Rihanna‘s “Stay” was a massive part of 2012’s Unapologetic, an emotional Mikky Ekko-aided piano ballad for the ages. Almost two years after the song came into our lives, Mayer Hawthorne has recorded his own loving tribute.
“The only thing that was missing from the original version of the song was the funk,” the “Reach Out Richard” singer tells Esquire. “So we took it to that sexy Barry White funk zone. Any time I’m doing a cover of a song, I’m trying to do it better than the original. I’m trying to beat the original. Otherwise I don’t see the point of doing a cover.”
Did he succeed? You decide: “I know it may be surprising for my fans to hear that, but I think that’s one of the best pop songs that’s been written in the past decade,” Hawthorne says of “Stay.” “I mean, I think it’s just a great pop song. That one spoke to me.” Esquire adds that Hawthorne recorded the cover during the same session where he covered Lorde’s “Royals.”