James Blake opens up about turning down Drake collaboration and Beyoncé lyrics

All was revealed on Spotify’s new Secret Genius show

James Blake has appeared on Spotify’s new Secret Genius show, talking about how he turned down lyrics Beyoncé had penned for the tracks which he featured on her album, ‘Lemonade’, as well as asking for a sample of his work to be removed from Drake track ‘0 to 100/The Catchup’. You can listen to the full interview below.

Speaking about working in the studio with Beyoncé, Blake said: “I’ve never sung anybody else’s lyrics, so I just assumed that’s not I was going to be doing. So I got my phone out and sang some of my own lyrics that were about something else and about somebody else. But it fit somehow into the song and it fit into the album, and I’m just honored that they used it.”

He went on to add that his request to remove a sample of some beats, which he had sent over to Drake, from the track, ‘0 to 100/The Catchup’, was the reason it never appeared on Drizzy’s album.

“I only sent it as a collaborative idea, not to be sampled on a record, so I got them to take it off,” he said. “I remember having a conversation with my publisher later, and saying: ‘What did you think of that decision?’ Because you know that was a massive album. I asked how much money exactly I turned down by doing that. I spat out my drink.”

It’s been a big year for Blake following the release of his ‘The Colour In Anything’ album in May. He was joined on stage by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon during his headline slot on Glastonbury’s West Holts stage last month (June), where he went up against Adele on the Pyramid Stage in his first Glastonbury headline slot, but that didn’t stop a sizeable crowd gathering for the set.

That was after his 1-800 Dinosaur collective released their first album in July, featuring 10 tracks with former Roll Deep MC Trim, as well as production duties from Happa, Bullion, Boothroyd, Klaus and Blake’s manager Dan Foat.