Björk Discusses Scrapped Wu-Tang Collaboration

Björk’s new album, Utopia, is out today. In a new interview with FACT, she talked about some rumored recording sessions that happened with the Wu-Tang Clan back around the time Homogenic was released 20 years ago. “We wrote a couple of songs together. And I just felt… sometimes when you do things and you don’t plan them it’s magic. And I really think what we made was magic,” she said. “But I think because it wasn’t part of the whole Homogenic thing and it wasn’t part of what Wu-Tang were doing at the time, it was better as an idea, if that makes any sense?” Here’s the relevant portion from the interview:

I wanted these kinda Icelandic, volcanic beats, and I was kind of struggling with it. I had done beats on my albums, but it takes me a long time to make them. And sometimes I get impatient and I want other people to do it, so I sit there and describe to them what I want them to do. So, I was in Spain, and Wu-Tang Clan were supposed to come to Spain. RZA was supposed to come. But then months passed. Then the album got finished and I delivered it. Then RZA was like, “I’m ready! Shall I come to Spain?”

Instead, I went to New York. We wrote a couple of songs together. And I just felt… sometimes when you do things and you don’t plan them it’s magic. And I really think what we made was magic. But I think because it wasn’t part of the whole Homogenic thing and it wasn’t part of what Wu-Tang were doing at the time, it was better as an idea, if that makes any sense?

We met a few times though – my favourite moment was when I did an in-store at Tower Records. I’d never done anything like that before. I turned up – and seven of the Wu-Tang Clan turned up to, like, protect me! I was signing books for an hour, and they sent some of their team, standing there with me. That was one of my all-time favourite moments: I had been on my own, so when they turned up I felt very protected. It was magic. In my eyes, they’re punk. We are definitely [similar] – we do things in, like, a ritual way. The good thing was that I got to hang out with them. I got to see Wu-Tang’s version of New York. Which was pretty cool. A very specific angle on that city that I feel very blessed to have experienced.

Björk also mentions that she was supposed to work with Jay-Z at some point — for “a section for a song” — but that it “just didn’t happen in the end.” You can read the full interview here.