The pair teamed up for a collaborative live version of Fender’s single ‘Will We Talk?’ at John’s post-Oscars charity party in February 2020. John has since hailed the North Shields singer-songwriter as “the best rock and roll artist there is”.
- READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Elton John: “I’m not interested in the past – not even Elton John’s past”
Speaking to the Daily Star‘s ‘Wired’ column, Fender revealed he had to decline an offer to duet with John on the legendary artist’s latest record. He said he was too busy with his second album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ and didn’t want to “rush” anything.
“Elton is now actually a friend, so I’ve been hanging out with him and learning some of his tricks,” Fender told the newspaper (via Yahoo! News).
“He’s a legend. We were going to do something for his ‘Lockdown Sessions’ album but I needed to stay focused on what I was finishing.”
He continued: “We didn’t want to rush it or fuck it up, so I hope we can return to it down the line or drop it in later.”
Speaking at the NME Awards 2020, Fender said that John’s “finger is on the pulse” in regards to new music. “He listens to everything,” he added (watch the interview below).
John told NME during his recent Big Read interview that Fender had become “a very close friend”. “You put your arm around people like that and say listen, ‘This is your time’,” he said. “You can feel it’s his time now.”
In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Elton says the album’s genre-hopping reminded him of his time as a session musician in the late ‘60s, and its strength lies in its giddy eclecticism.
“From a noted champion of new artists (as listeners of his Apple Music show Rocket Hour will know), ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ doesn’t sound like an onanistic lunge for Gen Z contemporaneity; nor does it feel like a gimmicky BRIT Awards collab novelty.”