John Newman on Calvin Harris Collaboration ‘Ole,’ and Who It’s About

Everyone thinks it's about Taylor Swift. So, we asked the guy who actually sang the lyrics.

By Brian Ives 

One of the biggest pop culture storylines that gossip-mongers have been following in recent months is the breakup of Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris.

And while Swift is known for writing songs inspired by her exes, Harris seemed to get a song out first with “Ole,” a collaboration with singer John Newman; many have interpreted it to be a Taylor Swift diss track, with lyrical references to Swift’s alleged new boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, “Low key, you won’t tell none of your friends about me,” (“Low key” is being interpreted as a play on words on “Loki,” Hiddleston’s character in the Avengers and Thor films).

Radio.com spoke to Newman, who sings the lyrics, to get his take on the situation. First and foremost, he marveled over the track itself, written and produced by Harris.

“‘Ole’ is Calvin,” he says. “I can’t sit here and take any credit for it, I need to give him the credit: he’s written an incredible song. And the incredible thing is—and I’m almost proud of him for doing this—I see his diversity as a producer every day. I think people are quick to assume that he’s just a dance producer. It’s amazing to see him put out a track that is ‘donk-less,’ as in, it’s missing the big driving beat. And it’s quite nice to hear that from both of us. And I think that’s it: Calvin’s diversity shows in his production and songwriting in this. And I think it’s just the start of an incredible route that he may take in the future, working for other artists. And showing his diversity a little more.”

Related: Calvin Harris Blasts Taylor Swift on Twitter

But did he really sing the song without knowing what the lyrics are about?

“I can’t sit here and say exactly what that song is about,” he says, cagily. “That’s an interview that needs to be had with Calvin. And, at this point, when people want to start drilling me about it, they say, ‘Well, how can you sing somebody else’s song? You’re not that kind of singer.’ The the thing is, it’s like doing a cover song. I have to relate to the song in a different way, I’ve been in that situation before, we’ve all been in awkward situations where relationships are getting mashed up, and changing. I just had to relate to it in that way. I would love to hear what he’s got to say about it as well.”

We’re hoping to speak to Mr. Harris about “Ole” in the near future.

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