The No. 1 song in America right now is "We Are Young" by fun., a pop-rock trio based in New York (yes, the period is part of the name). Like most of the songs on the band's new album, Some Nights, it is informed as much by classic rock as current-day hip-hop — and flirts with the theatrical sides of both.
That's thanks in part to the album's producer Jeff Bhasker, who also helmed recent records by Drake, Kanye West and Beyonce. fun.'s lead singer Nate Ruess says that when he first met with Bhasker in a hotel room in Manhattan, "We Are Young" wasn't even finished — but that he knew the chorus had potential.
"I was able to shed my self-demeaning layer and just talk to him about everything. We had a really great conversation, and I was so inspired in the moment that I just decided to sing that chorus," Ruess says. "I sang it to him, and his jaw just dropped."
Nate Ruess speaks with NPR's Guy Raz about the making of Some Nights, and getting a second chance in the music industry after his earlier bands failed to break out.