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Elton John says Rina Sawayama's debut is his favourite album of the year

‘It encompasses so many styles of music,’ John said of Sawayama's self-titled debut

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 17 June 2020 10:03 BST
Elton John performs in his garden for One World: Together at home online music event

Elton John has named Rina Sawayama‘s debut album SAWAYAMA as his favourite record of the year to date.

Speaking to the singer on his Apple Music show, Rocket Hour, John called her LP a “phenomenal record” and said she had been on his bucket list for artists he wanted to interview.

“SAWAYAMA” is the strongest album of the year so far,” he said. “It encompasses so many styles of music. “Bad Friend”, for example, is a song that Madonna would die for.”

He added: “It’s a phenomenal record. We’ve been playing a lot of it on our show.”

To Sawayama he said: “You’re on my bucket list because I wanted to talk to you because I’m so fascinated about you.”

“Stop it, no way,” Sawayama responded.

During the interview, she spoke about how she had been forced to delay the live shows in support of her album due to lockdown.

“We had so much planned for it. We’ve moved it to September, but I don’t know where the world is going to be in September,” she said.

The Independent’s review of SAWAYAMA called the artist “one of the boldest voices in pop today”.

“Sawayama admits to getting ‘bored quickly’, and this album’s hyperactive lurching from one genre to the next appeals to shortening attention spans as she tackles, also, her teenage rebellion following her parents’ divorce, as well as less insular topics such as climate change,” it said.

“There’s also soppy country pop (‘Chosen Family’ – an ode to her queer friends), slick R&B (‘F**k This World’), stadium-aiming pop-rock (‘Who’s Gonna Save U Now’ which boasts one of the album’s unquestionably corny key changes), and gospel-laden electropop (‘Bad Friend’).”

John appears in a collaboration with Lady Gaga on the pop star’s new album, Chromatica, which was released earlier this month.

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