Hayley Williams On Turning Down Lil Uzi Vert Collab: “I Don’t Want To Be That Famous”
In our world, Hayley Williams is one of the biggest names in modern pop-punk and rock, leading Paramore to arena and festival-headlining status and beyond. But the singer – who will be releasing her debut solo album Petals For Armor on May 8 – recently had the opportunity to cross over into new worlds by doing a collaboration with rapper Lil Uzi Vert. However, she turned it down because she doesn’t want to become “that famous”.
“This is so, so random,” Hayley reveals in a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. “But I get asked to do like features on country songs sometimes. I’m no hater of country music. I grew up very young in Mississippi on Shania Twain and Dixie Chicks. I’m pretty sure Jason Aldean asked me to sing on one of his songs.
“I remember too Uzi asking me to do some stuff with him, and I know that fans are going to be so pissed at me for saying this, but I literally wrote him back on Instagram and I was like, ‘Buddy, I love you so much, but I don’t want to be that famous,’” Hayley continues. “I told him like we were getting ready to take a break. I obviously had a lot of issues going on that no-one really knew about and I was like, ‘Bro, I just need to disappear. I don’t want to be that kind of a famous person.’ Because that is… He’s like a big artist, man. My stepbrother is obsessed with them. He was pissed when I told him the story.”
In the same interview, Hayley also discussed the summer Paramore headlined Warped Tour, recalling, “We were playing these slots that were like same stages, same sort of timeframes as Thursday, and they were really, really big band at the time. That was wild and we did get some… I wouldn’t say people treated us like… But there was definitely a little bit of people rolling their eyes or not knowing whether or not they believed we deserved it.
“I’m really glad that our, whatever it was, whether it was ambitions or just our tastes morphing and us going through whatever we were going through. I’m glad that it took us away into other worlds, because the truth is if I do want to do work with Denai more or do work with Uzi, I don’t ever want to be pegged into one hole. That’s why I get to do this Petals For Armor; who in a million years would think that Taylor [York] and I would write songs that are like the ones on EP3, that completes the record when we were growing up writing Conspiracy by Paramore. It’s the important thing to keep morphing and evolving.”
Earlier in the month, Hayley unveiled Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris featuring boygenius (Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker).
Check that out below:
Read this next: The 10 best Paramore videos
Here are 10 times rock artists topped themselves by going acoustic.
Listen to a snippet of Evanescence’s new single Use My Voice, featuring Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen and more.