Stephen Sanchez Says Elton John ‘Randomly’ Interrupted Phone Call: ‘Sorry Mom, Elton Was Calling’ (Exclusive)

If Sir Elton John is on the line, drop what you’re doing.

That’s exactly what Stephen Sanchez did when the “Rocket Man” singer bleated one day in the middle of his now-regular phone call with his mom, telling PEOPLE at the 2023 Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival that ” there’s so much going on.”

Following his high-energy set at the two-day oceanfront event held in Asbury Park, New Jersey over the weekend, the “Until I Found You” singer recalled his spontaneous interaction with the acclaimed English musician while explaining how their newfound friendship came to be.

“I happened to be at Walgreens,” begins Sanchez, who recounts the story to PEOPLE exclusively from backstage on the festival grounds Sunday night. “Yeah, I talked to my mom and I got a phone call.”

Sheryl Crow gets emotional as she soaks up the sun at sea. Hear.Now music festival: ‘Nature saved my life’

Stephen Sanchez performs on Sea.Hear.Now in September 2023.

Brittany NO FOMO for Sea Hear Now

“I thought, ‘Mom, I have to go. Elton and I have to jump on the phone,'” Sanchez recalled. – I talked to him for three minutes and then I called my mom again. She adds casually: “I thought, ‘Sorry mum. Elton called’.”

While it might sometimes be hard to predict when the EGOT winner might give Sanchez a ring, it’s an occurrence he’s become accustomed to since they first met in 2022. Even the breakout star’s mom knows how to do it.

“She was like, ‘Oh, yeah. No, that’s fine,'” Sanchez recalls her mother’s first thoughts when John ended their call. “I mean, she’s heard me do it so much. It’s very cool,” he adds.

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Aerial drone

Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival 2023.

Ismael Quintanilla III for Sea Hear Now

As for their friendship, Sanchez — who is about to release his debut album An angel’s face Sept. 22 — tells PEOPLE it all started after the 2021 release of “Until I Found You,” Sanchez’s hit song that went viral on TikTok and has since racked up more than a billion views on the app.

Sanchez said John “loved the song” and then invited him to be a guest on his Rocket clock podcast. They spoke on the phone — in what Sanchez described as an “incredibly surreal moment” — and the young singer was featured on the music icon’s October 2022 show.

However, it wasn’t until Smokey Robinson and Barry Gordy at a MusiCares benefit in Los Angeles in February that they “finally got to meet each other in person,” Sanchez noted. “We met in person, sat down, had dinner together, watched The Temptations and everything,” he says.

The day after the MusiCares event, Sanchez said John introduced him and his band “in front of everyone” at a Universal Music Group artist showcase. After their performance, Sanchez received an incredible invitation.

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Stephen Sanchez at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.

Stephen Sanchez at the 2023 MTV VMAs on September 12, 2023.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

“We also played afterwards, [John] it was like, ‘Man, that was dynamite. I’m headlining this summer festival called Glastonbury and I’d like you to come out and sing.’ I thought, ‘Oh my God,'” Sanchez recalls, still in disbelief.

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“We talked on the phone a few times before that and he was going to get me to sing, ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues,'” Sanchez explains — though he notes, “And then he changed his mind a few months later.”

“[John] it was like, ‘Actually, I’d rather you sing your song because this is not only a huge moment in my career, but in your career and I want to make this moment huge for you,'” Sanchez recalls.

The couple got engaged as Elton John and Brandon Flowers sang a duet of ‘Tiny Dancer’ at Glastonbury Festival 2023.

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Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival 2023.

Ismael Quintanilla III for Sea Hear Now 2023

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival, a two-day celebration of live music, art and surf culture produced by acclaimed rock photographer Danny Clinch. This year’s headliners were The Killers and Foo Fighters, with other acts including The Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow, Weezer and more.

“It went so fast,” Clinch, 59, tells PEOPLE exclusively of her 2018-launched show that has had annual shows since then, excluding 2020 in light of the pandemic. “Everybody loves this festival because Asbury Park is a great place to be in the fall,” he said, referring to the “amazing” surf and weather in New Jersey in September.

Clinch went on to share his excitement about the artists and bands that will be performing. “What’s exciting to me is seeing younger people wanting to tell their parents what they’re signing off on,” he said, citing Minneapolis guitarist Cory Wong as an example.

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“And then you have older people who want to share the Beach Boys with their kids or Sheryl Crow,” Clinch added. “It’s really another amazing and diverse lineup.”

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Source: HIS Education

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