Wild Thoughts

Album: Grateful (2017)
Charted: 1 2

Songfacts®:

  • DJ Khaled recruited R&B singers Rihanna and Bryson Tiller for this summery tune. Khaled had previously collaborated with Tiller on the Major Key track "Ima Be Alright," but the song marks the Florida producer's first collaboration with Rihanna. He told Entertainment Weekly that he'd attempted to court the Bajan songstress for a feature appearance on an album for several years:

    "Seven, eight years I've been trying to do this," Khaled stated. "always put the kites out there that I wanted to work with her [and] I was always getting the right record ready [to] see if something comes back that's possible."
  • Co-produced by the Nasty Beatmakers, the song heavily samples and interpolates Santana's 1999 hit song "Maria Maria." The track is virtually a cover, featuring almost all the music from the original including Carlos Santana's iconic guitar solos. It's just the different lyrics which makes "Wild Thoughts" an original tune.
  • So what does Carlos Santana think of DJ Khaled's reworking of his hit tune? It seems the guitar legend is a fan. He told Billboard magazine:

    "There is a reason that the infectious groove/theme that Wyclef and I created on 'Maria Maria' still resonates today. It speaks to the heart. DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson take that vibe and bring it to a new dimension with 'Wild Thoughts,' but the groove and essence of the song is still intact.

    'Maria Maria' was and will always be that feel-good summer song that speaks to women, and 'Wild Thoughts' is an extension of that summer song vibe that is timeless. I am honored that DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson felt the intense intentionality of 'Maria Maria' and have shared this summer vibe with the world."
  • DJ Khaled was very particular about who he wanted to perform the track's female vocals. "We got in the studio and I had this idea for years," he said during an interview on 97.1 AMP Radio. "I wanted for it to be the right time but also I had to make sure I put the right artist on there. And I knew, for me to flip this record, I wanted Rihanna. I didn't have a Plan B. So I got Rihanna and shout out to Bryson Tiller."
  • Khaled, Tiller and Rihanna performed this at the Grammy Awards in 2018.
  • The song's music video was directed by Colin Tilley and features both Khaled and Rihanna showing off their dance moves in the Little Haiti neighbourhood of Miami. Tilley recruited local dancers for the shoot. He recalled to Genius how they kept their energy up during the entire filming.

    "This is the definition of movie magic because every single person right here had been here since four in the afternoon," Tilley said. "Everybody was being held in this kind of youth center while we were shooting all of our other scenes. That was kind of where our talent holding was. But the coolest part is, they were dancing the entire time."
  • The scene in the video with Bryson Tiller was lit by a single outside light. "We shot this at like, two in the morning when everybody was asleep in their apartment," Tilley recalled. "So, literally we had to be so quiet. He was literally singing to this off of an iPhone."

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