Atlantic Records’ Clean Bandit and Syco’s 2015 X Factor winner Louisa Johnson have come together for a “perfect storm” collaboration that will launch both artists’ new campaigns.
Clean Bandit’s new single, Tears, debuted at radio, streaming and download services on Friday (May 27), and features Johnson on vocals. The pairing were due to perform the song on the final of another Syco TV franchise, Britain’s Got Talent, on Saturday night.
“Clean Bandit stand out because they’re genuine creative innovators,” Atlantic UK president Ben Cook told Music Week. “From the moment we heard Tears, it was clear they’d created yet another outstanding song, full of their trademark personality: bold, unpredictable, vibrant and pioneering. The song called for an exceptional singer, and when Louisa and Syco made a beeline to work with Clean Bandit, it was a natural fit. Louisa has delivered a vocal that matches the band’s exceptional song and production.”
The collaboration is an unusual move for an X Factor winner and comes after Johnson’s coronation song, Forever Young, became the first ever winner’s single not to top the chart. It has sold 99,648 copies to date, according to the Official Charts Company.
Johnson’s camp will be hoping the single has the same effect as a Clean Bandit collaboration did for Jess Glynne, who was the featured vocalist on the dance act’s 2014 Rather Be single. That has sold 1,963,291 copies, while Glynne’s 2015 debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, has now sold 807,669.
“The chance to work with Clean Bandit was one of those perfect storm situations,” said Sonny Takhar, Syco’s managing director. “We all had an instant reaction to the song, Louisa has delivered a world class vocal to a world class record.”
Clean Bandit manager, Machine Management’s Iain Watt, said the collaboration would benefit both parties.
“The lines between pop and electronic music are constantly being blurred: Bieber and Jack Ü, Ariana Grande and Major Lazer and more,” he said. “This collaboration is a continuation of this movement and allows each party to benefit from the alliance, musically and by introducing each other to their respective fans. Tears required a big voice. From the first day the band knew they had their voice.”
Clean Bandit’s Jack Patterson, who wrote the song with Roc Nation’s Sam Romans, said Syco boss Simon Cowell rang him “one Thursday night and said, You should hear Louisa Johnson sing Tears”.
“I was quite shocked,” Patterson added. “Grace [Chatto, Clean Bandit singer/cellist] had seen her performing on X Factor and thought her voice would be perfect for the song, too. As soon as she started singing we were all blown away.”
Clean Bandit are currently working on their second album, the follow-up to 2014’s New Eyes. Johnson’s debut album is expected later this year.