Charlie Puth fans hoping for a new album from the singer will have to wait a little bit longer, but Puth is giving them something “good” to enjoy in the meantime, as part of a new collaboration with LG.
The global electronics brand tapped Puth to record the theme song for their 2021 “Life’s Good” campaign, teaming the singer, songwriter and producer up with four unsigned artists, who were personally selected by Puth to join him on the track.
The four winners were among more than 1000 entrants to LG’s “Life’s Good Music Project,” which gave aspiring musical talent around the globe the opportunity to share their unique voices with the brand, and ultimately, to reach the ears of Puth himself. The final winners were then flown to LA to meet and record with Puth, and star in a performance video for the collaborative track, a jazzy, uptempo pop number that rides a light, garage-style beat with “live” instrumentation (Puth tackles the keyboards while one of the contest winners plays the flute).
While Puth has been busy working on his solo album (the follow-up to 2018’s Voicenotes), the singer says it was a fun challenge to work on a song with multiple voices.
“I had the melody in mind when LG asked me to write a song, but I left the verses open for [the contest winners] to get a different melodic take,” he explains. “I loved hearing all their distinct voices and seeing how they kind of filled the missing ‘gaps’ in the song.”
With Covid restrictions limiting their time together in-person, Puth reveals that the majority of the track was created online, with the singers and musicians sending their parts in digitally. “One girl didn’t have a microphone, so she used her phone, and you know, I feel like 20 years ago you would never use anything but a microphone to record vocals, but it almost added to the warmth of the record,” Puth says.
There were other challenges too, like “trying to take out an air conditioner sound that was inadvertantly put on the vocal track,” he adds with a chuckle.
Still, to hear Puth tell it, the final song — and the four contest winners — came together beautifully. Spoken like a true musician, Puth says, “They were a joy to work with and they were on pitch, very responsive, and they came up with very interesting things to add to the song.”
“It’s never going to be as easy as writing by myself, sitting by the computer, having the note in my head and singing it directly into the microphone,” he offers, “but I’m always up for the challenge.”
As for his own music, Puth is taking the slow and steady approach, after posting on social media earlier this summer that he didn’t want to “rush” things. The singer is a co-writer on Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s current Billboard number one hit, “Stay,” and was just announced as a featured artist on Elton John’s new album, The Lockdown Sessions (“I remember my dad playing ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me’ when I was young, but I never thought I’d be on an Elton John album,” Puth gushes. “He’s a huge reason why I do music in the first place and I’m incredibly honored – wait till you hear the record we made.”)
New solo music is coming though. “I’m working on my album here at the studio now,” he reveals to Billboard. “Everyone is annoying the hell out of me, asking, ‘When’s it going to be done?’ But you can’t rush this stuff. I’m doing it all myself, so it takes a little bit longer for me than most artists.”
Fans will hopefully not have to wait too long: Puth reveals he’s “literally mixing the records.”
For now though, the singer is focused on promoting his “Life’s Good” campaign with LG. The song will be promoted on LG’s social media channels, while the performance video of “Life’s Good” will be featured on LG’s digital billboards in Times Square in New York City and Piccadilly Circus in London.
Puth says he’s grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the contest winners, and he imparts a few words of wisdom to other young artists as well: “Don’t try to succumb to a trend – just focus on being great,” he says. “You want to think about what people aren’t doing more than what people are doing. And that’s harder to do. But that’s how you break the mold, because no one wants to hear the same thing all the time.”