James Blake is back with a new solo single after recently featuring on Mustafa’s Smoke Dawg tribute, “Come Back.” Titled “Are You Even Real?,” Blake’s new song is still a collaborative affair, as the English musician worked with songwriters Starrah and Ali Tamposi to pen the piece.
Starrah and Tamposi are no strangers to making hit records, having worked on chart-toppers such as Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” Maroon 5 and Cardi B’s “Girls Like You,” and Cabello and Shawn Mendes’ “Señorita,” just to name a few. Coinciding with today’s “Are You Even Real?” premiere, Blake spoke with Zane Lowe on Apple Music to discuss working with such talented individuals.
“Well, a while ago, me and Starrah got together and we were doing some sessions,” he began. “I was just playing her music, just ambient piano loops and beats and things that I had made. A lot of it, she seemed to engage with and start writing to, which is amazing because I’m a big fan of her. We just kind of hit it off and made a lot of stuff. This was one of the songs that we made. This is one of the songs that we started together. I sort of played her a piano motif and she immediately just started writing and came out with one of the main refrains melodically.”
“Then I just did a little bit of tweaking to some of the lyrics just to sort of personalize the subjects. Then I kind of went from there and I just sort of produced it over the course of a couple of months,” he continued. “We went to New York, there’s a big stint of production there, and a lot in the studio I’m sat in right now in my house. Then Ali Tamposi helped write parts of the song too. There was quite a bit of collaboration on this song writing-wise, which was just really great for me. I love those two.”
The new track arrives as Blake has been sharing various covers during TV performances and livestreams. You can listen to “Are You Even Real?” below and then see Blake working on the song in Apple’s new commercial underneath.