Damon Albarn Declined A Prince Collaboration Because He Couldn’t Smoke In The Studio

Earlier today Damon Albarn sat down with Radio X’s Gordon Smart to talk about Gorillaz’s forthcoming album The Now Now. But the most notable information revealed in that interview isn’t about the album, it’s about how Albarn is a kind of a diva. Apparently, Prince wanted to play with Albarn and he “wouldn’t go” because Prince didn’t allow smoking in his studio.

“I was having a drink and a fag. I don’t actually smoke anymore, knocked that one on the head, but if you can’t be who you are… If I’ve invited someone to my studio, they’re my guest, and there aren’t any conditions like that,” Albarn tells Smart. “It’s like, I can have a cigarette outside if I needed it. I’d be fucking excited, right? Why the fuck would I not want to fucking go mad if I’m with Prince? I’d rather not do it and not get pissed off with the whole thing. It’s just one of those ‘could have been’… I’ve got a few of those.” It sounds like he could’ve used a cigarette during this interview. Watch the clip below.

It’s possible that his diva attitude began in 2016 when he was honored as a “local king” in Mali. He previously recorded music there with a number of Malian musicians, who probably let him smoke in the studio.