Sir Elton John has accomplished quite a lot throughout his storied career: chart-topping singles and albums, massive worldwide tours, and now, 300 episodes of his Apple Music show Rocket Hour.
On Thursday (July 15), John joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss what it means for him to have hosted 300 episodes of his show. From the beginning, John told Lowe that he always saw his show as an opportunity for him to get exposed to great new music from talented young artists.
“What it’s brought me is it’s brought me into contact with so many great new artists who’ve become friends. It’s kept me so up to date with what’s going on. In fact, I think I look better now than I did six years ago when I started it,” he said. “So it’s like, good music makes you look younger.”
Specifically, John said that he felt the most inspired when he would hear from artists who were incredibly young, saying that listening to their fresh take on music makes him feel revitalized. “It’s wonderful because you think, ‘God they’re 16 or 17… 15 years of age. How do they do that?’ It keeps me animated and it keeps me so happy. Music makes you happy,” he said.
For example, John pointed to artists like Lorde, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Channel Tres as just a few of his favorite finds over the last few years. “When I first heard the first thing I ever heard from Lorde, which was ‘Royals,’ I just thought it was unlike nothing I’d ever heard before,” he said. “It … just blew my mind. It was so simple and yet so moving. The same thing with Billie Eilish; it was like, when I hear her records, there’s nothing. The space and the feel of it.”
A number of those stars took some time to congratulate John on his 300th episode, including Arlo Parks, Channel Tres and Dua Lipa. “I’ll never forget when you played ‘Levitating’ on Rocket Hour, I absolutely lost my mind,” Lipa said in a message to John. “I know you know how much I love you, because I’m obsessed with you. I just think you’re absolutely incredible, but I also love how incredibly supportive you are of so many new artists and artists from all over the world and how much you champion and love and respect artists all over. It’s just been an absolute dream, getting to know you and getting to see all the magic that you are.”
John also took a moment to chat with Lowe about his collaboration with Miley Cyrus on her cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” also featuring megastars like Yo-Yo Ma and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Andrew Watt, who asked him for some direction in making the cover feel different.
“He said, ‘I’m doing this Metallica record with Miley Cyrus, “Nothing Else Matters.” And I want to change. I thought of doing it differently. Instead of starting off with guitar, I wanted to do it with piano,'” John recalled. “So I went in the studio in London to our studio in London, at the office. And I did the piano on ‘Nothing Else Matters’ at the beginning. And I played through the whole thing, and he was right. He gave it a completely new, different take and ended up with the most unbelievable performance from Miley.”
Check out the full clip of Elton John and Zen Lowe below: