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James Blake talks Beyonce collaboration, and Drake non-collaboration

By | Published on Thursday 14 July 2016

James Blake

James Blake has been a chit chatting about collaborating with Beyonce, and not with Drake. On the former, he reveals that he turned down lyrics Beyonce herself had written for the ‘Lemonade’ track on which he appears, ‘Forward’, preferring to warble his own words.

“I’ve never sung anybody else’s lyrics”, says Blake, “so I just assumed that’s not what I would be doing”. Presented with suggested lyrics from Beyonce’s people, he said, “I got my phone out and sang some of my own lyrics, that were about something else, and about somebody else. But it somehow fit into the song and it fit into the album. I’m just honoured that they used it”.

On not collaborating with Drake, Blake discussed how he once asked that a beat he had created be removed from the rapper’s 2014 track ‘0 to 100 / The Catch Up’. “I sent them some stuff just hoping to just do a collaboration of some kind”, says Blake.

“And I got an email the day before ‘0 to 100/The Catch Up’ came out. And it just said, ‘hey we’re using this beat you made from like four years ago’. I only sent it as a collaborative idea, not to be sampled on a record. ‘Hey we’re using this. Just quickly send me your approval so we can just put it out’. I was like ‘no’, so I got them to take it off”.

The forced beat removal is seemingly why Drake didn’t include that track on his album. “I remember having a conversation with my publisher later”, Blake continues, “and saying: ‘what did you think of that decision?’ Because, you know, that was a massive album. I asked how much money exactly I turned down by doing that. I spat out my drink”.

But where was Blake chit chatting all this stuff? Well, on Spotify, that’s where. It just launched two new original content initiatives, with ‘AM/PM’ seeing pop types discussing their favourite morning and night music, and ‘Secret Genius’ having artists, like Blake, talking about stuff and choosing some tunes.