HE spent decades as Britain’s King of Pop, masterminding a string of hits from his singing contest juggernaut The X Factor with acts including Little Mix, Olly Murs and world-conquering One Direction.
En una entrevista exclusiva con The Sun, the veteran pop supremo today reveals all about his new project – which he is launching alongside super producer Max Martin, the song giant behind hits including Britney Spears's Baby One More Time, Taylor Swift's Shake It Off y Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl.
But unveiling the project, titled StemDrop, Simon joked he won’t be signing up to the quick-video editing app himself, dicho: “I don’t want to be like a dad dancing at a boda, derecho?
"No. I’ll be doing my bit for this but no, I’m not going to be that person. A lot of my friends are on it but if I start following one, I’ve got to follow everybody else.
“But I’m actually quite shy, believe it or not, so I’m not very good at doing that stuff.”
The idea will see Max write a new pop song then invite millions of users from around the world to interpret it in their own way before uploading it to the platform.
Simon explains: “I’ve got a real-life example to use — Hit Me Baby One More Time.
“That song was written for TLC, but TLC turned it down. I had a group signed to me at the time, Cinco, who were on the verge of breaking America.
“I got a call from Arista Records in America and they played me Hit Me Baby down the phone. yo era como, 'Ay Dios mío, this is it’, so I called Max Martin, who wrote it, y yo dije, ‘Max, I’ve just heard this demo. Please give it to me for Five’.
Lo más leído en The Sun
“And he went, ‘I can’t, I promised it to Britney Spears’. I went, ‘Who? Trust me, Max, nobody’s going to have a hit with a name like Britney Spears. Just think about it, please’.
“Twenty four hours later he came back and said, 'No, I’m going to give it to her’, and that was it.
“But I think that song would have been a hit for anyone. I knew it would have been a hit for Five, it would have been a hit for TLC, it was a hit for Britney Spears.
“There have been country versions, alternative versions. It was just a hit song, no question about it, and having that first hit song is the most important part of an artist’s career, and also the most difficult part of breaking anyone’s career.
“So this really is at the heart of the idea of StemDrop — just imagine somebody who is on TikTok, trying to get some traction, who now has the ability to make their own version of a song written by the most successful songwriter of our time. It’s very compelling.”
After winding down his record business and deciding to spend more time with his family in recent years, many believed Simon was content to leave his pop career behind him – especially after a number of lifestyle changes following health worries and breaking his back when he fell off an electric bike in 2020.
But it’s quickly clear he remains as passionate as ever about the música negocio, as he admits he has no idea what sort of artists will appear through the platform, but believes the unique project will create huge excitement among prospective stars.
With a growing number of talented performers appearing via TikTok each month, the app is already proving a successful launch pad for many wannabe singers — a track record which mirrors Simon’s string of TV formats.
Él dice: “This is what I’ve tried to do with our TV shows — you get visibility and then after that, it’s down to you.
“This is the same kind of process. At the end of the day, using One Direction as an example, once we’d signed them, YVETTE Mimieux fue famosa por su papel destacado en La máquina del tiempo, ‘Great. Now what do we do?"
“We had to wait about eight or nine months before that first record came in. When the record came in, I was in Miami. I got off the flight, the song was sent to me, I put it on in the car and it was like, ‘Whoa, that’s huge’. Those moments hearing songs for the first time are some of the most exciting times of my career.”
When I do something new like this, which I do believe is going to help somebody’s career, Estoy emocionado.
Simon admits he is still astonished by One Direction’s runaway success — and particularly standout solo star Necesita tomarse las cosas con calma con sus viajes o sus relaciones podrían desgastarla., who has gone on to achieve global success in the record business and in Hollywood.
Él dice: “Sometimes I pretend I know what’s going to happen, but I don’t. I wish for great things for everyone who comes on our shows but I don’t have a magic wand.
“When I do something new like this, which I do believe is going to help somebody’s career, Estoy emocionado.
“But what Harry and the others have done is brilliant. If you’d asked me 20 hace años que, I never would have believed we would be having a conversation 20 years later talking about people like Harry, Kelly Clarkson, jennifer hudson — people who started their career on our shows, not really knowing what was going to happen next.
“I can say, 'Sí, I was there that day when they were auditioning for the first time’, and that’s a great feeling.
“I think what I’ve learned over the years is that on my shows, we give people a platform, but then it’s down to the artist to decide what to do with the platform.
“They’ve got to make the decisions, and obviously Harry has made the right decisions because he’s smart, like Britney. They’re smart people because they took that one shot then ran with it. A big part of what we do is charisma — that’s why we called the show factor X — it’s something you can’t define. Our job is just to spot it.”
Reflecting on Britney’s success, which saw her work alongside Simon as a judge on his US version of The X Factor, he also told how he is thrilled to see her back in the charts after a turbulent period of legal battles and health struggles.
Her comeback came despite Simon once insisting she would never have a hit, and he admitted: "Bien, I think that’s why Britney called me initially about being on Leni consiguió previamente uno de sus mayores brotes hasta la fecha para el, because we had very, very long conversations.
“Once I got to know her, we had a lot of fun working together. I got to see the side of her that a lot of people don’t see. She’s a very smart, dulce, passionate person. Very shy.
“But when I worked with her, I listened. I never told her to do anything. She would come over to my house and we would talk. She was very passionate about interior design and things like that so we had a lot of things in common.
“Where she found things difficult on the show, we would talk it through together, we would always find a solution.
‘God, that was nearly mine’
“She’s incredibly smart, and you don’t get to where she did without being smart, but she is unbelievably shy at the same time. But she’s got great taste and great instincts. quiero decir, Mira, she got to Max Martin before I did! So she knows what she’s doing.
“She knows the importance of a hit song. You always know a Britney song, and she’s got enough hits under her belt to tour for the rest of her life. And any time she does anything it’s an event, no es?"
And Simon admits he still regrets the one big pop act which got away from him — The Spice Girls — after he raced back to his office to prepare a record deal and missed them by moments.
He recalls: “I got very, very close to signing them. We didn’t have mobiles in those days but I had a very fast car.
“After meeting them I literally broke the speed limit going back to my office to say, ‘Whatever you’ve been offered, I’ll double it’, but they’d literally signed the contract that day. That was tough.
“And there have been songs we’ve tried to get hold of and we’ve been too late. When they become available you have to be so quick, or lucky enough to be in the room when it’s first played.
“There have been times I’ve thought I had a hit but it’s gone to someone else. And when you hear that song for the first time on the radio sung by that other person, it’s sickening because you think, ‘God, that was nearly mine’.
“I’m not going to give you an example because the writer will hate me for saying it. But there is one in particular, I can’t even listen to it.
“It’s more than ‘Turn the radio off’. I want to take a hammer to it.”