By Shannon Carlin
Ella Henderson would personally like to thank Drake for helping her earn her first chart-topping single in the UK this past June with her song, “Ghost.” It was, after all, her piano cover of his song “Hold On, We’re Going Home” that got the attention of the track’s co-writer Ryan Tedder.
“[Tedder] was sending my label emails of excitement and swear words,” she told Radio.com over the phone while in New York City gearing up for her American television debut on Good Morning America. Henderson still thinks it’s funny that he was so taken aback by her cover, which had her mashing Drizzy up with John Newman’s song “Love Me Again.”
“I just thought, ‘Why don’t I try to put them together?’ They’re both the same chords,” she said rather nonchalantly. “I will sometimes record something and someone will hear it somehow and all of a sudden it ends up online. Sometimes, it’s the things I do just messing around that end up being the things people love.”
Her song “Five Tattoos” falls into this category. The stripped-down track was just something she was playing around with until her A&R guy heard it and told her to record it. That demo of Henderson and her piano will be on her upcoming debut, Chapter One, out Sept. 22.
Henderson eventually met up with Tedder in a London studio where they spent the day figuring out if they were musically compatible. Though, in Henderson’s retelling of the meeting, it was really to see if the OneRepublic frontman wanted to make the time to work with her. “He gets to pick and choose who he works with,” Henderson said of the in-demand songwriter. “Like, he’s written for Beyoncé and Adele. He only writes hits.”