It was the record heard around the world. After a four-year hiatus, Adele returned to the spotlight with a behemoth of an album called 25. By no means a pity party, the U.K. soulstress has matured (shout out to motherhood) and faces the growing pains of adulthood with pitch perfect vocals and flawless eyeliner. Scroll through the credits for 25, though, and the roster of talent behind the LP proves that teamwork makes the dream work. Say hello to the key figures in Adele’s songwriter and producer squad for 25 below.
Tobias Jesso Jr.
The follow-up single to Adele’s “Hello” is a nostalgic number called “When We Were Young,” co-written by the singer and Tobias Jesso Jr. The Canadian singer-songwriter recently expressed in a Facebook post how working with Adele was a dream come true, especially after performing his first show just a year ago.
“She made me instantly comfortable, we just sat in the garden and shot the shit. After that we spent two days writing songs and trading jokes,” he recalled. “There was no studio, just a piano and us, and we wrote a lot. I mean a lot lot. I learned a lot from her, most of all just how much she truly deserves to be exactly where she is, and why all of her songs mean so much to the people who hear them.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is what Adele probably thought when she kept master songwriter-producer Paul Epworth onboard for 25. After producing and co-writing the global smash “Rolling in the Deep” (he also has credits for “I’ll Be Waiting” and the Rick Rubin-produced “He Won’t Go”), he places twice on Adele’s third studio effort for “I Miss You” and the finale “Sweetest Devotion.”
The Swedish pop guru has had his hands full all year, working with stars from every genre including Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and Tinashe. According to i-D magazine, Adele says she sought out Martin after hearing his work on Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Martin’s golden touch can be heard in the upbeat 25 track “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).”
Whoever pitched the idea of working with Bruno Mars to Adele deserves a raise. For one of the more prominent tearjerkers on 25 called “All I Ask,” the U.K. soulstress taps Mars and his Smeezingtons crew (Philip Lawrence and Christopher “Brody” Brown). They leave their emotions on the keys for the emotional, piano-driven record that finds Adele singing, “Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do / It matters how this ends / ‘Cause what if I never love again?”
The veteran songwriter-producer born Brian Burton brought his signature soul to Adele’s “River Lea” on 25. She recently gushed about her studio session with Danger Mouse in an interview on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe. “He’s like a sponge, he just soaks everything up all around him,” she said. “I went to his studio in L.A. When I was there — I just love him. Next time I’ll probably spend a month to six weeks just working with him.”
An integral part of Adele’s songwriting team for 21 who helped pen the cuts “Rumour Has It” and “Turning Tables,” Tedder logged studio sessions with the singer to co-write the track “Remedy” for 25. The OneRepublic staple accidentally teased Adele’s new release in July on Instagram when he posted a flick of a Pro Tools session with the caption “Adele NYC remedy” before swiftly deleting it.
Last but not least, meet the mastermind producer behind Adele’s “Hello.” After producing and co-writing her comeback single for a year, he told the Associated Press it was difficult to keep the massive secret. “I’m not going to lie — it’s not easy to hold that information in for that long,” he said. “You kind of want to shout it out, run around in the streets yelling to random strangers what you’ve just done.” The Grammy- and Golden Globe-nominated musician also boasts credits on “Water Under The Bridge” and “Million Years Ago.”