“I had never been given a title before a song has been made,” Puth told PEOPLE at SiriusXM’s Dial Up the Moment event in New York City, which celebrates its new interactive hotline experience, connecting fans to SiriusXM hosts and pop-up performances over the course of a month. “She basically came to me and said, ‘I’ve just got back from Hawaii with Orlando [Bloom] and I want to make a song called ‘Harleys in Hawaii.’”
He adds, “Then, me and Kash (Jacob Kasher Hindlin) and Johan [Carlsson] had to work around that title and I thought, ‘OK, what does tropical but not tropical sound like? Maybe a rose and maybe like a fat 808.’ And I just worked from the title.”
Musgraves has been one of the “Attention” singer’s favorite artists to collaborate with so far, despite not having released music officially together yet.
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“It was unbelievable. She’s just so quick with lyrics and can tell such a story with so little words, which is very hard to do,” Puth said, recalling their time working together.
He described their first time meeting as an “immediate” connection, like “a I love you kind of thing,” as opposed to an “awkward handshake, getting to know you.”
With his third studio album well underway, Puth is looking forward to “calming his mind down” and putting “more of [his] music that [he’s] done with other artists out” in the new year.
“I’m very grateful. I never thought I’d be in such a high up position, but I’m very grateful for it,” Puth tells PEOPLE.