Foals’ Yannis defends Kanye West: ‘I like his presence in the world as much as the music’

Frontman praises 'provocateur' and risk-taking rapper

Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis has spoken in defence of Kanye West, calling the rapper a “provocateur” and describing him as “one of the few people out there actually taking risks”.

West has recently made headlines by insulting Taylor Swift on a new track, defending Bill Cosby and arguing with Pink Floyd and Lou Reed producer Bob Ezrin on Twitter.

Philippakis spoke to NME at last night’s NME Awards, saying: “I like Kanye. From what I’ve heard of [West’s new album, ‘The Life Of Pablo’], I really like it. I like Kanye’s presence in the world as much as any of the music.”

The singer reasoned: “I think things have got so stale, so boring and polished, so careerist and pastiche that he’s one of the few people out there actually taking risks and making big, bold decisions. Stuff has just gotten boring in music and I think that anyone who is the anthesis of that should be applauded.”

“Whether he is a provocateur or not, I think there should be more of that. Stuff just needs to get heated up a bit,” Yannis added.

Philippakis previously spoke of his admiration for West, saying last year: “I don’t think he’s the greatest living rock star, but I don’t know who is, so maybe he could be. He’s definitely a damn sight more exciting than a lot of people.”