UK electro soul singer-songwriter and producer James Blake has said the follow-up his 2013 album Overgrown should be ready for release in “about five months” and may just feature a collaboration with a mutual fan by the name of Kanye West.
“I have a lot of respect for [Kanye], for what he has been releasing for years,” Blake told Miami New Times, adding that he’s about “seventy percent done” with the record. “We haven’t done a great deal of work in the same room yet, but we’ve done a few things, kind of helped each other with our own music.”
“In terms of the actual collaboration for this record, it looks like we should be able to get something done,” he added. “I know that there’s a specific song I would like him to be on, and if he can do that by the time my record comes out, that would be fantastic.”
Earlier this year, Blake revealed he had been working with Kanye “sporadically” on unspecified projects, along with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and a mysterious third collaborator.
Blake has clocked up a series of notable collaborations in the past including with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Brian Eno on Overgrown and reportedly with actor, producer and rapper Idris Elba on his Nelson Mandela-inspired compilation mi Mandela.
Utilising his temporary new side gig as a BBC Radio 1 resident DJ in recent months, Blake has already premiered some new songs, such as Building It Still and 40455. He told the Miami New Times his next album should arrive in the first half of 2015. “I’m working hard and doing my best — I’m aware that people want to hear this record, so I’m not being complacent.”
“I should hope that [the new album] will be a step on, as much as the second one was to the first,” he adds. “I guess I’ve taken a focus on the songwriting again, even more closely, and I’m dabbling in some different production techniques, things I’ve developed.”