December 08, 2022

Rina Sawayama & Elton John Unite For “Chosen Family”

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Rina Sayawama has recruited music icon Elton John to create a new duet version of her heartfelt song “Chosen Family.”

Celebrating The One-Year Anniversary of “Chosen Family”

Rina first released the solo version of “Chosen Family” in April 2020, just a couple of weeks before her debut album Sawayama came out. Now that exactly one year has passed, she commemorated the date in a special way. She recruited the one and only Elton John to record a duet of the hit. 

The pair sound great together. Their angelic voices combined with the beautiful melody in “Chosen Family” are the perfect fusion. Rina explains that the song is about her relationship with the LGBTQ+ community, who have been like a family to her. “I wrote this thinking about my chosen family, which is my LGBTQ sisters and brothers. I mean, at university, and at certain points in my life where I’ve been having a hard time, the LGBTQ community has always been there for me.” 

She continues, “The concept of chosen family has been long-standing in the queer community because a lot of people get kicked out of their homes and get ostracized from their family for coming out or just living true to themselves. I wanted to write a song literally for them, and it’s just a message and this idea of a safe space—an actual physical space.”

Rina & Elton Make A Marvelous Duet

The decision of Rina Sawayama to recruit Elton John for the duet is ideal, being that Elton himself is part of the LGBTQ+ community. When he heard the song for the first time, he loved how it arrived at such a difficult time in the world. “I just thought this song spoke about bringing people together and loving at a time when people are so hateful to each other and that the world is so divisive… And I just think it’s just awful that people can write anonymous things about people being gay, being of another political persuasion, religious persuasion, or just plain racial,” John has said. 

He continued saying, “And this song, I thought, ‘God, this is exactly what we need to be saying right now.’ It’s a song about peace. It’s about acceptance, about tolerance. I don’t care if someone wants to vote Republican or Democrat or be gay or be straight or be Asian or be Black or be Indian. I didn’t care about that. But people are using that to stir up hatred. And I don’t know whether they mean it or not. I just think they’re stoking the furnaces, and I don’t like it.”

The chorus in “Chosen Family” unfolds, “We don’t need to be related to relate. We don’t need to share genes or a surname. You are, you are, My chosen, chosen family. So what if we don’t look thе same? We been going through the samе thing.” It is definitely a song for everyone who has a close friend who they see as family.

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