Well, I guess with the inspiration behind the song, it started with Nate. I think a lot of it was just about realizing what this album was; we had worked on a couple songs already and then it just, I don’t know, I guess sometimes when you write a song, and you think, “This is somewhere it will get buried on the album, and if people really dig it, they’ll maybe grow to love it.” And there are some songs that you want to take over the world, that you want to be an anthem, and that you want to be huge.
I think from the very beginning with “We Are Young," there was never any question about where we wanted the song to go and what we wanted it to sound like. And we knew that we wanted it to be big, we wanted it to be booming over the speakers at an arena or something.
And I guess from a perspective of what the heart of the song is, I think we wanted it to just feel like a night out with your friends, where you’re like screaming out the car window, and here you’re young in your life and everything is just new and exciting to you. We wanted to try and capture that feeling.
Was Janelle Monáe a part of the original vision of the song?
We knew we wanted a female vocalist to sing on it. We didn’t really know who that voice was going to be, and we had a couple people that we maybe hoped that we could work with and at the top of that list was Janelle Monáe.
I love all of her work, I think she’s a phenomenal artist, and it just so happened that Jeff, the producer, was hanging out at one of her shows. She toured with Bruno Mars and he met up with her there. He played her the song, she was into it and so we ended getting to work with her. I still can’t even really comprehend how exciting this has been. I think she’s just the best.
The song caught a lot of attention on this little show called, Glee. How did that opportunity come about?
Honestly, I don’t really know. I think that we were so in shock when we got the news, and we didn’t really even know how to process it. I think that’s just one of the coolest things that could possibly have happened. We still are a little bit in shock at how neat that is, the Glee cover of our song, I think it’s really cool.