You’ve also been busy writing plenty of songs for others, including a collaboration with Swedish House Mafia on a song for Elton John. How did that come about?
That’s a damn good question, Sebastian Ingrosso approached me about nine months ago, I’ve been collaborating with Sebastian for a while now, a number of years. We did Coachella together and now obviously I’m doing stuff with Alesso. I don’t work with a lot of dance guys, you know, I’m not all of a sudden becoming the ‘hey, put me on your track guy’, but with the Swedes, I found a particularly intimate connection musically. I quietly worship the whole Swedish music scene, both the unknown artists that are around right now and the underground Swedish hip-hop – going back to Abba and dudes like Max Martin. Swedes get music in a different way to any other culture does and so I jump at the chance to work with those guys. And I love Swedish House Mafia – if I’m being totally honest, I think they’re amazing.
So they approached me. I’d met Elton, he came to a private gig we did in New York some two to three years ago. We did an eight-song set, and half way through the second song he walks through the back door with David Furnish and right towards me, and I’m just like [shocked face]. Right after the show he summoned me and I sat next to him for the next hour talking music and he knew every song that was on the charts that week, and the week before. He reads Billboard cover to cover every single week, he buys 20 albums a week, on Sundays he goes to record stores and buys 20 albums, listens to all of them, reads the lyrics. He is like, a music fan to the bone. So I jumped at the chance of working with him.
So, I was just presented with the idea, and of course my second question was “well, where’s Bernie Taupin, why isn’t he writing the thing?” and they were like, “he’s not writing right now, he’s taking a hiatus or whatever, we want you to write it and as he always does, Elton will do the melody.” So finally, I came up with the verses nine months ago and he recorded them immediately, and I’ve had a version of him singing the verses for the last nine months in my pocket and I couldn’t figure out the chorus, that happens sometimes, like with the new song, Love Runs Out, I had the verses for a year but couldn’t figure out the chorus until three months ago, sometimes that happens, And then, like two weeks ago, I figured out the chorus, sent it to the Swedes, and it was like, [clicks finger] right, let’s do it.
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