EXCLUSIVE: How Olivia Newton-John & Daughter Chloe Created 'Magic' in the Studio
By Randy Slovacek
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Having topped practically every Billboard chart --
from Pop to Country, Hot 100 to New Age -- Olivia Newton-John has scored
another hit with “You Have to Believe,” returning to the Dance Club chart for
the first time in 23 years. This week, she climbs to No. 10, her highest Dance
chart position to date.
In a reworking of her hit, “Magic,” from the film XANADU, Olivia finds new alchemy with
dance music wizard Dave Audé. The track marks her first collaboration with
daughter Chloe Lattanzi, who is making her Billboard chart debut.
The original “Magic” spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot
100 in 1980. The new version also looks to be headed straight to the top.
As the song continues to heat up the charts, the
mother-daughter duo sat down with ETonline to talk about how the collaboration
ETonline: How did this
project come about?
Actually, it was Chloe’s idea to redo “Magic.” So, we met with producer Dave
Audé. Chloe wrote a new verse with Dave and Australian songwriter Vassy,
and John Farrar, another Aussie who produced and wrote most of my hits, let us
use the original chorus of “Magic.” We love the Aussies! And here we are -- top
Chloe Lattanzi: A
friend of mine knew Dave Audé, and we talked, and he was interested in working
with my mom, too. So I was like, “Hey, mom, do you maybe want to do something
with me?” (laughs)
Olivia: I think
she has amazing talent -- a beautiful voice, a great songwriter -- I’ve been
chomping at the bit so everyone could see her. It’s a great opportunity for me
to say “Yay! Chloe, go!” And to do one of my songs is a real special
really fun for me to sort of combine my mom's energy and my energy together. It
makes something completely new because we're so different creatively. It's
funny too, because my mom says she's back on the charts because of me. That was
a huge compliment.
What was it like
to take your mom’s hit song and create a new piece?
Chloe: I have
always thought my mom’s songs have great melodies. I think that I have an edge
to me, and I’ve always wanted to turn the songs into something slightly more
mysterious. When I write a song, I always envision a story. They’re kind of
personal, so I don’t divulge that because they are sometimes really weird (both
laugh). So I write out a storyline and characters, and I get my lyrics from
that. Maybe that’s weird?
(laughing) That’s not weird. There’s no weird way to write a song.
storyline, you also shot a music video for the song?
Olivia: We shot
the music video in Las Vegas (Olivia is currently in residency at the
Flamingo Las Vegas) and my nephew, Mikey Easterling, directed it so, it’s
really a family affair! We had some fun co-stars, like the Chippendales
and some great celebrity impersonators -- Britney Spears, Steven Tyler, Tina
Turner and the Jubilee showgirls. It’s sort of pays homage to all things
And a bonus --
the music video comes out and Chloe, you immediately get a movie offer?
Chloe: One of the
casting directors of Syfy’s upcoming Dead 7 knew who I was, saw the
video and he gave my picture, along with five other girls, to the main casting
guy. The guy who got to decide which girl played my part actually had
absolutely no idea who my mother was or who I was. I got the part on my own, which
was a really nice feeling and great boost of confidence. They gave me a lot of
room creatively. I really like working like that.
really loving doing my show in Vegas and we’ve extended that into the new year.
I also have a new album coming out next year with my friends, Amy Sky and Beth
Nielsen Chapman, designed to uplift hearts burdened by grief. It’s very
special. I continue to raise funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and
Wellness Centre in Australia! Oh! And I’m very excited that my Gaia
Retreat and Spa just won the “World’s Best Day Spa” at the World Spa
going to be seeing me on a few TV shows -- and definitely more music. I'm going
back into the studio with Dave Audé to record our second single. Also, my old
songs that I recorded years ago, I'm going to put them online for everyone to
hear. I've kept them hidden for so long. Now it seems like the right time to
put them out. And I’m working with producer Marley Waters, and we’re thinking
of taking another of my mom’s songs and rewrite it. Rework it, but use the
chorus and turn it into another dance thing. Kind of on a roll here -- copying
her, using her fame for my benefit (laughing).
You go ahead! I don’t mind. Take over, please. I can stay home (still
laughing). The most amazing thing is I met Chloe’s dad on the set of XANADU. If it hadn’t been for XANADU, she wouldn’t be here. So, SHE’s
Chloe: So, if it
wasn’t for a kitschy 1980s movie, I wouldn’t exist!
Olivia and Chloe (at
the same time): Explains a lot! (laughing)