Paul McCartney on making music with Kanye West: ‘You basically don’t write songs’

Macca compares Kanye's experimental methods to The Beatles during the 'Sgt. Pepper' era.

Paul McCartney has spoken about the “intriguing process” of making music with Kanye West.

The Beatles legend collaborated with the rap icon on West’s singles ‘Only One’, ‘All Day’ and ‘FourFiveSeconds’, which also featured Rihanna.

Recalling how their collaboration came about, McCartney told Tim Minchin in a Facebook live chat: “I got a phone call and my manager said, ‘Kanye West would like to work with you.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, we’ll do it.’ I was a little bit nervous at first, because I thought it could go horribly wrong. But I was intrigued to see what he was up to and how he did it.”


“And it was a very intriguing process,” McCartney continued. “You basically don’t write songs. You basically just talk and noodle a bit and you record it all on your phone. And then he goes away. And that’s basically his record. But it was great doing it because I don’t work like that.”

McCartney also compared elements of West’s process to The Beatles’ experimental methods when making ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, their classic album which recently turned 50 years old.

Read: 50 geeky facts about The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

“So I was waiting three months after we’d finished [recording],” McCartney added. “I didn’t really hear anything but ‘Hey, bro, what’s going on?’ But I’m thinking, should I say, ‘Did we write a song? Will a record come out of this?’ Anyway, this arrives and it’s a Rihanna song… I said, ‘This is great! I have to ring up and say, ‘Am I on this?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, yeah. You’re the guitar player.’ I go, ‘I don’t remember.’ And he said, ‘We sped it up.’

McCartney, who has recently been honoured in the Queen’s birthday list, then explained: “So they manipulated this kind of … although, we’re talking about ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ we loved manipulating. So I think we would have been into a lot of these tricks nowadays because we did speed things up a little bit.”

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