One Direction’s Charity Single Was ‘Very Unexpected’

Producer Julian Bunetta breaks down for MTV News the Comic Relief track, set for release Sunday.

One way or another, One Direction are going to give fans the final version of the track they recorded for the U.K. charity Comic Relief, with all proceeds helping those affected by famine in Africa.

And, if you’re wondering how the fivesome ended up putting their pop spin on the Blondie’s “One Way or Another” classic, producer Julian Bunetta gave MTV News all the dish. “It was Simon Cowell that came up with the idea and because obviously it’s a really cheeky song and it’s very fun and also it was very unexpected,” he said. “And I think that he wanted to do something that was out of the ordinary that people wouldn’t expect. And, it obviously is fun and that works with the whole Comic Relief thing and the whole Comic Relief idea.”

The release is timed to mark the 25th anniversary of Red Nose Day, a fundraising event held by the organization which officially takes place on March 15. But the guys began their work on the song a few months back, hitting the studio with Bunetta, who also worked with the guys on Take Me Home.

“It was an interesting process… because we had to re-imagine it we only could do that once we heard the boys sing it. We didn’t produce the track first and then have them sing it. I had them sing to just an acoustic guitar track only, that’s it,” he recalled. “We went in the studio, all the boys had known the song. And we listened to it over and over and we basically laid down an acoustic guitar and we picked out favorite parts and we sang them.”

But, the work didn’t end there. Bunetta still had to actually produce the bouncy track.

“We had a lot of fun and then I came back to L.A. with all the vocal files and then spent a good amount of time trying to re-imagine it and how it could work and how I could make the sound fit,” he said. “It took a little bit of time, but I’m really pleased with the results, and I hope the 1D fans are really pleased with the results. They gave the song a new twist and a new life so I had to make sure I built it from there and accentuated and magnified what they brought to it. I built a box around them.”

Ahead of its official February 17 release, a leaked version of the song hit the streets. And the leak not only bummed out the guys of 1D, but also Bunetta.

“I mean it’s really difficult to prevent leaks now. I think the main point is that this is for a charity and it’s for a great cause,” he said. “And I would hope that whoever has been listening to the leaked version, if they have listened to it a couple times and they really like it, I would hope that they would send in their [money] for a great cause. I’m really proud of the production and the mix of it, so I hope someone at least would buy the high quality version and give it a blast.”

The song will be on full blast when the guys take the stage at the Brit Awards on February 20 to perform the track. In addition to the Brit Awards performance, the guys also tweeted that an official video for the song will make its debut next week.

“Nobody knew, including myself, when we started recorded it, so we were all just kind of like ‘Oh, what’s this going to be like [when it's done]?’ At first I was a little skeptical cause I didn’t know how it was going to end up, but once they started singing and we started arranging it, then it took on a life of its own,” he said. “And it ended up kind of working out.”

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