Rina Sawayama’s 2020 album Sawayama spawned a handful of singles, with one of the highlights being “Chosen Family” (which was co-written and produced by Danny L Harle). Now she has given the song some renewed attention, as she recruited Elton John to join her on a new version of the song. A video for their collaboration shows them singing the song together, with John seated behind a piano.
Sawayama said of working with John, “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!”
John also commented, “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 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.”
Listen to the new version of “Chosen Family” above.