Who Is the Voice In the Beginning of ‘London Boy’?

By now, the pattern has become a ritual. Taylor Swift  posts cryptic pictures on Instagram to make fans guess what her new album is called. Said album comes out, sending fans into a tizzy, and we commence the guessing game of “Which song is about which ex?” Titling the album Lover only seems like bait.

Now the game has a new twist: Who’s the voice on the song “London Boy?”

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | John Shearer/Getty Images

It’s not one of Swift’s exes

“London Boy,” the 11th track on the album, features someone saying at the beginning, “We can go driving in, on my scooter. Uh, you know, just riding in London.”  It’s actor Idris Elba, most recently starring in Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw. Let’s just hope the scooter he’s referring to isn’t the sentient motorcycle from that movie. 

According to EW, Elba didn’t come in to the studio to record this. It’s actually an extract from this appearances on The Late, Late Show with James Corden, when Elba was discussing the perfect date when he offered fans the chance to win a night out with him in a sweepstakes by Omaze. 

Elba fans shouldn’t get their hopes up about a date, however. He married Sabrina Dhowre this past March.

However, you can see Swift and Elba (and Corden) together this December  in the much ballyhooed movie adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, the trailer for which has prompted, shall we say, spirited discussion. It comes out just before Christmas. 

“Back to December” indeed. 

Who else has collaborated with Swift?

This isn’t the first time a celebrity has popped up on one of Swift’s albums. Indeed, it’s not the only time it’s happened on Lover. The song “Soon You’ll Get Better” features backing vocals from the Dixie Chicks.

This was a particularly tough song for Swift, because it’s about her mother’s cancer diagnosis. Elle quoted a YouTube video Swift made where she said of the song. 

“It was a family decision to even put on the album, and I think songs like that that are really hard for you to write emotionally, maybe they’re hard to write and hard to sing because they’re really true. We as a family decided to put this on the album. It’s something I’m so proud of. I can’t sing it. It’s hard to emotionally deal with that song.” 

There have been cameos on Swift albums from people who do not specialize in music. On her previous studio album Reputation, the song “Gorgeous” included the voice of a baby, and that baby was the daughter of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds

How has ‘Lover’ been received?

Swift’s seventh studio album became the best-selling album of 2019 after selling 450,000 copies in only its first day of release, according to Billboard. That beat a record set by Swift herself, with Reputation’s release in 2017.

Swift was originally going to call the album Daylight, a title of another song on the album, but she “felt like that was a little too on the nose because Reputation was such a dark, like evening-nighttime-city album, and I thought that calling the next album Daylight would be too obvious and it’s such a love album.”

“It’s an album about all different forms of love. Even when love hurts, this album is about the full spectrum that love makes us feel, so I was like, this album is definitely going to be called Lover,”

It helps that “Lover” is the third single and the one that coincides with the album’s release.