Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

Mike Shinoda On “Heavy” Guest Singer Kiiara

So how did Linkin Park wind up with pop/R&B singer Kiiara on its new single, "Heavy?"

The group's Mike Shinoda tells us it was the suggestion of Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe, who introduced Shinoda to Kiiara after Lowe interviewed the singer on his show:

"He interviewed her and asked her what her favorite music was, like who's her favorite artists, and she said Linkin Park right off the bat. He emailed me, 'Have you heard of this girl?...she’s really interesting. I think she's cool and you guys should really meet,' so we started talking ad one thing led to another and we had 'Heavy' written and originally Chester (Bennington) had sung the whole thing, but we just felt like it needed this other perspective, like if you hear another voice on it it would make it feel like it's coming from more than one person. We asked her if she'd sing on it and I thought it really took the song to another dimension."


Kiiara's real name is Kiara Saulters; She's a singer and songwriter best known for her 2015 hit "Gold."

Linkin Park released "Heavy" on Thursday (February 16) as the first single from its new album, One More Light, due out May 19. The group has nine festival dates announced for spring and early summer in South America and Europe, but no North American shows on the itinerary yet.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.