Blake says working with Beyoncé was the best promotion for The Colour In Anything he’ll ever have.

James Blake’s appearance on newly launched Spotify show Secret Genius delves into his work with Beyoncé and how he turned down an opportunity to collaborate, so to speak, with Drake.

Blake reveals that when he was brought into the studio, he opted not to sing the Bey-penned lyrics provided for him on her own song and instead freestyled his own: “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.”

It seems that Blake likes to keep control over his work in all cases. Elsewhere in the interview, he talks about some beats that he had sent over to Drake, one of which ended up being samples on the original version of ‘0 to 100/The Catchup’. Blake asked to have his “contribution” removed before it went to retail: “I only sent it as a collaborative idea, not to be sampled on a record… so I got them to take it off.”

He continues: “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.

“Just because someone has an impressive amount of clout and a global platform, I don’t give a shit about that, I just want to make good music with people. And it was good music. But just ask me. And you know I’m over it. If anything, I could actually do with the track being out, I did like it, but I don’t regret the decision. For anybody who wondered why a version of that came out and then never made it to the record, that’s why.”

(Note: ‘0 to 100/The Catchup’, even the version without Blake, was never released on any Drake full-length.)

Listen to the full interview on Spotify below.

Read next: James Blake’s 10 best deep cuts and rarities



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