Paul McCartney compares working with Kanye West and John Lennon

Paul McCartney compares working with Kanye West and John Lennon

Paul McCartney and Kanye West had ‘secret recording sessions’ and agreed not to tell anyone if it didn’t work out… as Beatles star admits it was more ‘cerebral’ working with rapper than John Lennon

By Andrew Bullock For Mailonline

Published: 01:37, 26 September 2019 | Updated: 01:46, 26 September 2019

Gary Barlow has interviewed Sir Paul McCartney for BBC Radio 2’s four-day celebration of The Beatles.

And during the chat, the 77-year-old reflected on his collaboration with Kanye West four years ago.

‘What happened was I got word that Kanye wanted to work with me. So I just thought, “Well, you know, I love his stuff so, here goes nothing”‘, he told the Take That singer.

Retrospective: Gary Barlow has interviewed Sir Paul McCartney for BBC Radio 2’s four-day celebration of The Beatles

Collab: Paul said he and Kanye West [R] had ‘secret recording sessions’ and agreed not to tell anyone if it didn’t work out… and admitted that it was more ‘cerebral’ working with the rapper than John Lennon [L, pictured in 1963]

‘So we did some secret sessions and we both said if it doesn’t work out we just won’t tell anyone!’

He went on to compare it to when he would write with his former Beatles star John Lennon.

He said: ‘I worked with him and it was a very interesting way of working. It wasn’t two guitars like me and John used to be, this was more cerebral.

‘It was just talking and thinking and me plonking away a little bit. And you record everything and he takes it away and kind of does stuff with it.’ 

Fab Four: The Beatles consisted of [L-R] Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison [pictured in 1963]

Paul recalled: ‘What happened was I got word that Kanye wanted to work with me. So I just thought, “Well, you know, I love his stuff so, here goes nothing”‘

The track Paul and Kanye penned together was called FourFiveSeconds, and also featured Rihanna.

But the singer/songwriter admitted that he had no idea the pop starlet would be involved in the project until after she had recorded vocals for it.

‘Just a month or so later, he sent back this record and it was Rihanna singing and so I had to ring up and sort of say “Am I on this? Did I have anything to do with it?”‘ I couldn’t tell!

‘He said, “Yeah, what it is is, that’s you on guitar, so it’s all the chords and the musical idea’s yours, but we’ve sped it up to suit Rihanna’s key, musical key, so I did it in A so now it was up in D”.

Frank talk: During the chat, the 77-year-old reflected on his collaboration with Kanye four years ago

Way back when: John Lennon and Paul McCartney are pictured in 1965 rehearsing for a Christmas music special

‘I said “Oh I’ve co-written this thing?”. He said “Yeah”. So it was a great experience and I thought was a really good record, because she’s fantastic. And I thought the production was great because it was very minimal.

‘A year later, I’m reading an article about this group I kinda like called The Dirty Projectors and there’s a writer in there who I like his stuff and in the middle of the article it says his claim to fame is he wrote the middle eight to FourFiveSeconds.

‘I go, what? So Kanye sort of farms it out.’

Gary Barlow Meets Sir Paul McCartney sees the Take That star begin his chat with the earliest days of the Beatles.

In conversation with: Gary Barlow Meets Sir Paul McCartney sees the Take That star begin his chat with the earliest days of the Beatles

Paul reveals that he and John only began writing songs because other bands at The Cavern were doing the same covers as they were.

He discusses how close the relationship between himself and John was and how they brought different, complimentary elements to their song-writing. He also talks about how they prided themselves that no two Beatles songs were ever the same.

Gary also explores where Paul’s inspiration comes from, how he works and how he has managed a successful career over six decades.

Gary Barlow Meets Paul McCartney airs on Friday, 7-8PM on BBC Radio 2.   

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