Freddy Wexler has worked with many of music's biggest artists, like Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber ("Stuck with U") to help create some of the biggest hits, and recently he was tapped to work on an original song for one of Netflix's biggest shows, Emily In Paris. What came out of it is a gorgeous nod to the show (and Paris) called "Mon Soleil" sung by the series' own Ashley Park (as Mindy Chen).
Wexler was approached by the show's creator, Darren Star, to come up with the original song after having connected with Park via Instagram. Freddy was inspired by a video Ashley had posted talking about the rise of Anti-Asian hate, and reached to her right away. He tells iHeartRadio, "I was really moved, so I reached out, we became friends, and long story short, Darren Star asked us to work on an original song for Emily in Paris. I love Ashley - she's super talented and kind - and I wanted to create something special for her."
Freddy also opened up about being approached by Star, working with Ashley, and putting together "Mon Soleil" in our exclusive Q&A. Read on below.
You were approached by Darren Star to work on an original song for Emily In Paris – what was that process like? Did you and Ashley write “Mon Soleil” together with Ashley? And, did you know the storyline beforehand?
"It was incredible. Darren is a legend in television. I mean, the guy created 90210, Melrose Place, Sex in the City, Younger, and Emily In Paris. He’s literally had hits since 1990, and he’s a pleasure to work with. I think part of his success is that he has vision—he knows exactly what he wants. For example, the entire bridge came out of a phone call with Darren, Ashley, and music supervisor Brienne Rose. Darren wanted another section, a dramatic departure, a moment. While Ashley and I didn’t write the song together, she was definitely my muse. I literally wrote the song for only her (well, and Mindy, I guess). I knew the story line and had rough pages of the script to work with. We really wanted to create something that captured the spirit of the show—and the sounds of the city."
What was it like to work with Ashley on this song?
"It was honestly so much fun. Ashley is a phenomenal talent. She also knows exactly what she wants and her bar is very high. I recorded her over Zoom from a hotel room in St Barts while she was in Paris. I knew I had the takes, but Ashley kept pushing. And pushing. 'I can do better,' she’d say. 'Run it again.' I love artists who always want to give their best. It really helped that Ashley and I connected on a deeper level before we ever started working. I think when you actually feel like you know someone, and in the best case are friends with them, all guards come down in the studio — and that’s when the magic happens."
This song was recorded with local musicians in Paris, London, and Italy – how did you get all of these musicians together?
"I called everyone I knew, and we got lucky. One of the positive outcomes of Covid is that it’s forced creators to rethink the creative process. You don’t need to wrangle musicians in one city into one studio. Zoom and remote writing and recording have been responsible for some big songs. It’s how I did 'Stuck with U' for Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, and it’s how we did 'Mon Soleil.'"
What was it like to first hear the song in the show?
"It was really awesome. Honestly, I was anxious with how it would play - there are some diehard Emily In Paris fans that I didn’t want to let down - but I think the director, Andy Flemming, created a perfect scene. I exhaled after I saw it."
Are you working on any other music at the moment?
"I’m always working on other music! I’m actually writing a movie at the moment for Will Smith/Westbrook and outside of the script, I've been spending a lot of time writing music for it. That’s been a blast — but a lot of work. Other than that, I recently worked on Diana Ross’ first album in 20 years, and I’m working on some music for some of my favorite artists at the moment ... but you know I can’t say who."
Freddy further talked about "Mon Soleil" with Ashley Park while both talking to iHeartRadio's Emily Curl - watch the video below!