Orla Gartland on viral ‘Heartstopper’ sync: “It was a match made in heaven”

Orla Gartland has discussed the use of her track ‘Why Am I Like This?’ in Heartstopper, describing it as a “match made in heaven”.

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The 2019 track found success after it was featured in the Netflix series during a pivotal scene where Nick (Kit Connor) questions his feelings for best friend Charlie (Joe Locke) and searches on Google: “Am I gay?”

As Nick hits the return key, the screen cuts to black and the song’s chorus – which repeats the title of the track – plays over the credits.


Speaking to NME backstage at Truck Festival about the scene, Gartland said: “I could not have asked for more. It’s so interesting I’ve never had anything like that, where I feel like I’m used to putting out music and trying to induce an excitement that isn’t there.

“You’re trying to get other people to form a connection with your song in any way that you can, building a visual world around it, whatever it is. That was the first time I’ve had where there’s already people connecting with it and they’re connecting with the show.

“I got really lucky that it was in a really pivotal scene of the show. I think that was a real stroke of luck. I got really lucky that they weren’t talking over it. It was just a real match made in heaven.”

She added: “And then you get this beautiful thing where people are connecting with it for a reason that kind of isn’t nothing to do with me, and I become a passenger to this thing that’s happening. The mission is then not trying to induce excitement but actually just sort of catch the passing traffic, and I’ve never had that feeling before. It’s been amazing.”

After the show was released in April, ‘Why Am I Like This?’ reached Number Four on Billboard’s Top TV Songs chart with 1.4million US on-demand streams [via Luminate].


Heartstopper was in May renewed for two more seasons, a month after it debuted on Netflix. The show is based on the graphic novels by Alice Oseman, which were originally released in 2018.