James Blake recently opened up about working with Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and Beyoncé and the inspiration he drew from all of his collaborators for his new album, The Colour in Anything. In a new interview with Pitchfork, Blake revealed it was actually working with Ocean that inspired him to spend time with other engineers for his own album. “[He] was a huge inspiration for this record: his process, the way he writes, the strength of what he does, who he is. We became very good friends,” Blake said.
Blake has been helping Ocean write his long-awaited new album as well. Fortunately, he revealed that it will absolutely be worth the wait once it’s done noting, “He is onto something, he really is.”
Blake also disclosed what exactly happened with that promised Kanye West feature and why he didn’t end up on the album. “Something was supposed to happen; I don’t really know how to describe how that didn’t work out. I wanted Kanye to be on the song ‘Timeless,’ but the verse didn’t materialize. I think a huge swath of things happened in his life, and I just stayed out of it. Eventually, the mood of the album changed, and in the end I don’t think it would have fit. But I didn’t say I was working with Kanye just so people would get interested—I really wanted him to be on it.”
Most recently, Blake worked with Beyoncé on her surprise album, LEMONADE. He described the day that Beyoncé came to the studio and described to him what she wanted. “I misunderstood and did something entirely different from what she wanted. But it didn’t matter, because she really liked it, and they ended up using [my version].” Even better, it turns out Blue Ivy was also in the studio and was dancing along to their track. “[It] was a huge compliment,” he said. “Because kids just don’t have any pretense whatsoever.” You can read the full interview here and check out his new album, The Colour in Anything, out now.