Premiering the track on Zane Lowe’s Beats One show, Rina Sawayama has teamed up with Elton John for a special version of Chosen Family
Originally produced alongside Danny L Harle the powerful ballad explores the concept of a chosen family through a queer lens, highlighting the many members of the LGBTQ+ community who have found themselves ostracised by their family and community after coming out, and finding comfortable in their ‘chosen family’.
The track is not the first time Elton and Rina have crossed paths, with Elton having previously spun Rina’s tracks on his Rocket Hour show.
Speaking on the track and Elton’s involvement, Rina says: “It was such a joy and honour to rework Chosen Family with the legendary Elton John. The song means so much to both of us, and recording it together was such a special experience I will never forget. I got shivers when I heard his voice through the monitor and became emotional when he added the piano parts. Elton has been such a huge supporter from before the album, and when we finally met to record this song we clicked from the get-go. I hope people can hear the magic!”
Elton Says: ‘When I was sent Comme Des Garçons for my Rocket Hour show, I stopped in my tracks and thought “who is this?” It just blew me away from the first listen. We’ve since become friends, and it’s such a huge honour and a genuine thrill to be asked to duet with Rina. She is just an extraordinary talent. Rina doesn’t just represent the cross-cultural mix of inspiration from which the best music always thrives, but a generation who have grown up with the internet and the entire history of music at their fingertips and mix together whatever they please with real love and understanding, unconstrained by old ideas of genre or boundary. To my mind, she’s the brightest embodiment of this: a brilliant, confidence-oozing, endlessly fascinating songwriter and performer.’
Last year saw the release of Rina’s hotly-anticipated debut album SAWAYAMA. Often blending 2000s mainstream pop, nu-metal, rock, R&B, and dance-pop among others – and rooting itself in very personal lyrical messages, the album lays the singer’s experiences in the context of two opposing cultures, allowing Rina to delve into her own sense of belonging while teasing out similar sentiments from listeners. With an overarching message of finding comfort and confidence in who you are, Rina used her debut record to snapshot the perfect imperfection of humanity and community.