Aaliyah

Album: Little Red (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This dancefloor psychodrama is titled after the late R&B singer who was killed in an aeroplane crash in the Bahamas in 2001. It is a Dolly Parton referencing study of a jealous Jolene-type rival re-imagined in a night club. Katy explained to The Sun: "I had this idea of a song set in a club and a song by Aaliyah was on my iPod so I thought, 'Perfect.'"
  • The song originally appeared on Katy's 2012 download-only Danger EP.
  • This features Katy B's fellow South Londoner Jessie Ware. Katy told The Sun: "I texted Jessie not knowing if she would be up for it or not I'm so glad she agreed. I'm a real fan. She's a no-nonsense type of girl and I think it worked out so well."
  • Though the song wasn't directly inspired by the late Aaliyah Haughton, the R&B icon did end up being Katy's muse for the track. "How that came about was that the beat I got immediately transported me to a club where everyone was looking hot," she explained to MTV UK, "and then there's this girl, sexily dancing. My boyfriend is the DJ and he's playing for her and I'm watching her dance, so the song developed that jealousy theme."

    "I wanted it to be about a girls name – like 'Jolene' by Dolly Parton but a modern version," Katy added. "To find the right name I looked on my iTunes and of course Aaliyah came up first, so her name became the temporary title, but as the song progressed I was just picturing her in my head and she actually became the character of the song. I wanted the song to have an effortless sex appeal, like her."

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