Elephant

Album: Heartbreak On Hold (2012)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • This electro pop/dance tune is the lead single off Alexandra Burke's second album. It finds the Londoner singing of a relationship breaking down and not discussing the "elephant standing in the room." Burke performed the song live for the very first time during her set for Asda's Tickled Pink charity concert on January 12, 2012. It was released on March 11, 2012.
  • The song was co-written and produced by the American dance guru Erick Morillo, who is best known for the 1993 international hit "I Like to Move It", which he produced under the pseudonym Reel 2 Real.
  • The expression "elephant standing in the room" (or "elephant in the corner") is used to denote a significant issue that is obvious to everyone, but which they avoid discussing or even mentioning. In this instance it's a relationship breakdown but the phrase frequently is used to describe the denial of a friend or family member's alcoholism or drug addiction.
  • Here's what Burke had to say about the song during an interview with Digital Spy: "Everyone has been through something in relationships; whether it be with a loved one, a partner or family members where something needs to be discussed - and I've been through that situation. I thought why not, let's do a song about it - but with a twist! The saying, 'There's an elephant in the room' is very, very American. When I was doing the writing camp earlier this year, it was with a lot of Americans. When that came about, I thought it was really interesting because they say it a lot. So, I thought I can be that girl, that person that brings that saying over here to make it a little bit more UK."
  • The official remix by DJ Erick Morillo, Romero & Nunez was premiered on Radio 1's Pete Tong Show on January 6, 2012. Burke wanted fans to hear the song being played in clubs and bars before the single came out.
  • The song's visual finds Burke dancing in a warehouse with her friends: "The concept of the video is really me showing my ex-boyfriend what he's missing, and now he sees this new girl transformed because she's broken up with him," said the singer to Digital Spy. "What I love about music videos is the fact that I get to have some fun. It's a really nice way to just live with the song, perform it, have fun with it [and] dance my little socks off."
  • The song was inspired by an actual awkward situation that Burke experienced. She recalled to Digital Spy: "I was dating somebody last year and he was really lovely, but obviously somebody wanted more and that was me! Neither of us would talk about it and so I just decided to talk about it! It didn't really go to plan, but it worked out for the best and we're still great friends. So I turned it around and put it in a song that will get everyone dancing."
  • Burke admitted to MTV UK that the directors of the song's music video, Amit & Naroop, encouraged the singer to unleash her sexy side in a similar fashion to Rihanna and Beyoncé. Burke explained: "Amit & Naroop wanted me to be fiercer than I've ever been before in a video and to have a bit more attitude. I actually watched Rihanna to channel that. I watched her video for Wait Your Turn, which was something that inspired me."

    Burke continued: "Plus, you just know that anything by Beyoncé is inspiring full stop. I did try and channel Rihanna and Beyoncé's videos [in order] to be fierce and you know, they've got that swag so it's always good to watch them for inspiration. The song needed that as well because you're telling a guy to get lost. It was a fun video and one that I've never really done before."
  • Burke can be seen wearing in the video a giant ring emblazoned with the phrase "Let me know". She explained to The Observer: "It's just something I say. I always say it. 'Let me know.' It's been my mini-catchphrase for a while."

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