The Grammy Museum recently welcomed James Blake for a conversation and performance, hosted by Scott Goldman. During the interview, the versatile and much-acclaimed musician discussed a series of hot topics including his new album, Assume Form, and his collaboration with stars as diverse as Rosalia, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and more. You can watch the interview in full below and you can read on for a taste of some of the topics discussed.
On his mind set when recording Assume Form:
“I’d spent a lot of time making music for other people, so I felt a little over-stretched, though excited too as there’s a lot of positivity comes from working with other people. I needed to remind myself of what I do and make my own statement.”
Being inspired by listening to Harry Nilsson:
“There’s a kind of innocuous, childlike wonder at love in some of Harry Nilsson’s songs, but there’s also a lot of hurt in there too. His songs are very raw, like he’s at the surface and things have clearly affected him in a very deep way. I feel the same when I hear Don McLean’s music as well.”
“There are certain artist who resonate with me on a wavelength that I can’t explain. Certainly, Beyonce was in my head from when I was 15. You know, I was the boy in the class whose first record was ‘Writing’s On The Wall’. I also listened to a load of D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill, while at the same time I got into Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Joni Mitchell through my Dad. Then Kendrick [Lamar] out a lot of music during the time I was making my first and second albums, and I really analysed his lyrics. At that time, I didn’t have a TV, just a hi-fi system and listened to vinyl all the time. It’s such a pleasure to do that – and it became my recreational home life for a long time.”