Listen to Rina Sawayama’s new Elton John-featuring version of ‘Chosen Family’

The 'Sawayama' track has been reworked to include piano and vocals from John

Rina Sawayama has released a new version of her song ‘Chosen Family’, which features Elton John as a special guest.

The track originally featured on the artist’s debut album ‘Sawayama’, which came out back in April 2020.

The new rendition of ‘Chosen Family’ arrived on Wednesday (April 14), with the track initially premiering on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show before a video premiere. The simple clip shows John playing ‘Chosen Family’ on the piano as he and Sawayama both sing the track together, trading off on verses and duetting on the choruses together.

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Watch it below:

“It was such a joy and honour to rework ‘Chosen Family’ with the legendary Elton John,” Sawayama said in a statement. “The song means so much to both of us, and recording it together was such a special experience I will never forget. I got shivers when I heard his voice through the monitor and became emotional when he added the piano parts.

“Elton has been such a huge supporter from before the album, and when we finally met to record this song we clicked from the get go. I hope people can hear the magic!”

John – who in June 2020 called ‘Sawayama’ his favourite album of the year – joined Sawayama for a chat before the collaboration dropped. “This song stands out to me because it’s such a song about what the world seems to need at the moment,” he said of ‘Chosen Family’.

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“About coming together, compassion for gay people – and for people in general. It’s about kindness and I just thought it’s such a beautiful lyric and a great melody.” Watch their conversation below:

Sawayama will tour in the UK in November – you can see her upcoming tour dates below, and read about what other gigs and tours NME is looking forward to in the autumn here.

November
9 – Albert Hall, Manchester
11 – Beckett Students’ Union, Leeds
13 – SWG3 TV Studio, Glasgow
15 – Institute, Birmingham
16 – Electric Brixton, London – SOLD OUT
17 – Roundhouse, London – SOLD OUT

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