Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien On Meeting Kanye West: “He Wasn’t Interested”

Written by Tom Williams on 29th June, 2016

Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien On Meeting Kanye West: “He Wasn’t Interested”

Radiohead‘s Ed O’Brien has revealed that he was once set up on an evening date with Kanye West, but the meeting didn’t go very well because Yeezy just “wasn’t interested” in hanging out with the English guitarist.

In part two of an interview with Dave Okumu from the band The Invisible, O’Brien discusses musicians’ relationships with faith, and how artists sometimes thank God before thanking anyone else when they accept awards or praise. It’s during this discussion that O’Brien remembers the time he met West.

“I’m gonna name-drop here,” O’Brien says. “I had an evening with Kanye West, about four years ago, in Rio [de Janeiro] in Carnival.

“So, he wasn’t really interested in me at all, not at all. I sat there for like three hours… and I tried everything… I said, ‘What are you writing with?’ and stuff like that, and he goes, ‘[mumbles incoherently]’

“He’s not interested. His wife’s even less interested in me and my wife. It’s just a mutual friend put us together for an evening.”

O’Brien says he and Kanye finally clicked a little bit once they started talking about God. Here’s what he tells Okumu:

“I said to [Kanye], ‘If you asked pretty much any British musician whether they believed in God, I’d tell you that 99 per cent of them would say, ‘Don’t be stupid, of course not.’’ And it blew his mind. He was like, ‘You cannot be serious.’ He was John McEnroe for a moment.”

In the rest of his interview with Okumu, O’Brien tells the story of an “extraordinary spiritual experience” he once had, and discusses why musicians like Prince, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin could be “conduits” for a higher power. The pair also tackle topics like writer’s block, jazz music and Radiohead’s current European tour.

Listen to O’Brien’s full interview with Dave Okumu here, or download it on iTunes — the Kanye story begins at around the 11:50 mark. Or, if you’re interested in what a Kanye West and Radiohead collaboration might sound like, check out DJ Earworm’s A+ Reckoner Lockdown mashup, below.

Listen: Reckoner Lockdown (Kanye West vs. Radiohead) – DJ Earworm


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