James Blake kicked off the year by covering Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” saying, “If people like it, I’ll do more.” Nobody could have predicted just how busy he’d be with covers following that announcement given the current and unprecedented coronavirus quarantines. The GRAMMY Award-winning musician is taking time out of his period in isolation to uplift with a continuous stream of his own renditions on classic songs. Last night he joined The Late Late Show with James Corden to answer some questions about his favorite tracks and premiere his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.”
The cover of the 1971 classic comes right after Blake premiered his latest single “You’re Too Precious”. James has also taken to Instagram Live to cover Radiohead, Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Joy Division. Over the weekend he was taking more requests and eventually landed on Stevie Wonder‘s “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer.”
“I’m trying to balance [the covers] in terms of genre as well — I don’t want to cover just all of one kind of thing,” Blake told Corden. “I Just did a Stevie cover and I’ve never covered him before. And I was so nervous to do it because that is the one person that you do not mess with. That would feel terrible.” It’s safe to say that the rendition garnered universal praise.
Later in the interview, James also revealed that he’s considering putting all of these covers together for a stand-alone project. While he wanted to also play his new hit “You’re Too Precious,” the artist laughed and revealed that he thought the track sounded “miserable” without drums. Watch the full performance above and stay tuned for more original takes on classic songs from James Blake in the future.
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