Fresh off of a tour in Asia and a much-praised performance as the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar, John Legend offers up a new song and video fit for the summertime. "A Good Night," a collaboration with BloodPop®—who's worked with Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Madonna, among others—is a wedding-themed bop that will bring people to the dance floor whether the occasion is a reception or a Friday night go-out session.
You can watch the Mishka Kornai-directed video for "A Good Night," which features a few special cameos, above, and read below for our chat with John Legend about his new single, the moment he fell in love with Chrissy Teigen, and his favorite work with Kanye West.
You and Bloodpop® previously linked up on your most recent album. When did this new collaboration come about, and what was the motivation and inspiration behind it?
I just wanted to start writing again. I got off tour, and I was ready to write. Bloodpop® was the first session I had and this was the first song we wrote, so that was a good day. [Laughs.]
Is this song going to be a part of something larger for you like a new project, or was it more about getting back into that vibe of going into the studio and recording new music?
I looked at it as I was going to start writing my new album, and that’s still the plan; I’m still writing. In the meantime, I felt like I really had this song that I loved and I’m excited about, and I wanted to give it to the people. It felt like the perfect song for the summer and I didn’t want to wait until the album was done before we put it out.
Tell me about the process of the making the music video. I was told this was the first music video made on a Google Pixel 2 phone.
It was the first one we made on the Google Pixel, and we’ve been working with Google on a lot of stuff; you’ve probably seen the ads we’ve done. We thought it’d be cool to do one on the phone, and it gave us a lot of flexibility. It’s a really modern way to make a video. It really came out beautifully. The picture is beautiful. And it actually in some ways was better than doing it on a big camera because it gave us many more angles to shoot at once.
Prior to the video coming out, you shared a little promo of you talking to Luna as DJ Da Da. If you were DJing at a party, of course “A Good Night” would be a part of the setlist; what else would you spin?
[Laughs.] I don’t know. I don’t fancy myself a DJ, I just played one in the video. I’m probably stuck in my heyday of going out. I still want to play Biggie and Jay Z, and I’m not as hip to all the new shit coming out.
The song and video have a wedding theme, and it's built around this powerful hook when you sing, “I think I just met my wife.” Do you remember that moment for you with Chrissy—when you were like, she’s the one?
There was a moment in Lake Como in Italy where I felt like I fell in love with her. It was one of our early vacations together. And it felt like something special. It’s cool because we ended up getting married in that same spot a few years later, and we shot the “All of Me” video there as well. That was a special moment I remember. I don’t think it was the moment she was going to be my wife, but it set the tone for the rest of our relationship.
You recently mentioned you would be making the trek out to Wyoming to work with Kanye and the rest of the people out there. What would you say is your favorite collab with Kanye, and why?
Just to clarify I didn’t say I was definitely going to Wyoming. I was like, I haven’t been able to go because I’ve been working on something else but I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. But I’d been in Asia and I’d been working on Jesus Christ Superstar so there was no opportunity for me to do that beforehand.
My favorite collaboration with him, wow. I feel like the entire Get Lifted album; we did a lot of that together. And the whole process of doing The College Dropout back in the day was amazing, too. Those are like our formative years and I’ll never forget those moments.
One of my favorite records is unreleased—your version with Kanye of “Home.”
Yeah, we did that so long ago too. That was before he even had a record out. It was super early, and it was so raw. I still love that version.