While Alesso and Liam Payne released their collaborative single “Midnight” from their respective homes on Wednesday (April 8) because of quarantine, the duo did get some IRL time together while making the track.
Months ago, Payne took an early flight from London to Stockholm to join the Swedish producer in the studio. It was their first time meeting, and what happened that day made them feel the project they were working on was going to be special.
“It’s such an incredible feeling when a song comes to life the way you want it to be,” Alesso tells Billboard. “There’s this crazy electricity in the air…It’s one of those moments where, that’s why you make music. You get goosebumps…It was our first time meeting and you never know, but it was just awesome fun. We had laughs and he crushed it.”
“It was a real lads day together,” Payne adds, “enjoying time and making music, and you don’t often get it at that point with people, it’s usually when you’re making the music video.”
In fact the situation was exactly opposite for Alesso and Payne, who because of quarantine were forced to film the music video for “Midnight” from their respective homes in Los Angeles and London. Payne says he enjoyed the simplicity of this process — just him, a camera man and a few takes — particularly given some of the extra long video shoot days he’s experienced in the past.
“I remember my first music video with ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and it was a 14 hour day and a 16 hour day back-to-back,” Payne recalls of the 2011 One Direction hit. “It was fun because we were on the beach, and I was enjoying the vibe, but at a certain point it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve heard this song three million times today.”
While the guys are currently unable to perform “Midnight” for live audiences, they have introduced a fan remix contest where aspiring vocalists can submit themselves singing the track. The guys say they’ve got loads of submissions to sift through and have been inspired by the quality of the vocals coming in, particularly given that “Midnight,” with its anthemic chorus, isn’t the easiest song to sing — even for Payne.
“They’re doing a great job,” he says, “because even at the beginning I was like, ‘how the hell am I going to get through this?’ By the time we actually get to perform it live, which we will at some point I’m sure, we’ll be good to go.”
Watch the complete interview above.