Elton John‘s musical palette is as eclectic as his sartorial choices. Dive into YouTube and there are audio and visual clips of him sidelining for the likes of Kanye West, Eminem, Cher and Tina Turner. In a recent interview with Noisey, the Rocket Man proves he isn’t asleep on the younger artists currently breaking the Internet.
Speaking from Las Vegas — the home of his current three-year residency — John riffs about Miley Cyrus and Young Thug.
“I mean who would have thought that [Miley would] do a record with The Flaming Lips?” John asks. “I love that kind of thing. That on the spur of the moment, out of leftfield stuff like that. And they’re gonna perform the whole album nude. I’m booking my ticket now. It’s like ‘I wanna see this, this is interesting’.”
He continued, “I mean it’s fucking brilliant. It feels like something that would have happened during the 60s, something someone like Frank Zappa would have done. Good for Miley. … Break the mold, girl.”
In another instance, John gives Atlanta rapper Young Thug a glowing co-sign. “I love that record!,” he says when asked if he’s ever listened to Thugga. “I actually asked [Universal Music CEO] David Joseph about it. I heard a track on Beats 1 and I loved it so much. But he’s got himself into trouble, hasn’t he?”
Beyond his diverse playlists, the veteran singer-songwriter admitted that his pen gravitates to sad songs.
“I love misery,” he says. “Miserable songs are so great to write, I love writing them. It’s much harder for me to write an uptempo song than a misery song. We’re all afraid to admit that part of our soul: that we want to fall in love with someone and we hate having our heart broken. It’s a very masculine thing to soldier on in the face of adversity. But at the end of the day it’s like ‘Oh, I’m human, I do want to be loved, I do want to get well, I do want a happy life.’ And music has carried that through.”
John — who is rolling out his 33rd studio effort Wonderful Crazy Night on Feb. 5 — also discussed his hatred for censorship, writing music for The Lion King and why he doesn’t consider himself a musical game-changer. Read the full feature here.