There is still a week to go before the release of Coldplay’s fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, and earlier today the tune that will undoubtedly be the disc’s most talked-about made its way onto the Internet — though the band’s label, EMI, is consistently pulling the song down where they find it.
Back when the track listing was first announced, “Princess of China” immediately stood out, mostly because it contained the note “featuring Rihanna” right after it.
It isn’t the first time a voice that isn’t Martin’s has shown up on a Coldplay song (remember that version of “Lost!” that captured one of Jay-Z’s best freestyles over the piano solo?), but “Princess of China” is a pretty powerful departure for the band, as it not only invites RiRi along for the ride but also locks into something like an R&B groove (or at least the British swoop-rock interpretation of an R&B groove).
“She’s one of the top five singers in the world,” Martin told EW during a recent conversation about the new album (the results of which you can read in the current issue, on newsstands now). “While we were working on it, I was thinking, ‘I wish Rihanna was singing this.’ That was around the time of Rated R, when she was singing dark stuff like ‘Russian Roulette.’ I got nervous to ask [drummer] Will [Champion], because I knew he would say, ‘Well, we don’t really have guests on the records,’ but then I asked him and it was accepted as an idea. But the song itself was always asking for her. The process of getting her to sing on it took ages, but in my head I would have been very disappointed if anyone else had done it.” READ FULL STORY