R Kelly compares Phoenix to The Beatles

The US R&B singer says French band 'have a gift'

R Kelly has compared Phoenix to The Beatles in a new interview discussing their recent collaborations.

The US R&B singer made an unlikely guest appearance with the French band at this year’s Coachella Festival in California, performing his song ‘Ignition (Remix)’ over the top of Phoenix’s ‘1901’. The new friends most recently worked together on a remix of ‘Trying To Be Cool’, a song from the band’s last album ‘Bankrupt’.

Speaking to Pitchfork about his feelings for Phoenix, R Kelly admitted that he did not know much about the band prior to being invited to perform with them, but he is now a huge fan. “I’m a lover of all sorts of music, which makes me a chameleon when it comes to performing anything, whether it’s opera or whatever. As long as it’s good and it feels good, I’m going to cling to it. But what shocked m e was the fact that they wanted me on their record. I was honoured!” he says.

The singer then adds: “There’s the Michael Jacksons and the Ronald Isleys and all the other people that I’ve collaborated with. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve worked with a lot of talent out there. But when you have a gift, it’s different than just having talent. [Phoenix] are gifted – they’ve got that Beatles thing going on. You can’t explain it.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the Coachella performance, R Kelly added: “It was like going to Walt Disney World, but I was one of the characters rather than just being one of the people walking around the park trying to get on the rides. I felt like I owned the place playing with those guys. Their energy level was ridiculously high. I felt like I finally met other aliens.”

Phoenix return to the UK to play Reading and Leeds Festivals this weekend (August 23-25). Scroll down to hear the R Kelly remix of Phoenix’s ‘Trying To Be Cool’.