Naughty Boy used to sit outside Sir Elton John's shows in his car because he couldn't afford a ticket.
The producer and songwriter - who was behind Emeli Sande's debut album, 'Our Version of Events' - used to listen to the 'Rocket Man' singer's performances at his local football club to get songwriting tips.
He told The Sun newspaper: "No one in Watford [near central London] knew of anyone famous other than Elton John, because he came out of Watford.
"As he was chairman of the football club, sometimes he'd come to the stadium to do a show. I'd park my car outside the stadium as it was too expensive to go in. I'd sit and listen to it for free."
However, once Naughty Boy - real name Shahid Khan - did hit the big time, he soon caught the classic songwriter's attention.
He explained: "He wrote a letter to Emeli and me telling us that 'Clown', a song I wrote, was a classic and that it'll stand the test of time. It's surreal."
Since producing Emeli, the 'La La La' hitmaker has been able to work with a host of other stars, including Rihanna, Lily Allen, Alesha Dixon and Professor Green, but he doesn't want to let his success go to his head, and prefers to stay in the background.
He added: "I kind of want to be like [artist] Banksy. People just crave fame now and I find that dangerous, especially without any success or anything to be famous for.
"The kids out there aspire to that and then forget that middle bit where you actually have to work for it and have a reason to be famous."
Naughty Boy's debut album, 'Hotel Cabana', is out now.