James Blake Explains Why He Turned Down Drake On Spotify’s New Secret Genius Radio Show

Spotify launched two new radio shows today, which one can only assume is an attempt to compete with Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio. Both shows will be co-hosted by a rotating cast of musicians. James Blake was featured on Secret Genius today, a show that basically asks artists to spill insider info on popular releases. During the radio segment, Blake talked about working with Beyoncé on Lemonade and discussed why he turned down a Drake song, as Vulture points out. Apparently Blake sent ideas for a song along to Drake’s people hoping to collaborate, and got a phone call right before “0 To 100/The Catch Up” dropped asserting that those ideas were sampled in the new track. Blake didn’t approve it on principle, and they cut his contribution. Here’s Pitchfork’s transcript of the interview:

I sent them some stuff just hoping to just do a collaboration of some kind. And I got an email the day before“0 to 100/The Catch Up” came out. And it just said, hey we’re using this beat you made from like four years ago. I only sent it as a collaborative idea, not to be sampled on a record. Hey we’re using this. Just quickly send me your approval so we can just put it out. I was like no, so I got them to take it off.

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. But I could have made far more money if I had taken certain opportunities, or gone to the right parties. And actually, I a little bit regretted, because it is good, it sounds good on the track. I just did it as a matter of principle at the time. I really liked it. And I think had they come to me beforehand and said we really want to use this what do you think I probably would have said yes.

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.

Listen to the show in its entirety below.