Phoenix drop hints about recording with R Kelly

Guitarist Christian Mazzalai suggests band may lay down track with R&B singer following Coachella collaboration

Jenn Five/NME
Photo: Jenn Five/NME
Phoenix have hinted that they will record with the R&B superstar R Kelly.

The unlikely collaborators first joined forces earlier this year when R Kelly performed with the band during their headline set at California's Coachella festival. Now, guitarist Christian Mazzalai has suggested his band may go into the studio and record with their newfound friend.

Speaking to Radio.com, Mazzalai explained the background to the Coachella collaboration, saying: "Before going onstage we always put on R Kelly’s music, which is very far from our music, but we love his art. So we created a mash-up between our music and his music. We sent it to him and he said yes. The funny part is he arrived late so we didn’t see him before. We met him onstage. We didn’t rehearse so there was a beautiful tension."

Later, when quizzed about the possibility of recording with R Kelly, Mazzalai said: "Yeah, maybe. Maybe soon you will know. Maybe." It is reported that the guitarist lifted up his sunglasses and winked while saying this.

Speaking to NME earlier this year, Thomas Mars of Phoenix revealed that R Kelly did not stick around for long after the Coachella gig ended, describing their time together as a "very brief moment of pure joy." He said: "He disappeared and I guess drove back. Which is a commitment. For someone to commit six days of their life for 10 minutes onstage, and what a 10 minutes they were... He’s working all the time I guess, he has something crazy in his big bus studio. You could feel it was easy for him, it was natural."

Phoenix return to the UK for a number of festival appearances this summer, including Reading And Leeds Festivals in August.

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