Thunder in The Night: Star Addresses Topics Ranging From Temper Tantrums to Songwriting

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Elton spoke to the NME for this week's Big Read cover feature (which says he is ''still outstanding,'' a play on I'm Still Standing).

Addressing the fact that a number of artists (including Lil Nas X and Rina Sawayama) on his Lockdown Sessions album are proudly LGBTQ, the composer says there's still a lot of work to do ''as far as equality goes, but it's encouraging to see people like Perfume Genius and Troye Sivan writing songs about being gay. Things have changed--though if you live in Chechnya, Poland, Hungary, Russia, the Middle East, they're not in the fortunate position we are.''
Another guest is Stevie Wonder, on Finish Line. ''I kind of played Ernie Wise to his Eric Morecambe. My vocal is pretty straight, but there he is singing like he does on Superstition. I haven't heard him sing like that for a long, long time, and that was magical, to hear him stretch out.''
Elton was also enthusiastic about Yard Act ''kind of walking with the music behind it--Channel Tres does that a little bit: he mixes hip-hop and talking with electronic music'') and Jake Wesley Rogers, who is depicted below. He thinks Rogers is ''like an elongated, stretched version of me in '70s! He's gonna be a huge star.''
And he's ''fascinated'' with how Nicki Minaj and other young acts write, taking ''snippets of things'' and fashioning them into songs.''
Elton said he knows ''all the old stuff'' and loves the ''new stuff. It's the future I'm interested in. I'm not interested in the past--not even Elton John's past. I know I have to sing what I do onstage but I very, very rarely go back and listen to my own records. I'm more interested in hearing something new.''
On a more personal note, Elton admitted that he can ''still explode.'' He thought it had to do with being a creative since artists ''can be so self-destructive.'' He was also aware that low self-esteem played a role, and that his upbringing had a lot to do with it.
Reg Dwight was afraid of his parents, and doesn't want his boys to feel that way. So he and David Furnish never hit or yell at them. 
At some point, Elton hopes to work on lyrics he received from Bernie Taupin. He said he wrote with a song with the Weeknd, and found it enthralling to see how the younger performer worked. He doesn't know whether the Weeknd will release the tune, though.