King Princess’s sophomore album “Hold On, Baby” closes with the ’90s rock-inspired “Let Us Die” — a four-minute track that features some of the last bits of drumming from Taylor Hawkins, who died unexpectedly while on tour with the Foo Fighters in March.
In an interview with Glamour, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter says the collaboration, “was a huge moment for me as a musician, as a person. [Taylor] was so kind, so wonderful. I worked with Mark [Ronson] on this song and Ethan Greska and Taylor. It ended up being one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
King Princess, whose real name is real name Mikaela Straus, also confirmed that Hawkins’ participation in the track was an idea suggested by Ronson who “sent Taylor the song and Taylor was like, ‘Yeah, I love the track.’ I sat in the bedroom I grew up in, and he was in LA, and we broadcasted the studio from the console, and I just listened to him make my track a million times better.”
On July 29, the same day as the album’s release, the song received its music video counterpart which included a tribute to Hawkins that reads: “In loving memory of Taylor Hawkins. Rock n roll lives forever.”
“What happened was a tragedy, so I hope this song in some way immortalizes him and is an homage to him,” continued Straus. “What I want to do is just play the shit out of this track and see people fall in love with his drumming because he’s a rock god. Drumming is beyond words—it’s an emotion, and I felt it when it graced my track. I started crying when I heard him play on this track. I just want to do him justice and play this song live and rock out.”
Last week, Straus was also interviewed by Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1 and said she sent a “very respectful” message to Hawkins’ team to confirm whether or not she could release the song with the late drummer’s parts. “They came back and said, ‘As long as he wanted to be on it, that sounds great.’ And they were just so kind. And I can’t even imagine getting a message like that during that time. I was just so anxious and sad and nervous to just ask of someone like that. But they felt that it was an homage. And it is an homage. It’s for Taylor.”