The joint bosses of Coldplay’s UK label, Parlophone, have spoken about working with the band on their upcoming new single, Higher Power, as well as their ninth album – and their collective ambitions to match global commercial success with cultural relevance.
Higher Power, produced by Max Martin, will be released next Friday (May 7). An album (rumoured title: Music of the Spheres) will follow in the second half of the year (“before the Christmas rush”, say Parlophone), with at least one more new track coming out in between. A world tour is expected to be announced around the time of the album launch.
Coldplay go through Atlantic in the US, but are signed to Parlophone in the UK, a relationship that goes back over 20 years. All eight of the band’s previous albums have gone to No. 1 in the UK and Top 10 in the US (apart from their debut, Parachutes, in 2000, which was a UK No.1.)
Parlophone Co-President Mark Mitchell told MBW of the new project: “It’s kind of unlike previous Coldplay campaigns because before, often, there’s been one or maybe two singles and then an album quite quickly.
“With this one, purposely, the focus is going to be on the single for quite some time, and then there’ll be an album later in the year. We want the focus to be on Higher Power for a few months.”
Added Mitchell: “This album’s a reaction to the last one [Everyday Life, 2019], which quite a personal project, it wasn’t driven commercially. This is very much back to Coldplay being a huge, stadium-filling band.
“I think part of the reason why they’re probably still the biggest band in the world going into their ninth album is that they’re very conscious of not wanting to [live in] their bubble.
“When it comes to getting into a campaign, we always have three or four months of conversation about what’s going on now, what’s the best way to approach this record in today’s market. They’re very interested in what other people are doing.”
“They don’t take anything for granted, they start again with every record.”
Nick Burgess, PARLOPHONE
Joint Parlophone boss Nick Burgess added that, even with over 100 million records sold and record-breaking tours behind them, Coldplay still value their relationship with the UK label and welcome input: “They’ve always been very collaborative, and in some senses they’re not a million miles away from other, newer acts on the label; you’d be surprised, just in terms of that openness to discussions about songs and collaborations.
“They don’t take anything for granted, they start again with every record and their ambition. Their ambition is to make music that is as important as the first music they ever made.
“Chris [Martin] has got this incredible ambition to make music still resonates with everyone. As Mitch says, the last album was a very personal record, but this is an album they have made to be heard in all four corners of the globe.
“Their dedication and attention to detail and philosophy around success, and what it means to them is great to behold. It’s actually very rare in this industry. I don’t think I’ve worked with a group of people that are so dedicated to what they do.”
“With this one, purposely, the focus is going to be on the single for quite some time, and then there’ll be an album later in the year.”
Mark Mitchell, Parlophone
Mitchell and Burgess spoke to MBW all about running Parlophone – and their ambitions for the label’s modern-day roster – earlier this week in an exclusive interview.
Confirming the release of Higher Power on May 7, Coldplay wrote on social media: “Higher Power is a song that arrived on a little keyboard and a bathroom sink at the start of 2020. It was produced by Max Martin who is a true wonder of the universe. It’s out on Friday 7 May. Love c, g, w & j.”Music Business Worldwide
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