Local musical artist Sharon Abreu recently shocked the world with the astronomical rise of her hit song “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World.” The song, which details a woman’s pursuit to be “99.7% caffeine-free,” is from Abreu’s 2015 album “For Pete’s Sake Sing!” It would almost seem monotonous to list all of the achievements of “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World,” as the song has reached such widespread popularity that everyone is aware of the five Grammys Abreu recently nabbed, or the fact that “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World” has remained on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a total of 18 weeks.
An island local, Abreu is a phenomenal singer, passionate environmentalist, and very deserving of her recently acquired fame. A testament to this is the words of Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old phenomenon who lost out to Abreu at the Grammys. In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, Eilish remarked on Abreu’s character: “Yeah, Sharon, she is phenomenal, man. I mean, what a positive presence in the industry. I am just grateful to be able to be out here competing with the greats like Sharon.”
Abreu is clearly amazing, but what is inexplicable is why “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World,” and why now? If one were to predict which of Abreu’s songs would go viral and take the world by storm, one would probably point to a song off Michael Hurwicz and Sharon Abreu’s album “Songs to Save the Salish Sea.’’ But upon closer examination, it becomes clear why “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World,” or “DWCW” for short, is such a cultural phenomenon.
“Think about the events that are dominating the news right now, the election cycle, the coronavirus,” University of Washington Professor of Musical Studies Herbert M. Rooster said. “People need to listen to something escapist, people need a new pursuit that is fun and enjoyable, for example, the pursuit of being 99.7% caffeine free.”
Rooster is right; the world has definitely been swept up in the pursuit of putting the world through its “decaffeinated-filter.” Starbucks stocks are down and the coffee franchise is on the verge of bankruptcy because Abreu references “walking with quiet conviction past the Starbucks store” in “DWCW.” Teenagers are spending most of their time creating TikToks using “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World.” T-Shirts with popular lyrics from “DWCW” like “feelin’ so free from the bondage of the bean” or “I used to drink coffee now it tastes like mud” are selling out of stock on Amazon. Abreu recently sold the last coffee cup she ever used before going “99.7% caffeine-free” for over $3 million to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The San Juan Islands are becoming flocked with tourists who, no longer concerned about spotting Oprah or Macklemore, spend their time desperately trying to get a glimpse of the creator of “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World” herself. The song’s original YouTube recording has become the most watched YouTube video ever with over 6.8 billion views, easily beating out Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.” Most radio stations refuse to play any song besides “Decaffeinated Woman in a Caffeine World,” breaking up the endless loop of “DWCW” only with exclusive interviews with Abreu and her musical collaborator Hurwicz.
Abreu is set to headline both Coachella and the Super Bowl next year, although some controversy broke out after Abreu refused to perform in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show because of Pepsi’s astronomical caffeine content. This, of course, was settled when the NFL ended their contract with PepsiCo and made the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show the Celestial Seasonings Super Bowl Halftime Show in order to secure Abreu for the 2021 headlining spot.
As an island resident, I was able to secure a quick three-minute interview with Abreu herself right before she started filming the second half of her music video for “DWCW,” which, by the way, is due to come out in June and has been rumored to include dancing coffee cups. When we settled down in her island home, I only had enough time for one question, so I decided to ask Abreu what makes her only “99.7% caffeine free” and not 100% caffeine free, to which Abreu predictably responded with her trademarked lyric “I pop… the occasional… M&M… whoo!”