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Trouble (Leona Lewis song)

“Trouble” is a song recorded by British recording artist Leona Lewis and American entertainer Childish Gambino for Lewis’ third studio album, Glassheart (2012). Inspired by Lewis’ break-up with childhood sweetheart Lou Al-Chamaa, “Trouble” is a mid-tempo R&B and trip hop ballad, with a piano and strings-driven melody. It was written by a British writing collective consisting of Lewis, Donald Glover, Hugo Chegwin, Harry Craze, Shahid Khan, James Murray, Mustafa Omer, Emeli Sandé and Fraser T Smith. Production came courtesy of Khan under his production name of Naughty Boy and Smith, along with co-producer Chris Loco and additional producer Jahlil Beats. Music critics noted that the urban production marked a new direction for Lewis, particularly by featuring Gambino during the song’s middle eight breakdown with a poetic rap verse. A version excluding Gambino is also included on Glassheart.

“Trouble” was also influenced by British trip hop duo Massive Attack, who Lewis cited as a musical inspiration. Lewis’ falsetto and soprano vocal performance on the song garnered early praise from critics who commended the raw emotions, as well as Gambino’s guest rap and the song’s melodic strings- and piano-heavy production. “Trouble” premiered on 21 August 2012 on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast with Scott, ahead of its release as Glassheart’s lead single, superseding the 2011 single “Collide”, a collaboration with Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii. “Trouble” was released on 5 October 2012, preceding the album by one week, and entered the UK Singles Chart at number seven becoming Lewis’s ninth top-ten single. In Ireland “Trouble” charted at number twenty-one becoming Lewis’s eighth top-thirty single.

As part of promotion of the song, fans were given chance to produce their own remix of “Trouble” which was released alongside the single on Lewis’ official music store. An accompanying music video was filmed on 22 August in Los Angeles, with Teen Wolf actor Colton Haynes cast as Lewis’ love interest. Haynes, a friend of Lewis, was chosen due to his physical resemblance to Lewis’ ex Al-Chaama. In the video, Lewis and Haynes’ relationship begins to unfold and culminates in an altercation between the duo before Haynes leaves and Lewis breaks down in tears. Lewis also recorded an acoustic performance of the song for her Vevo account. “Trouble” was promoted with performances on the ninth series of The X Factor (UK), on 7 October 2012, later on Alan Carr: Chatty Man and also during a set at London nightclub, G-A-Y.

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