After Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin split with Gwenyth Paltrow, the songwriter had plenty of somber and misery-filled ammunition for the band’s latest album, Ghost Stories. Amidst any emotional suffering and heartfelt songwriting that occurred for the record, Martin also pulled some uplifting inspiration from unexpected sources including Katy Perry, Nirvana and EDM.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the frontman admitted surprisingly that while he was creating the track “Sky Full of Stars” for Ghost Stories, he was listening to a lot of Perry. He became fascinated by how the constant repetition of a single chord sequence could be kept in tact throughout an entire song yet still remain interesting due to the vocal melodies. He explained, “then I realized all these other people that have done that”, “Nirvana being a classic example — ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is the same chord sequence basically the whole time. There’s a simplicity to that. I needed to find a sequence that I could play for ages and ages and ages.”
After Martin found that perfect chord progression for “Sky Full of Stars”, he sought to add a dash of uplifting EDM influences to it. Martin stated, “some people turn their nose up at [it], but then you go and see an EDM thing and people are so together and having the best time”…”So I was like ‘Fuck it, I love that stuff, I want us to have a song that comes from that world.'” In order to get the job done, Coldplay brought the song to Avicii, who worked hard to create his own version of the track. Apparently, creating an EDM version of “Sky Full of Stars” was a painstaking process. Martin explained, “[It was] essentially playing Tetris for fucking hours”…”That’s why it took so long.”
The Coldplay frontman explained that the song holds a great significance to him. “It’s the most important song we’ve ever had lyrically, because every time I sing it I’m like, ‘Yeah that’s how I want to live my life,” said Martin. “There’s stuff going on in the world right now which you can’t imagine why is this happening; it’s crazy.” He continued, “I don’t know what the answer is, but if you didn’t have faith in the universe that somehow something great would arrive at the end then we’d all give up, and that would be a waste of everyone’s time. That would be terrible.”