According to songwriter Sam Harris, Rihanna's Tidal exclusive 'American Oxygen' took a year to write, was originally being eyed up by a couple of other singers and was inspired by Bruce Springsteen.
Having a chat with Billboard about how the song came to be, Harris said the it originated as a beat that producer Alex Da Kid sent him and that the whole thing took quite a while to be honest.
"We worked on just that chorus for like three or four months, going back and forth, back and forth," he explained.
Once the song was in its first incarnation Da Kid started pitching it to various singers of song.
"First I heard one person wanted it, then I heard another person wanted it, then I heard that Rihanna really liked it, and from there we started writing verses together, and that's when she became involved in the process."
From then it started to get a bit messy: "And it took a lot of different variations. I think there are three different versions of the verses that were written."
Lyrically, the song was inspired by a typically misunderstood alternate US anthem ("I looked at songs like 'Born in the U.S.A.' and that record) and while Harris was happy to keep it for his own band X Ambassadors ("We have our own version of it"), he's happy Rihanna got to do it.
"But I think it means so much more being sung by Rihanna — specifically by a black female immigrant in the United States. That is so powerful for a young kid to see her singing that song, it gets me choked up just thinking about it."
The perfect ending to a fairly rambling 'news' story.