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When Fun. first started working on “We Are Young,” they had a very specific vocalist in mind for the guest vocal part. While the band was fairly unknown at that point, only having put out one album that hadn’t sold overly well, the group was willing to reach for the stars concerning the female vocal part on the single. Fun. really wanted Rihanna, and got pretty close to reaching her and getting her on the album.
Producer Jeff Bhasker recently spoke with MTV to explain how close the band was to its first choice. In fact, Bhasker tells the outlet Rihanna was even briefly interested in working with the group.
"Someone tried to reach out and I know she heard the song and liked it. But I think some wires just got crossed."
Rihanna has guest starred on plenty of tracks, including works with Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Jay-Z and Kanye West, and Eminem, among others. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see her collaborate on a track like "We Are Young," although Fun. was a lesser known band at the time. Quite frankly, I’m happy it didn’t work out that way. Janelle Monae’s vocals in the pop song are soulful and probably my favorite part of the track, and I’m not sure they would have been quite as impactful with Rihanna on board. No offense to the Caribbean singer, but she’s had so many other number one tracks, I think I’m a little burned out on her smooth vocals. And, as Bhasker himself notes in the interview, the final product “worked out for everybody.”
You can catch “We Are Young” on the band’s sophomore endeavor, Some Nights.