Taylor Swift Reacting to ‘Cruel Summer’ Remix at Coachella Party Is ‘Unreal’ for DJ James Kennedy.

atch Taylor Swift by surprise.

In a video from the Neon Carnival party during the first weekend of Coachella, the pop star can be seen having a hilarious reaction to hearing her Billboard Hot 100-topping single “Cruel Summer” come on over the speakers between sets, quickly realizing that it’s slightly different from the one she’s used to.

n the blurry clip, Swift sits down in what appears to be a VIP area, singing and dancing along to her own lyrics as the Lover hit blares over the noisy crowd. Halfway through the chorus, though, the 14-time Grammy winner’s original mix shifts into a club-ready dance track, with the second syllable of the word “cool” repeating over and over in the lead-up to a bass drop — “It’s a cruel summer, it’s cool -ool -ool -ool -ool…” For a second, Swift continues singing the words as usual, but when she realizes that she’s the only one, she freezes in place before looking around with a confused expression on her face.

The man behind the remix is Vanderpump Rules star James Kennedy, who was DJing at Neon Carnival on Saturday night in Thermal, Calif., about a 15-minute drive from Coachella. When reached by Billboard for his reaction to the viral video, Kennedy was still processing the fact that he had DJ’d for the likes of Swift and her Kansas City Chiefs star boyfriend Travis Kelce.

“Not only a dream come true DJing Neon Carnival, but the fact that Taylor and Travis were there feeling the vibes and enjoying themselves was unreal!” Kennedy said in an exclusive statement, mentioning that his Swiftie girlfriend Ally Lewber, who also stars on Vanderpump Rules, couldn’t believe it either. “Ally and I were just at the Eras Tour in L.A! (Ally still can’t get over it haha!)“

Given that Swift sings “Cruel Summer” every night on her global Eras Tour, it makes sense that her brain might have been on autopilot for a second or two of the remix. The track first dropped in 2019 as part of the singer’s seventh studio album Lover but wasn’t made a radio single until 2023, after which it steadily ascended to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in October, a full four years after its release.

Swift also spent day 2 of the festival’s first weekend watching Bleachers and Ice Spice’s Coachella sets alongside Kelce, with the pair adorably dancing together in the crowd. In just a few days, she’ll release her highly anticipated 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, complete with collaborations from Post Malone and Florence + the Machine.

See Swift’s startled reaction to hearing Kennedy’s remix below.


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