Sawayama unveiled the ballad and tribute to the LGBTQ community on Wednesday, accompanied by a video of her and John singing “Chosen Family” as John plays the piano.
“It was such a joy and honor 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 added that he first came to know Sawayama’s work when he was sent “Comme Des Garçons” for his Rocket Hour radio show on Apple Music.
“I stopped in my tracks and thought, ‘Who is this?'” he said. “It just blew me away from the first listen. We’ve since become friends, and it’s such a huge honor and a genuine thrill to be asked to duet with Rina. She is just an extraordinary talent.”
He continued: “Rina doesn’t just represent the cross-cultural mix of inspiration from which the best music always thrives, but a generation who have grown up with the internet and the entire history of music at their fingertips and mix together whatever they please with real love and understanding, unconstrained by old ideas of genre or boundary. To my mind, she’s the brightest embodiment of this: a brilliant, confidence-oozing, endlessly fascinating songwriter and performer.”
Sawayama released her debut album Sawayama last year, following her Rina EP in 2017. She’s scheduled to go on tour in North America this fall, kicking off September 28th at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and ending with two back-to-back shows at Brooklyn Steel in New York on October 24th and 25th. Tickets are available on Sawayama’s website.
Rina Sawayama North American Tour Dates 2021
September 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
September 29 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
October 5 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
October 6 – Seattle, WA @ Washington Hall
October 12 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
October 13 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
October 15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
October 16 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
October 18 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
October 19 – Montreal, QC @ Corona
October 20 – Boston, MA @ Royale
October 22 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
October 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry at The Fillmore
October 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
October 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel