Chris Martin Says Nirvana, Avicii and Katy Perry Influenced “A Sky Full of Stars”

Image Courtesy of Michael Becker / FOXYou may have noticed that Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" is mostly backed by one repeating chord progression. As it turns out, frontman Chris Martin's decision to use that stucture was partly inspired by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

"'Smells Like Teen Spirit' is the same chord sequence basically the whole time. There's a simplicity to that. I needed to find a sequence that I could play for ages and ages and ages," he explains in a video created for Beats by Dr. Dre. "And then one just came out, and I was like, 'That's it! That's it!'"

However, Martin was initially influenced by an even more unlikely source: pop star Katy Perry.

"I'll tell you the truth -- I was listening to a lot of Katy Perry," he says. "A lot of her songs have the same chord sequence the whole time. Your body feels comfortable with them, and then the melody's changing on top, so there's a groove you really get into, and then also, you're kept interested. That's an amazing way of doing songs."

"A Sky Full of Stars" also has made waves among Coldplay fans for its EDM elements. In the video, Martin explains how he came to use that palette of sounds, courtesy of Swedish EDM superstar Avicii.

"You go see an EDM thing and people are so together and having the best time," he explains. "And I was like, 'F**k it, I love that stuff. I wanted to have a song that comes from that world, in terms of, I'd really like to jump up and down to this, but we don't really know what we're doing.'  So I said, 'Let's call Avicii.'"

"["A Sky Full of Stars"] is the most important song we've ever had lyrically, because every time I sing it I'm like, 'Yeah that's how I want to live my life," Martin adds.

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