It Took Gwen Stefani 6 Microphones to Create This Hit Song

Gwen Stefani wrote one of her hit songs with a 1990s rock star. During an interview, that rock star said Stefani used six microphones to complete the song. Notably, Stefani played multiple characters in one song.

This 1990s rock star has strong feelings about Gwen Stefani

Stefani is a rock star who transitioned into making pop music. The same happened for Linda Perry. Perry was initially most known as the lead singer of the 4 Non Blondes, the band behind “What’s Up?” Subsequently, Perry wrote pop hits like Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful?” and Pink’s “Get the Party Started.”

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Perry noted she was the first female producer to work with Stefani. She said Stefani is funny and talented. Perry revealed some of the eccentricities of Stefani’s songwriting process. “She can’t just write a song,” Perry said. “She has to have the full vision — what the video is, what the look is, what the story is. It all has to come together.”

Why Gwen Stefani used 6 microphones to create 1 song

Perry said Stefani had a strong reaction to an unfinished version of “What You Waiting For?” “I had the chorus but I didn’t have the verse yet,” Perry remembered. “She walked in the next day and I said, Well, I came up with this.’ I played it and she just lit on fire. She’s like, “What the f***, dude?’”

Perry said Stefani played multiple characters in “What You Waiting For?” “She wanted to do something where there was a bunch of different characters, so I set up six microphones and labeled them, and at every line I told her which microphone to go to,” she added. “Different microphones give you different sounds and they make you be a different character. We did the whole song like that. It was really fun. [Record executive] Jimmy Iovine showed up later and said, ‘Well, there’s our first single.’”

The way the world reacted to the song

“What You Waiting For?” became a modest hit in the United States. It reached No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 20 weeks. Its parent album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby, peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for 78 weeks.

“What You Waiting For?” was much more popular in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the track peaked at No. 4 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 22 weeks. Meanwhile, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., reached No. 4 and lasted on the chart for 59 weeks. The song was later covered by Marina Diamandis (formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds) and Franz Ferdinand. “What You Waiting For?” might not be Stefani’s most popular song; however, it has an interesting backstory.

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