But his reputation for emotionally heavy vibes laid over oozing electronic beats has stuck., was written after a break-up. He also now spends much of his time in Los Angeles, where he's learned to love the sunshine. My girlfriend is a very buoyant sort of character, and she makes me laugh a lot. You get these moments of connection to other musicians. It’s not very common in America, but in Europe it’s pretty common. I’ve been too truthful and said what I’m excited about, and then I was worried that it would come off as, “Hey, I’m going to have Kanye West on my album! I think interviewers started to be a little wary of me, that I was just going to be defensive. The music that you were making then, too—it has a certain sound. But, yeah, so with the music, it was kind of heavy, and I think people rightly thought, "Oh, he’ll be a heavy person." I found that a little bit annoying because my music writing was, like, me at my emotionally heaviest, because I was waiting until I felt a lot about something and then I would write and get myself into that headspace. They’re like British pioneers of comedy, and they do this radio show, well it was conducted like a radio show, called Derek and Clive. In terms of other comedy, yeah, I like a lot of British comedy. I only really spoke to him about music and fashion, to be honest. I don’t know if he’s—he was showing me all these designs he had come up with, which eventually became the Yeezy stuff. I remember thinking: Kanye, Vince Staples—these are the names that popped into my head.
Which is why you see so many egomaniacs in my job.” Another thing that helped, he adds, was “her being a little bit older than me, and having gone though the things that happen at that age a little bit earlier”.
He also enjoys an intense, collaborative friendship with West.
“Kanye and I bounced a load of ideas,” he says, although so far a completed track “just didn’t materialise”. And she was really lovely.” He appreciated that, in the modern way of album-making, any music he created for Beyoncé could end up in the hands of any number of other writers or producers.
British people take the piss out of them — going to the gym all the time, going on new diets, going to therapy…” Has he become a gym bunny?
As I waited for James Blake to come on stage at his show last week at Webster Hall, more than one person made the joke that he was backstage crying. Playing music for no reason at all, as in not to record or to fulfill a record contract—not organized fun, but a jam session or something, which I don’t do enough, and I’m starting to do more. When you’re playing music for no reason, do you think the music you play would surprise people? This is all me." I was worried that anyone could fuck me over.