Music finds its way amidst the coronavirus crisis as Swedish DJ Alesso teamed up with British pop star Liam Payne to release their collaboration "Midnight," at exactly midnight, April 8.
For the feel-good track, working together initially appeared off the table because of the shelter-in-place orders across the state as well as the recent travel bans. To work around the social distancing and quarantine restrictions, Alesso and Liam Payne shot their respective parts separately.
"We wish you health and safety during these times," the video stated during the intro of the performance video uploaded on Alesso's YouTube channel.
The former One Direction member was filmed singing on a balcony in view of rooftops and morning skyline while Alesso was playing keyboards and mixing the tracks in his Los Angeles studio, where the song was originally made.
Payne's verses were initially accompanied by strings, before bleeding into soft electronic beats courtesy of the Grammy nominee DJ-record producer.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press published via Billboard, Payne said that "it was nice just to make a video with a lot less noise around it," adding that music videos "are always so busy." He expressed appreciation for being able to perform the song on a balcony and do it the way he wanted instead of being directed.
Alesso described their collaboration as "refreshing." The DJ said, "That's really how we do it, you know? And kind of let the song have the shine. For me, it was refreshing."
While "Midnight" is an upbeat love song, talking about "looking for love in all the wrong places," it does have some hopeful and uplifting lines perfect for people stuck inside in the middle of quarantine. "Any problems we'll figure it out; Any love lost we'll bring back around; Any broken heart we'll make it heal."
The artists agree that with the global coronavirus pandemic, "Midnight" has taken on a new meaning. Alesso said that they will always listen to this song and "think about these times." Payne added that the quarantine period allowed them to learn new things about their partners, and how people overcome things together.
Following One Direction's indefinite hiatus in 2016, Liam Payne also launched his solo music career by signing a deal with Republic Records. He released "Strip That Down," in May 2017, reaching number three on the UK Singles chart and breaking through the top 10 of the Hot 100 in the US. He released his solo debut album, "LP1," last December.
Aside from his solo career, Payne also supports various causes. In 2016, Payne and Harry Styles became ambassadors for young adult cancer support group Trekstock and raised $800,000 in support. He also supported a local project, dubbed "The Youth Zone," in his native Wolverhampton in England.
Alesso, on the other hand, has worked with popular acts including Hailee Steinfeld, Calvin Harris, and David Guetta. As a globally-recognized talent, he has already headlined some of the largest music festivals in the world including Coachella, Beyond Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Tomorrowland. He has also performed for the 2019 Venezuela Live Aid to in an effort to raise funds in the ongoing Venezuelan humanitarian efforts.