Cold Water
by Major Lazer (featuring Justin Bieber & )

Album: Music Is the Weapon (2016)
Charted: 1 2

Songfacts®:

  • This guitar-laced dancehall jam finds Major Lazer's Diplo reuniting with Justin Bieber. Diplo, along with his Jack Ü partner Skrillex, previously had major success with the Canadian star on "Where Are U Now."

    Speaking to Nick Grimshaw on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, the American producer explained why he was so keen to get Bieber in the studio again: "As a person he's just a cool guy. I've known him for many years, I worked on the pop stuff before the Jack U stuff. I just like being with him in the studio. It was easy, it was fun, he's really good at what he does so as a producer you always want people like that around you, to just push you."
  • The song was written by Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco; the same pair also co-penned Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself." "I had been trying to link with Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran for years to find the right song we could all work on together and the moment I heard this one, I knew that it was the one," Diplo told Rolling Stone. "The timing was perfect and when we approached Justin, he was also in love with the song we all had written."
  • There's also additional singing from MØ, with whom Major Lazer previously worked with on the hit single, "Lean On." The Danish vocalist arrives just over two thirds of the way through the song. Diplo said: "I thought it would be interesting to incorporate another vocal and seeing she's family, I reached out to MØ and we decided to try our best to make something fresh and interesting as Major Lazer."
  • MØ enthused: "When I heard 'Cold Water' for the first time I actually got very emotional - it was one of those songs that just hit you immediately and I knew from that moment that I would jump into a volcano to be a part of that record (and I actually recorded my parts in Iceland so a volcano dive was not far from realistic).

    One thing is the songwriting being exquisite, but that combined with Major Lazer's unique sound is to me a match made in music heaven."
  • British songwriter Jamie Scott, who co-penned many of One Direction's hits, also co-wrote the song. He told The Guardian the tune was written when he was in New York with Benny Blanco, who'd invited Ed Sheeran to the studio. "It was really hot and his air conditioning wasn't working," Scott recalled "We were there sweating. Ed came and we had a bit of food and he suggested we try and write something. He came up with these chords and we wrote this song called Cold Water."
  • Scott, Blanco and Sheeran's demo sat collecting dust for months before the trio were approached to have Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and MØ record it. "I think there was another artist that we had in mind to write it for but we just ended up writing it anyway," said Scott. "A year later I got a call from my manager saying that Diplo had heard it and loved it and they maybe wanted to get Justin Bieber on it."
  • The official remix featuring a newly additional verse and guest vocals by rapper Gucci Mane was premiered by Diplo during Brunch Bounce at Elvis Guesthouse in New York City on July 22, 2016. It was later released online on August 12, 2016. The Atlanta rapper's verse isn't a total surprise since Diplo did make a Gucci Mane compilation mixtape back in 2010.
  • Ed Sheeran had forgotten about this tune when Diplo approached him asking to record it. "'Cold Water' was a weird one because I didn't even know that song existed," he recalled to Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio. "It was a song I must've half-written somewhere at a time where I was writing a lot of songs and I did it at Benny Blanco's house and then I got an email from Diplo just being like, 'Yo! That 'Cold Water' song is dope! Can I have it?' And I was like, 'I have no idea what you're talking about,' so I just didn't reply."

    "And then he emailed and was like, 'Yo, Justin [Bieber] wants to hop on the 'Cold Water' song. Is that cool?' And I'm just like, 'What are you talking about?'," Sheeran continued. "And then the song came out and it was #1 and I was like 'Oh, that song!' I remember doing it, but it was really, really slow. I remember hearing it and being like 'That kind of sounds like me. Oh wait, it was me.'"

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