After all, “Airplanes,” it most certainly isn’t.
“As soon as I heard ['Airplanes'] I was like ‘I want to do that.’ I grew up listening to R&B, I grew up listening to Aaliyah and Missy Elliott and I wanted to be that girl; I wanted to sing those smooth melodies. So ‘Airplanes’ was a lot simpler of a decision than the Zedd song,” she told MTV News. “The Zedd song was like ‘Can I do an EDM track? Does that work for me? Will people think it’s bogus?‘ But I really loved the melodies, and the story behind it … I’m really drawn to tragedy — I don’t know, maybe I’m just really emo and I need to accept that.”
And, as it turns out, “Stay the Night” also spoke to another side of her personality: the desire to push herself musically and explore new territory. It’s a trait she shares with her Paramore mates, and it’s why, ultimately, this collaboration makes so much sense.
“In Paramore, we write a lot of different styles of songs … we’re all trying to bust out of being comfortable. At this point in our lives, we’re really interested in growing outside of our comfort zones, all the time, trying new things,” she told MTV News. “So ‘Stay the Night’ really fit into this part of my life very easily, because it is very different, and it was very much outside of my comfort zone when I first sang it. But, like a lot of things, you try something and you actually realize it’s not all that difficult or that different from who you might be.”
Williams first heard the track while Paramore were playing a run of European festival dates — she originally thought it was going to be a duet — and was instantly drawn to the sentiments Zedd expressed . Turns out, they have a lot in common when it comes to love songs.
“I’m someone who’s really drawn to tragedy and melancholy when it comes to love songs, I think it makes them more interesting,” she explained. “And this song, I think it’s really sad, but I also think it’s really beautiful; it’s two people that know they’re not really cut out for each other, but there’s a fire there and they’re trying to get the most out of it before they actually part for good. To me, it’s really romantic, but it’s sad. I love that.”
And that’s why Williams isn’t worried about whether or not Paramore fans will fall in love with the track … she already has, and that’s what really matters. Though she’s hopeful they’ll be willing to come along with her on her latest musical journey.
“I think they’ll like it! My fingers are crossed, all of them, and my toes too, because I really love this song,” she laughed. “Obviously you can’t please everyone, but if you really love what you do, and you aren’t faking it, I don’t think you can lose so long as it’s genuine.”