James Blake can’t believe it’s taken us 11 years to have this conversation. The 32-year-old singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic producer and DJ began his career at 21, spinning records at club nights in south London and quickly shooting to superstardom – today he can count a Mercury and a Grammy award under his belt. But this is his first-ever NME cover story.
“It’s odd, because I like NME,” he reassures us. We like him too – and luckily we’ve caught him at a perfect juncture to reflect on a life-changing decade and celebrate his new EP ‘Before’. A taut selection of loved-up bangers, the four-track record brings Blake to something of a full circle, all while he looks confidently ahead into a new chapter.
NME is talking to Blake over Zoom, sitting in his home recording studio in Los Angeles. His hair is bleach blonde and he’s wearing a comfortable smile. “I feel like I’ve started the engines again in the last six months,” he says. “Putting myself out there more has felt really good, and natural.”
Read the full cover feature on NME