James Blake loves New York. No, really. Beyond the cliche, the singer-songwriter says, “It’s very quickly becoming my favorite place.” It makes sense, then, that he’s performing here again after playing NYC just two months ago.
You’re playing so many different festivals this summer. And I first saw you at the SXSW festival in Texas. Do you ever get to check out any of the other acts?
There are some people I’m really excited to see. I was fascinated by Odd Future at SXSW. To me, it looked like that festival kind of broke them. They did really well to show people what they can do. I saw them twice. The second time it took me a while to get in. It was like ridiculous hype, to the point that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.
Some may argue that the hype surrounding you comes close.
I just think it’s a different kind of hype. It’s gone at different speeds and I think they’re burning at a different temperature.
It has been interesting to watch the online thermometer, so to speak. There was the hype and then there was the backlash …
I loved the backlash. It was really cool.
Oh yeah? Why?
Because once the backlash happened, there was a backlash against the backlash, and it was really interesting to see. To be honest though, I’m not really part of it. I think that’s what I’ve liked about it.
Are you saying you don’t have a Google Alert with your name?
[Laughs] I don’t think anyone can say they’ve never done that.
When I saw you play live I was blown away by how deep your bass sound is. When did you first realize its power?
In London, in several clubs that I went to that were just playing dubstep. ... It harnessed that sort of sub-bass pressure and just made it a bit more snappy, I think.
How different is what you’re working on now?
I think it’s getting more outward. I’ve come quite a long way, personally and musically in the last year. I’ve had a lot of new experiences, been to a lot of new places, met a lot of new people and listened to a lot of new music. That’s what touring does. I think my music has kind of developed. I think it’s better? I don’t know.