Critically acclaimed London-based recording artist, Rina Sawayama, has just released a new version of her song “Chosen Family”. It was initially premiering on Zane Lowe‘s Apple Music Show on April 14.
This version features Elton John‘s iconic vocals and piano playing. The track has arrived along with its music video, where we can see Sawayama and Elton John performing together at the piano. They both sing the track, trading off on verses and duetting on the choruses together.
“Chosen Family” was first released on the singer’s debut album entitled Sawayama which was released in April 2020.
Originally produced by Danny L. Harle and written by Sawayama, Harle, and Jonny Latimer, the powerful ballad is an emotional ode to her LGBTQ+ family.
The songs talks about the concept of the chosen family through a queer lens. It is showing how members of the LGBTQ+ community, who have been ostracised by their family and friends after coming out, can find love and comfort in a new “chosen” family.
About John’s involvement in this new version of “Chosen Family”, Rina says: “It was such a joy and honor 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!”
She wasn’t the only one with nice things to say about the collaboration, with Elton John adding that, “When I was sent ‘Comme Des Garçons’ for my ‘Rocket Hour’ show, I stopped 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 honor 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“.
Rina Sawayama is a Japanese-British singer, songwriter and model based in London. She self-released her debut extended play, Rina in 2017. After that, she signed to Dirty Hit in 2020 and released her debut album Sawayama which was critically acclaimed. Back in November, the singer released a new single entitled “Lucid”.
Watch Rina Sawayama and Elton John performance of “Chosen Family” here: