James Blake Talks About Working With Beyoncé And That Time He Turned Down Drake

It’s been a huge year for James Blake so far with the release of his third album The Colour In Anything, a track with Beyoncé, and a Frank Ocean co-write. Now he’s given some insight into these various projects it in a new Spotify series.

As part of a Spotify Original show called Secret Genius Blake talked about his collaboration with Beyoncé Forward, saying it begun with a brief that he “didn’t really understand”.

He was given lyrics to sing and a basic sketch of the song but Blake decided to take it in a different way.

“I got my phone out and sang some of my own lyrics that were about something else and about somebody else,” he said.

“But it fit somehow into the song and it fit into the album, and I’m just honoured that they used it.”

In the end he said that he loved the way that Beyoncé harmonised her voice with his and said that he would love to work with her again. But somebody he didn’t end up working with was Drake.

“I sent them some stuff just hoping to just do a collaboration of some kind,” he said, noting that he got an email the day 0 to 100/The Catch Up came out saying that they were going to use one of his beats.

“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.”

Nearly everything Drake releases becomes an anthem so Blake obviously turned down a sizeable pay check by saying now to it.

“I asked how much money exactly I turned down by doing that,” he said about questioning his publisher.

“I spat out my drink. But I could have made far more money if I had taken certain opportunities, or gone to the right parties. And actually, I a little bit regretted, because it is good, it sounds good on the track. I just did it as a matter of principle at the time.”

Blake will touch down in the country next week for Splendour In The Grass plus a couple of sideshows.

You can listen to the entire Secret Genius playlist below where he also talks about working with Vince Staples and Justin Vernon.

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