Ghost

Album: Chapter One (2014)
Charted: 1 21

Songfacts®:

  • Ella Henderson co-wrote this song with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who has had great success penning hit ballads for female artists like Leona Lewis ("Bleeding Love") and Beyoncé ("Halo."). Noel Zancanella, who has penned hits for Ellie Goulding, Demi Lovato and Maroon 5 also contributed to the writing of the track.

    Henderson recalled the writing of the song to Digital Spy: "We got into the studio to just meet and have something to eat because he was only here for a few hours, but we didn't even get half way through our food before we were around the piano and had written the chorus to 'Ghost'," the former X Factor contestant said. "It just happened so fast that I instantly knew this was going to be my first single. It's uplifting and anthemic, but it has this dark feel to it. It counterbalances the light and shade of the album. I just felt privileged to be in his presence, to be honest."

    "We didn't even sit down and write, it was just going in there, standing at the mic and ad-libbing," she added. "That's how the 'Give up the ghost' tagline came about. I was just like, 'Give up the ghost, let's try and get rid of this haunting feeling'. It was all just so free and I think that was one of my favourite ways to work. We only did three takes and we did it the whole way through. There was no chopping and editing. It was all very live."
  • Henderson shot the song's music video on location in New Orleans on March 10, 2014. Her intention was to create a mini-movie that told the song's story. "I was like the narrator of this scary and spooky story and it was set in the swamps, in a spooky hotel. It was amazing — we even had cop cars on set. It was really cool," she explained to MTV News. "The guy that's being chased by the cops, you think he's bad the whole way through the video. He got that into his character…that he threw up on set and we had to calm him down a bit because I think he thought he really was a convict or something."

    "The girl that throws herself into the river — first of all, we had a dummy because that was actually set in the swamps, so there was real alligators and crocodiles in there," Henderson continued. "And we tried the dummies a couple of times, and every time it fell into the water, it was like, oh that looks a little too fake, you know. And then she just turned around and was like, 'No, no, it's cool as long as someone could just quickly run and just grab me out of the water, I'm cool with that.'"


  • Henderson told Radio.com that she and Tedder wrote the song in just twenty minutes, describing it as a "soulful song with a twist." She added: "It's about this someone or something that just has a hold over you, tormenting you, you're trying to run away from it, but you just can't. And I think a lot of people can relate in so many different ways."
  • Ella Henderson recalled collaborating with Ryan Tedder to HMV.com. She described the hitmaker as "just pure energy, writing with him is like bouncing off the walls." The English songstress added, "I'm quite chilled, so that was a bit of a contrast, but a good one."
  • Ella Henderson told the story behind the song to MTV News. "When I sat down with Ryan (Tedder), he asked, 'If there's one thing you want to say to the world or show the world, what would that be?' By this point, I was just saying to him how frustrated I was at the fact that I had taken two years of writing and a lot of traveling in the UK and America - writing my album - but I still felt like I hadn't found my first single."

    "I said, 'I can't eat, I can't sleep, it's just really annoying me that I can't get this song.' And he said, 'Yeah, it's like you're bring haunted by a ghost or something.' And that's how it came about."

Comments: 1

  • Andrew from AtlWho is the actor that plays the guy running from the cops I must know!!!
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