Gorillaz have added to their list of all-star collaborators by enlisting Elton John for the new single “The Pink Phantom,” the latest track off the cartoon outfit’s upcoming album Song Machine: Season One. The song also boasts Atlanta rapper 6lack.
The video for the track features Damon Albarn’s cartoon band alongside 6lack and an animated, Gorillaz-fied version of Elton.
In a statement, John revealed how the collaboration came about amid Covid-19 and talked about his long admiration for the Blur/Gorillaz singer: “Damon reached out and asked me to do something and the way the song has turned out is just great. I was in the studio in London and he was at the other end in Devon, but even remotely it was such an engaging and creative process.”
“I’ve always loved Damon because he encompasses so many different sorts of music,” John added. “He has his fingers in so many pies and although he’s achieved so much, he never sits still creatively. He’s constantly pushing forward and embracing the new, which is admirable and rare. He’s always working — he’s always doing something. He’s done so much to promote music from around the world — from Africa, from China — that people hadn’t previously heard and I really admire that. I’ve always been a Gorillaz fan, anyway, so when he asked me to do a Gorillaz track — it was a no-brainer. I’m so very, very happy that that’s come about.”
Gorillaz cartoon frontman 2D added in his own statement: “Thank you for being so generous to us, Mr. Elton Sir John, with your time and genius and also those Danish pastries you brought and for making some of the best tunes of all time.”
“The Pink Phantom” follows Song Machine tracks “Momentary Bliss,” with Slowthai and Slaves; “Désolé,” with Fatoumata Diawar; “Aries,” with Peter Hook and Georgia; “Friday 13th,” with Octavian; “Pac-Man” with Schoolboy Q; and “Strange Timez,” with the Cure’s Robert Smith — as well as the bonus track “How Far?” featuring Skepta and late Afrobeat legend Tony Allen.
Gorillaz will celebrate Season One of Song Machine with a special ticketed livestream performance on December 12th and 13th.