The 'America's Got Talent' judge tells PEOPLE about her new collaboration with Tiësto — and whether or not she'll ever record a Halloween track
Inspired by her own late nights out dancing, the model and America's Got Talent judge teamed up with DJ Tiësto for a new, club-ready cover of Hart's 1984 hit, released Friday.
"Sunglasses at Night" marks Klum's third official single, following 2006's Christmas song "Wonderland" and 2022's "Chai Tea with Heidi" with Snoop Dogg and WeddingCake (a.k.a her husband Tom Kaulitz's DJ duo with Devon Culiner).
The former Project Runway host may not be a singer by trade, but she's a big dance music fan, loves a good night on the town and attends high-energy festivals like Burning Man, which inspired her to link up with Tiësto for the collaboration.
"I get to see a lot of amazing live acts with amazing voices on America's Got Talent, so I see the range of what can be done and the gift that some people have," Klum, 50, tells PEOPLE. "I'm not saying I have that gift by any means. I just have fun ideas."
Klum's take on the song will serve as the promotional track for season 19 of Germany's Next Top Model, which she hosts, premiering Feb. 16.
The German multi-hyphenate caught up with PEOPLE to discuss recording "Sunglasses at Night," getting stamps of approval from both Hart and Kylie Minogue and whether or not she'll ever make Halloween music to soundtrack her iconic parties.
How did the idea come about for you to put your own spin on Corey Hart's “Sunglasses at Night” with Tiësto for season 19 of Germany's Next Top Model?
I'm not a person who likes to be pushed in one box. Back in the day, we were only allowed to do one thing and one thing only, and you could not really step outside of your comfort zone. But I feel like now it's OK that people are multifaceted. I'm a creative person — I love doing Halloween costumes. I love designing. I love to paint. I also love music, and so I really enjoy coming up with different fun ideas.
I'm always singing in the shower, and I was like, "This song from Corey Hart, ‘Sunglasses at Night,’ is really cool." Also, when I'm out and about in the club or whatever, my makeup is not looking too cute anymore, it's like 4 o'clock in the morning, and you're like, "Oh my God, the sun is coming up soon,” to have sunglasses on is good in those moments — maybe a little cross-eyed, you're out way too long already. I feel like a lot of people have been in that moment.
“Sunglasses at Night” is for me such an earworm, and with my friends now playing this song, they're like, "Oh my gosh, I've been singing this all day long." I had that same vibe because it was going through my head all the time. I'm friends with Tiësto, and then I said to him, "I have a really cool idea for another song." He's like, "You're really into this stuff." And I'm like, "Yes. Plus, if I don't voice it, how would you know that I have this idea? Maybe you'll have fun doing that with me." So, I said to him, "I would love to do 'Sunglasses at Night.'" He was like, "Oh my gosh, that's a really cool idea." And then boom, here we are.
Before releasing your last single, “Chai Tea with Heidi,” you had to contact Rod Stewart and ask him to clear a sample of his song “Baby Jane.” Have you had a conversation with Corey Hart about this song?
No. Obviously, you have to go through all the channels and ask, but he has since contacted me and wants to do something. I would love to do something with him. So, I can't wait to call him and maybe we can do some fun social media thing together. He's not yet on TikTok, so maybe I can start his TikTok career, but yeah, he's a cool dude. I thought it was fun that he reached out to me, and he likes it.
[Editor’s Note: Hart congratulated Klum on the release in a collaborative TikTok post on Thursday.]
You also have a successful musician very close to home — your husband, Tom Kaulitz, of Tokio Hotel. Do you go to him for any advice when you get in the studio?
Yes, he helps me put the vocals together. When I first did something with my husband, it was a little bit embarrassing because it doesn't always sound so amazing. I'm not a professional singer, but I feel like a lot of people who put tracks out, who knows how they all sound when they sing live on stage? I get to see a lot of amazing live acts with amazing voices on America's Got Talent, so I see the range of what can be done and the gift that some people have. I'm not saying I have that gift by any means. I just have fun ideas.
You do have a really great voice for pop songs though. Would you ever do an album?
I mean, it's not on my list right now, but these have been fun one-offs. I could, for sure, easily put a list together of all of my favorite '80s and early '90s songs that are still roaming around in my head that I feel like could be fun to redo again, but it's not on my list. I also don't all of a sudden want to completely change my lane and go into this field of music. But I just had so much fun doing this. When you can connect all the dots, and then it actually happens, you're like, "Oh my gosh, how the heck did I just pull that off?" It just makes me excited.
If I was a celebrity like you, I would also just want to make a club banger every once in a while for fun.
Yes. I sent it to Kylie Minogue. She loved it. She's kind of like my spirit animal, too. We're very, very similar in a lot of ways. She loves life, she loves having fun, she loves to dance. I sent it to her, she's like, "Oh my gosh." I love her.
That's high praise! Your first-ever music release was a Christmas song called “Wonderland” in 2006, but I feel like you need to make a Halloween anthem, considering how iconic your parties and costumes are. Have you ever thought about that?
I've always wanted to have a TV show once a year where people can show me their designs, like a Halloween design special. Maybe that will happen someday because it kind of goes along with fashion, my creativity and things that I love doing. But to do a Halloween anthem, I have not thought of that. That's a very good idea. I love that idea.
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