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Christina Aguilera's "Say Something" Collaboration With A Great Big World: How Did It Happen?

Ian Axel, A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera Lester Cohen/WireImage

Life for A Great Big World (aka, the musical duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino) is moving at warp speed.

Their collaboration with Christina Aguilera on "Say Something" has, quite simply, completely changed their careers.

Xtina first heard the song while watching So You Think You Can Dance. "And then we got a call and were in L.A. like a week later recording with her," Vaccarino said as he and Axel walked the red carpet at the 2013 American Music Awards.

Not long after that, they were performing the ballad with Xtina on The Voice. "We were touring and we canceled some shows to make it happen," Axel said. "Everything was happening so fast."

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 Chad Vaccarino, Ian Axel, A Great Big World, Taylor Swift Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

And to think it was Aguilera's wish not to be at the center of the song. "She's just connecting with the song and singing so vulnerably," Axel said. "We wanted her to take a verse on it and she's like, 'No, I want to let the song be. I want to let it breath and be open.' We were just floored by the whole thing."

Most of what we hear in the rereleased single happened "in the first few takes," Axel said.

"You have to be on your game," Vaccarino said.

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Ian Axel, Chad Vaccarino, A Great Big World ABC/Richard Harbaugh

"She's a really fast learner," Axel added. "The process was actually really fast, just going back and forth and trying different lines. She's super pro."

And then there was shooting the video for the song.

"That was like another world," Vaccarino gushed. "I don't know if you've ever been to Jurassic Park or ET at Universal Studios, but it felt like that. It literally was like walking into another world."

"We had never done a video shoot like that before," Axel said. "Our last video was one camera and at our friend's Christmas party."

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