White features on ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ on ‘Lemonade’, marking the first time the pair have worked together. Both are founders of Tidal, but White denied that the streaming service had anything to do with their collaboration.
Speaking on NPR’s show All Things Considered, White said: “I just talked to Beyonce and she said ‘I want to be in a band with you.’ I said ‘Really? Well, I’d love to do something.”
White added that he’d been a longtime admirer of Beyonce’s voice, comparing it to “The days of Betty Davis or Aretha Franklin.”
Explaining how ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ developed, White said: “She took the sketch of a lyrical outline and turned it into the most bodacious, vicious, incredible song. I don’t even know what you’d classify it as: soul, rock & roll, whatever. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ is incredibly intense. I’m so amazed at what she did with it.”
This weekend also saw White play live for the first time since he announced in 2015 that he was taking a break from touring “for some time”. White released new compilation ‘Acoustic Recordings’ on Friday (September 9) and performed on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.
White played a medley of two songs by The White Stripes for Fallon, ‘You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket’ from ‘Elephant’ and the duo’s 2006 Coca-Cola commercial song ‘Love Is The Truth’, which hadn’t officially been released until ‘Acoustic Recordings’.
White appeared close to tears during his performance, but lightened up to mock Fallon’s guitar during their interview. When Fallon said that he plays a Fender Newport guitar in his show’s musical sketches, White responds it’s “a beginner’s guitar for children”.
White will play on BBC2’s Later Live on Tuesday and Later With Jools Holland on Friday for the first show in the new series, alongside Kings Of Leon, M83, Banks, Sting and Jimmy Page.