It might seem strange that Elton John, the legendary piano-pop master who recently condemned the modern practice of songwriting by committee, appears on the new song by Gorillaz, an operation that cycles through a stunning number of collaborators. But considering Damon Albarn seems to be the only permanent musical contributor to Gorillaz, maybe he’s able to maintain the level of craft Elton John demands. Based on John’s statement, that seems to be the case:
Damon reached out and asked me to do something and the way the song has turned out is just great. I was in the studio in London and he was at the other end in Devon, but even remotely it was such an engaging and creative process. I’ve always loved Damon because he encompasses so many different sorts of music. He has his fingers in so many pies and although he’s achieved so much, he never sits still creatively. He’s constantly pushing forward and embracing the new, which is admirable and rare. He’s always working — he’s always doing something. He’s done so much to promote music from around the world, from Africa, from China, that people hadn’t previously heard and I really admire that. I’ve always been a Gorillaz fan anyway, so when he asked me to do a Gorillaz track — it was a no brainer. I’m so very, very happy that that’s come about.
What’s far more intriguing here is that John, who already has a song with Young Thug, is on the same Gorillaz track with another young Atlanta luminary, the R&B star 6LACK. The song is called “The Pink Phantom,” and it’s out today for the listening. “The Pink Phantom” is the latest single from Song Machine: Season One the new Gorillaz release (definitely not an album) set to drop in three weeks. Watch its music video below.
Song Machine: Season One is out 10/23 on Parlophone.