Singer/songwriter Charlie Puth scores his second top 10 song on the Billboard Hot 100 — and first as a lead artist — as “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” featuring Selena Gomez, hops 12-10 on the latest list (dated Sept. 24). The Artist Partners/Atlantic Records single is the fifth Hot 100 hit for Puth overall.
Puth first reached the top 10 as the featured artist on Wiz Khalifa’s massive No. 1 hit “See You Again,” which ruled the chart for 12 weeks in 2015. “See You Again” was from the film Furious 7, and the song was inspired by the death of the film’s co-star, Paul Walker. “Again” is tied for the longest-reigning rap No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history.
We caught up with Puth — a two-time Billboard Music Award winner — via email on Wednesday (Sept. 14) to get his thoughts on reaching the top 10.
What’s your reaction to knowing you have your second top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “We Don’t Talk Anymore” — and your first as a lead artist on a track?
It’s truly incredible. It entered the top 10 on Paul Walker’s birthday. [Billboard announced the new top 10 on Sept. 12.] I do believe that’s a bit of his work from above. These achievements are so motivating to me, however I do not really know how to celebrate them. I don’t go out much, so to celebrate, I started making another song in my room that night with a glass of champagne.
When you wrote the song, did you have the feeling that it was going to be a hit? Obviously, everyone wants all of their songs to be hits — but did this one strike you as particularly special?
I knew the chorus felt very special. I knew that from the moment I recorded the voice note into my phone. I originally envisioned the chorus being sung by multiple people, much like how ABBA layered their vocals on “Dancing Queen.” The guitar part was recorded on an iPhone. Actually, most of the sounds that make up the record were recorded on my iPhone. The kick drums were me tapping boxes layered with beatboxing. To me, the weirder the recording process is, the bigger the hit it will be. It did not happen overnight like “See You Again,” though. The verse took about a month for me to perfect. Once J Kash and I finished the lyrics over FaceTime, he is an absolute wiz with lyrics, I knew it would be something special.
Was it difficult to get Selena on the track with you? Or was it an easy sell to her?
No it was very easy. She was so excited to be a part of it that she took a flight to my place that evening just to record it.