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On Controversy and Club Smashes: Leona Lewis to “Collide” with the US in September


The new Leona Lewis single, “Collide,” is great. It’s also mired in controversy.

The beef? The song’s instrumental is a direct lift from Swedish DJ Avicii‘s club track “Penguin” (later known as “Fade Into Darkness”)–a decision Camp Avicii claims they never made.

While Leona took to Twitter two weeks ago to explain that the song’s producer was well aware of its use for “Collide,” Avicii’s manager insists they were falsely told Leona’s song would merely sample “Penguin” (which contains a sample within itself)–not copy the “Penguin” formula entirely: “We never allowed [Syco] to replay our version of the track…the original sample rights belong to Simon Jeffes [Penguin Cafe Orchestra] and approval for using that composition is not in our control,” Avicii’s manager said in a statement according to the BBC.

Since then, it’s gotten downright nasty: “Thanks for accusing me of lying and speaking on my behalf,” Avicii wrote in response to a tweet from Leona on July 20.

But while that whole mess sorts itself out, one detail still holds true: “Collide” is a very, very good-to-great club-pop hit.

With its bright staccato piano riffs and surging synthesizers (courtesy of Avicii–or rather, Penguin Cafe Orchestra), oddly monotone speak-sung verses, and that utterly massive, arms-aloft chorus that rivals Kelly Rowland‘s summer smash collaboration with David Guetta (“When Love Takes Over”), “Collide” is a (slightly left-of-center) club smash in the making–a wise way to steer clear of the all-too-familiar sound of Leona’s–dare I say it–boring Ryan Tedder plodders.

According to a new press release, “Collide” will be released in the US on September 6, along with a bunch of amazing remixes from the likes of Cahill and Nay Ray. (All of which you can hear now, courtesy of RCA.)

Best of the bunch may be the Afrojack remix, which takes the song’s already massive chorus to utterly rave-happy new heights. Trust me, ye neon children of the night: You won’t need be needing that E once the beat drop hits. Euphoria!

Collide [Afrojack Remix] – Leona Lewis by RCA Music Group

“Collide” will be released on September 6. (iTunes)