Band member Murdoc Niccals stated the following about "Stylo" in a track-by-track commentary:
"This is a new sound for Gorillaz. An electro-ish ‘crack funk’ sound, with a little bit of politics and a lot of soul going down. With 'Stylo', I wanted the music to feel euphoric, whilst still putting across how precarious our tightly packed situation is now, worldwide. Where we’re at as a species on this overpopulated planet (“Comin' up to the Overload. Overload. Overload”).
Bobby Womack’s chorus, he just explodes into the track. How good is it to get Bobby Womack on the record? This was the first recording he’s made in 15, 20 years, so what an honour. Bobby said he only returned to do this Gorillaz track because his granddaughter said Gorillaz were cool. Which is true. We are."
A demo form of the track, then just a rough beat, was premiered on the Zane Lowe show on 14 January 2009, along with "Electric Shock" and "Broken".
About a week before the official premiere, Parlophone president Miles Leonard described the song as "a dark, twisted track that sounds like the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack on MDMA".
The single was leaked onto the internet on 20 January 2010. Murdoc stated on his Twitter account, "A leak! A leak! Plastic Beach has sprung a leak! One of those Russian pirates has put a bullet hole on my island! My single's leaked! 'STYLO!'" He later added, "If anyone's going to leak my single, it'll be me!"
The song's official premiere was on NME Radio that same day, shortly followed by its addition onto the Gorillaz official website. Gorillaz manager Chris Morrison stated about the leak, "I just think that illegal downloading and pirating could be stopped, without a doubt. We have to take the gloves off and say it has to be stopped."
On 26 January 2010, "Stylo" was released for digital download from iTunes.
The song was a hit in Japan, but generally underperformed elsewhere. Despite excellent reviews, it did not chart in the top 100 in the UK, and though it reached the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart, it failed to enter the main US Hot Hundred chart.
Reggae singer Eddy Grant has claimed that this song bears similarities to his 1983 song "Time Warp" stating that "I am outraged that the Gorillaz have infringed the copyright of my song Time Warp, claiming their song Stylo to be an original composition" and is currently consulting lawyers.
The talk of suit and acknowledgment began on March 15th, 2010.
As of March 27th, no one of Gorillaz camp has not been given a lawsuit or contacted. EMI, that distributes music by both groups, has stated it will be handled between the two privately. Since then, no news of the lawsuit have been given out to the public.
- Promotional CD single:
- Stylo (Radio Edit) – 3:50
- Stylo (Album Version) – 4:30
- Stylo (Instrumental) – 4:30
- Promotional CD single - Remixes:
- Stylo (Labyrinth SNES Remix) (featuring Tinie Tempah) – 4:15
- Stylo (Alex Metric Remix) – 6:14
- Stylo (DJ Kofi Remix) – 3:44
- Stylo (Chiddy Bang Remix) – 3:38
Release dates and chart positions
- US : 26/01/10 – highest chart position : 24 (Billboard Alternative Songs chart)
- EUROPE MAINLAND: 26/01/10 - highest chart position: 5
- JAPAN : ??? - highest chart position : 8
- Main Article: Stylo (Video)
- On the singles cover art, Cyborg Noodle is striking a pose and appears to be completely oblivious of the bullet hole that is gaping from her forehead. In the video this bullet wound becomes a problem as she begins leaking what would appear to be oil, before completely shutting down.
- "Stylo" was featured in Activision's DJ Hero 2
- ↑ "Plastic Beach [Japanese experience edition]", TOCP-66950, booklet pp.12-15