Damon Albarn has revealed he’s collaborated with Adele on her forthcoming third album. Don’t get hyped just yet at the prospect of the ’21’ singer reinventing herself as a pogoing “woohoo!”-screaming arty Britpop type just yet though – in the same interview, he confessed to not being sure if his contributions would make the final cut, and described the record as “very middle of the road.” Not exactly glowing praise. But whenever the long-awaited album, originally touted for release two years ago, finally drops, you can bank on two things: it being a massive best-seller and containing songwriting from music’s biggest and brightest songwriting talents. Here’s 11 people said to have been hard at work on new material with Adele…
Tobias Jesso Jr
Since receiving a Twitter shout-out by Adele last year, Vancouver piano-man Tobias Jesso Jr has been heavily linked to Adele’s ’21’ follow-up. Industry rumours suggest he’s written a whole clutch of songs for the album, bringing the substantial soul of his recent ‘Goon’ debut album to a new mainstream pop audience.
Phil Collins ballads are the stuff of legend, and now we know he’s definitely involved, it’s time to start ordering boxes of Kleenex in bulk. Adele is apparently not a great communicator, though, says the Genesis legend. “She’s a slippery little fish is Adele. She got hold of me and asked if I would write with her. She gave me a piece of music to finish and, at first, I didn’t know whether I had failed the audition as I didn’t hear back from her.”
Clarkson, who’s said she’s planning to go country on her next record, has commented that Adele might be doing the same: “Adele I heard is doing something more country-influenced with this next record,” she said in March of this year. But how would she know? The pair are friends, but might they also be collaborators? We’re onto you, Kell.
Sia’s new single ‘Alive’ was co-written with Adele and originally intended for Adele’s album, but ended up not making the cut. That doesn’t mean the pair didn’t write more though – it’s quite possible they’ve done another, secret collaboration, yet to be revealed…
No surprise, this one. With Adele, producer and songwriter Paul Epworth has done very well for himself. He won four Grammy Awards for his involvement in ‘21’, and an Oscar (alongside Adele) for the James Bond theme they produced together, ‘Skyfall’. He’s recently been working with Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Lorde and FKA Twigs, which should give you some idea of how in demand his studio talents are. He’s not said much about ‘25’, but is heavily rumoured to be involved.
Sweden’s Martin has been a one-man hit-factory for years now. ‘Baby One More Time’? Him. ‘Teenage Dream’? Him too. T-Swift’s ‘Style’? Also Martin. Sure, they’re all mega poppy, but that’s what you want from a lead single – and that’s reportedly what he’s written for her. If it’s anywhere near as lively as The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, his most recent smash, we’re in for a treat.
This one is definitely happening. NERD man Williams told the world in June that he’d been writing with Adele sporadically around her family commitments. “She’s kinda like, ‘OK guys, I’m gonna open my diary for 20 minutes. OK, you have 20 minutes, or 32 minutes really.’ Then she gives it to you and closes it up and disappears, and she’s off with her beautiful boy – and that’s what it’s all about.”
Beyonce met Adele last October in London to discuss a collaboration between the pair, according to tabloid reports. Knowing Bey – who’s previously described Adele’s voice as “like listening to God” – the pair would have kept any further developments under wraps, because that’s the kind of bombshell collaboration that, if given a surprise release, will cause the charts to implode.
We have OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder to thank for Beyonce’s ‘XO’, Adele’s ‘Rumour Has It’ and, er, Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn’ – proof enough of the dude’s way with chart-friendly tunes. So he’s got a track record with Adele. He’s written something for the new album, and claims to have heard the whole thing: “I’m super stoked… I know that with the amount of insanely good songs she has to pick from — ’cause I’ve heard most of ’em — this album’s gonna be crazy. She’ll be able to toss aside hits, you know, and still have the most insane album.”
Lady Gaga and Adele photographed themselves together in January 2015 – labelled a ‘bro-down’ – and suddenly everyone assumed they’d be working together, because just a few hours before Gaga had shared a photo of herself and a dude playing the guitar and it seemed like it must have been a day in the studio. To be honest, a duet between these two contrasting singers seems unlikely – but then again, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett happened, so you never know.
Warren’s legendary songwriting credits include Toni Braxton’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’, LeAnn Rimes’ ‘How Do I Live’ and Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, so it’s exciting to hear she’s had a few sessions with Adele. “We did some great songs,” she’s said. “We’ll see what happens with them.”