Dappy teams up with Queen guitarist Brian May for this track, which was written and produced by the N-Dubz member with TMS. May previously described Dappy's debut solo single, "No Regrets
" as one of his "favourite modern songs." The single was released on February 26, 2012.
TMS are a London-based songwriting and record production team composed of Tom 'Froe' Barnes, Ben Kohn and Peter 'Merf' Kelleher. Their name derives from a local graffiti crew and the acronym has various meanings. Their other credits include "No Regrets" and Professor Green's chart-topper "Read All About It
Lyrically, "Rockstar" is about the so-called 27 Club, a notional union of popular musicians who all died at the age of 27. The members include Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. "It's all about paying homage to the 27 Club and amazing artists such as Amy Winehouse," said Dappy. "It's a song about people getting to their lowest but it talks about turning a negative into a positive."
After Brian May big-upped Dappy's first single, the N Dubz singer decided to see if the Queen guitarist would be willing to collaborate with him. He told Q magazine: "I got his email address and wrote, 'Mr Brian May. It's Dappy. It's an honour that you say these things about my record. I would like you to play guitar on my second single and - what a coincidence - it's called Rockstar and you are the biggest rock star in the world.' He sent me back an email saying, 'It would be an honour.' I sent him the part and he sent me four solos back. I picked the part, edited it, bang! - it's on the track."
Outside of Queen, May has worked in his time with some obvious acts such as Eddie Van Halen and surprising ones, like this collaboration. He told The Independent: "If I feel excited by it I don't really care what anybody else thinks. And in fact I kind of enjoy that feeling of discomfort. I recently played on a Dappy record and I told a few people and they go, 'What the hell are you doing that for!? That's not music! How could you possibly consider it?' And again, I said, 'No, listen again, you'll find the guy's actually a great lyrical power and he's a great singer and the record is brilliantly produced, so what exactly is your problem?' And everybody came back when they heard it and said, 'Bloody hell, that is great and it's a great combination.' And it's a daring idea for both of us and I love it – I love breaking the boundaries."