“Passionfruit,” a breezy and house-inflected party song from Drake’s 2017 album More Life, has been covered many, many times over the past year or so. Artists like Paramore, Franz Ferdinand, and Yaeji have all taken a crack at it. My theory: It’s a good song, and not a particularly hard one to sing, and it allows you to tap into some of that Drake swagger without actually having to rap. But maybe it’s also a bit of a blank canvas, a song that can be pushed in whatever artistic direction in which you might want to push it.
The latest big-name artist to try out “Passionfruit” is Cornelius, the veteran Japanese studio-pop tinkerer. Cornelius released his Mellow Waves album last year, and he recently did an in-studio session for Spotify. As part of his Spotify Single, alongside a live-in-studio version of his track “If You’re Here,” Cornelius did a full live-band version of “Passionfruit.” And he made it look like a Cornelius song.
Cornelius focused on the track’s rubbery, bass-driven groove, filling out the track with electric pianos and flutes and funky little flourishes. He also sang the song, his voice sounding small and conversational. Check out both of the songs from his Spotify session below.
Mellow Waves is out now on Rostrum.