James Blake has spoken out about the role a musician's romantic partner can play in the creation of new music. The conversation was sparked by a video interview teased online with a mention of how Blake's girlfriend, Good Place star Jameela Jamil, "inspired" his 2019 album Assume Form.
Blake politely pushed back on that term in a follow-up tweet, arguing that the emotional support provided during the creative process is comparable to anything that happens in the studio. He went on to shout out anyone "who selflessly placated a musician during a very self absorbed process like creating an album."
Not just inspired it - she actually worked on it. I even said it in the interview, but people focus on ‘inspired’ because the idea of the ‘muse’ is so romantic and pervasive. https://t.co/PUhhhDKY1M— James Blake (@jamesblake) October 7, 2019
In addition, women who help their partners with their album, being a sounding board and often their only emotional support during the process, almost invariably go uncredited, while majority male producers come in and make a tiny change to a track and they’re Mr. golden balls.— James Blake (@jamesblake) October 7, 2019
Shout out to all the partners who selflessly placated a musician during a very self absorbed process like creating an album, who got the title ‘muse’ afterwards which basically amounts to being an object of affection while the musician exercises their ‘genius’.— James Blake (@jamesblake) October 7, 2019
I love this man a lot. He’s a proper feminist. https://t.co/Hhgg0GQFwx— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 7, 2019
Blake dropped Assume Form in January. The album features contributions from artists including Rosalia, Travis Scott, and Andre 3000. You can read him discussing more about the creation of the album here.