On Bringing His A-Game When Working With "Big-Namers"
"Once, when I was working with Mary J. Blige, she kept singing the wrong lyrics and I was just looking around like, 'Does anyone else hear that she sang this word twice?' I hit the talk button, and I’m like, 'Uh, Mary you know that one line, you're singing it wrong.' She’s like, 'Which line is it again?' I showed her and she’s like, 'All I can really do is sing what’s on the paper! You did write the lyrics on the paper right? You did write this song right? I’m in in the booth, all I can do is sing what’s on the paper. So next time how about you write what you want me to sing?' I wrote [the lyrics] wrong because I was typing. I was nervous because it’s Mary J. Blige! She sounded really good and she came out and it was all jokes. We had wine and it was fun. I’m like, 'What the fuck? I’m over here drinking wine in the studio with Mary J. Blige.'
I feel like I have no choice but to be great because I get to cheat. I get to see what everybody else doesn’t get to see.
"Not to sound crazy but I was just with Alicia Keys. We wrote at the piano the whole time, and it wasn’t like she put on a beat. I feel like I have no choice but to be great because I get to cheat. I get to see what everybody else doesn’t get to see. We were just there at the piano and we carved the songs from scratch, she’s sitting there spending 30 to 40 minutes trying to figure out the exact perfect chord for a certain song. Usually the chord is already there and I just write the lyrics but to be there and she’s adjusting the chord to the lyrics that I’m singing, it’s just like still astonishing because I grew up listening to these to people."