on. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, purchase our merchandise, and become a Patron of Bong Mines Entertainment. Disclaimer: This post contains Apple Music affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link on this page, we will collect a small share of the sales. That little compensation will be used towards keeping this website up and running.

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