Given the past two years of his life — in which he co-wrote and produced Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” won Producer of the Year at the Grammys, and worked on albums like Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials and Foster The People’s Torches debut — you’d think Paul Epworth would be getting used to accolades at this point. But you’d be wrong.
Because when “Skyfall,” the theme he created with Adele for the James Bond film of the same name, picked up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song Thursday (December 13) morning, well, Epworth couldn’t believe it … in fact, when he spoke with MTV News hours after the noms were revealed, he still sounded like he was coming to terms with things.
“Every single nomination in anything is really thrilling, but to have one in the film world as opposed to the music world, it’s a really wonderful and very surprising step forward, you know?” he laughed. “I used to do work on film scores as a tape op, so I’ve done quite a bit of this, but this was definitely the first time that I’ve done it in this capacity. And to be doing it in front of ['Skyfall' director] Sam Mendes and ['Bond' producer] Barb Broccoli, it was definitely one of the most daunting sessions of my life.”
Epworth that that the Globe nomination is even sweeter given the rather epic task he and Adele faced when they signed on to record the theme for “Skyfall”: Namely, to create a song that ranks up there with some of the all-time greats in the series’ lengthy history.
“We read the script, and then we went back and studied the look of the old ‘Bond’ films, and just tried to work out what was the uniting factor; the mood and that kind of ’60s jazzy quality to them,” he explained. “In a way, it was working with a new palette for me … I went back and worked out whatever the modal structure or the chord that always seemed to unify those songs, and then actually I felt like we had a moment of inspiration. Literally, these chords fell into my head and they were like nothing I’ve ever played before, and it was a bit of a ‘Eureka!’ moment, really. It wasn’t meant to mimic, it was meant to be what it was, and be respectful to those classic things.”
And though he’s done well at previous awards ceremonies — in addition to his Producer win at last year’s Grammys, “Rolling in the Deep” won Song and Record of the Year, and 21 nabbed Album of the Year — Epworth doesn’t consider “Skyfall” to be the favorite heading into the Golden Globes … though it might not matter, since he might not be able to attend the ceremony anyway.
“I’m thrilled to be nominated, and weirder things have happened,” he laughed. “To be honest, I have no idea if I’ll even be able to make it. Ironically, I just finally booked a holiday yesterday, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to change my plans. It might be a difficult conversation to have with the wife.”
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