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As part of the new partnership, Puth wrote and produced a “Life’s Good” theme song for LG, and is helping to highlight aspiring musical artists, who were invited to put their own spin on the tune as well. LG says it received hundreds of submissions for the “Life’s Good Music Project,” with performers submitting an original vocal or accompaniment based on Puth’s song. Puth will help select a winner, who will then receive a free LG OLED TV, and the opportunity to complete and perform the song with Puth.
As someone who’s constantly humming melodies and laying down tracks at home, Puth says it was a no-brainer for him to partner with LG for this project, especially since there was “a collaborative element and a musical element.”
“During lockdown, I was collaborating with people online, writing and I wrote one of my favorite songs for the next project over the Internet,” he tells Rolling Stone. “So it just made sense [to be part of this project] because when you write a song, you always get caught up in your own ways and you never know what someone else is going through, what they’re thinking about and how they perceive what they hear. And it can add a lot of value to what you do [to have someone else listen to it]. And that’s literally what LG and I are doing.”
Puth says the LG theme song is about “75 percent done” and he can’t wait to hear what the submissions sound like. “The great thing about LG is that they told me that I can just do whatever I wanted, but they wanted it to be ‘dance-y,’ ” he explains. “I was originally going to do something kind of like laidback, a little R&B feeling, but I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll do what I usually do, but amp it up and amp up the tempo a little bit. And we’ve left a lot of room for interpretation of where the song could go next.”
Puth says working on the collaboration has helped to inspire his own writing as well. While fans have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up to 2018’s Voicenotes, Puth recently posted that he didn’t want to “rush” a new album, adding that he needed “more time to mix and perfect these songs.” Still, the singer says putting together “Life’s Good” helped to break a little writer’s block. “It’s funny how inspiration can hit you,” he says. “Like, I haven’t written anything this week, but when I wrote this record, I wrote like five other things just because I was so excited.”
— Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) June 17, 2021
While there’s no release date set for his next album, Puth says he’s been grateful for the downtime during quarantine, which let him finally write and record on his own terms.
“My entire career was rushed,” he admits, talking about his previous releases. ” ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore was rushed to record, and One Call Away was a rushed record, and See You Again sounds like it came out smoothly, but there was so much drama behind the release of that record,” he says. “Was I going to sing it? Was I worthy enough? I was a brand new artist so, ‘Is this going to represent the [Fast & Furious] brand well?’ It was always so hectic.”
The tipping point came shortly after Puth released Attention in 2017 and he was being pushed for a follow-up, which turned out to be the funk/soul track, “How Long.” “I was on the road making ‘How Long,’ and just like having a nervous breakdown,” he says. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, Attention’s about to peak at number one on the radio and I have no follow up.”
“I felt drained,” Puth admits, “from 2015 to 2020. This is the first year where I haven’t felt like a sponge, just being so dry,” he continues. “That’s why I’m taking my time.”
Puth may be enjoying a break between records, but he’s not resting on his laurels. In fact, the singer and producer says it’s an exciting time to be in the music business, citing the LG collaboration, and a certain new teen superstar as examples. “I think the great thing about music today is that there’s no gatekeeper and no hierarchy of the person saying, ‘It has to be like this’ and ‘It has to fit in these parameters,'” Puth says.
“I especially love what Olivia [Rodrigo] is doing because it’s all about the song, and the fact that she wrote most of her songs herself is just so impressive,” he adds. “I feel like people can tell when a song is written with fifteen people in the room. And I think that’s why Olivia’s album is resonating so well with so many people of all ages universally, because it’s not only topical things that everyone has gone through with melody attached to it, but it’s sung in a very relatable way by a pretty, pretty voice,” he continues. “You just feel that she wrote it herself,” he says. “I’m picturing her just at a desk writing lyrics down. It’s very impressive.”
As for his own music, Puth says he’s been doing plenty of solo writing himself, and is keeping the guest list small for his next release. Still, he’s appreciative of projects like the LG campaign, which lets him flex his collaboration chops in a new arena. “Sometimes it’s good to be around some new people to get some sonic inspiration,” he says. “That’s why I’m excited about this LG thing, because it’s a collaboration between a couple of people who are going to really get some good ideas going, to add some value to what I already made.”