Charlie Puth: I cried after hearing namecheck on Taylor Swift’s album

In the title track of the pop superstar’s new album she sings about a past lover and says they both ‘declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist’.

Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth (Matt Crossick/PA)

American singer Charlie Puth has revealed he cried after hearing Taylor Swift namecheck him on her latest album after first thinking it was an artificial intelligence-generated song.

In the title track of the pop superstar’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, she sings about a past lover and says they both “declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist”.

Puth, known for singles Attention and We Don’t Talk Anymore, said the acknowledgment has given him the courage to release a new song which is more stripped back than his previous work.

The singer told Rolling Stones magazine that he first found out about being mentioned in the song through a friend who had heard a leaked version of the album before its official release but that he did not believe him.

“My brain immediately went to, ‘Oh, like in an interview or something. That’s cool. I love Taylor Swift,’” he told the magazine.

He said he then questioned if artificial intelligence had been used to make the song, saying he thought: “I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it was just a big joke that someone was playing on me because someone thinks I shouldn’t be a bigger artist, so get the biggest artist since the Beatles to say that I should be a bigger artist. Ha ha ha.”

It was only until the album officially came out in April until he believed it was real.

“My first thought was like, ‘Wow. She said my name.’ She kind of said it like P-O-O-T-H”, he said.

“And I just cried, dude.”

The 32-year-old singer said the name check gave him a confidence boost and made him feel like everything he had done in the past was “meant to happen”.

Asked if he thinks he should be a bigger artist, he said: “I think I should be. But to me, a bigger artist, I get to inspire more of my fans and people around the world to pick up an instrument.

“I’d love to be a bigger artist to inspire other people to be bigger artists.”

On Friday, Puth released his latest single, Hero, which he says is about “seeing the deterioration of someone you were really close to” who will not acknowledge they need help.

He said the stripped-back track is unlike his previous music, which he described as having many layers and was him being “braggadocious”.

“I wanted my listeners to listen to the lyrics and the story and not have them be so broad”, he said.

“Kind of like how Taylor Swift does in her music, too. That’s obviously what inspired me to put this out.”

He admitted that going against his typical style had been “very scary”, adding: “I’d say if it weren’t for Taylor and her mentioning me, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to put this out, which is a big statement. I know.”

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift (Ian West/PA)

On Swift’s track, Puth is mentioned as the 14-time Grammy winner teases a love interest about their love of vintage typewriters and compares them to a “tattooed golden retriever”.

Swift fans have also interpreted the album’s title track as an insight into her rumoured romance with The 1975 star, Matty Healy, and the emotions it invited.

Asked his thoughts on Healy being the focus of the song, Puth said: “Why has he never mentioned this to me before?

“I’ve written a couple of songs with him. I don’t think anything will come out from it, but I like his music a lot, too. I love his band.”

Puth also revealed he wrote Swift a note to thank her for the praise and to tell her that he will “take this newfound courage to put this new body of work out”.

Passing the namecheck along, Puth said she feels US singers Melanie Martinez and Mk.Gee should be bigger artists.