Gorillaz Guest Features We'd Love To See

  • Gorillaz Guest Features We'd Love To See
    POSTED Oct 16 2015


     

    After years and years of teasing, it looks like we can finally get our hopes up for a new Gorillaz album, the first since 2010’s The Fall which was recorded entirely on an iPad. Gorillaz animator Jamie Hewlett confirmed it and now Albarn has been talking about it saying, “it's really fast, and it's got quite a lot of energy."


    That little quote from Albarn basically gives us nothing in terms of what to expect on the next LP but we can be sure of one thing and that is that it will feature a quest or two (or three). Over the four records, there have been features from De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Snoop Dogg, Bobby Womack and Lou Reed which is only a small selection. We did some sniffing around, connected a few dots and did a little dreaming about who we think could potentially feature on the next Gorillaz record.

     

    Little Dragon

    The Swedish outfit featured twice on Plastic Beach and were probably the best fitting feature so bring ‘em back we reckon. Yukimi Nagano is one of the best guest vocalists doing the rounds right now. She’s added her sweet, melodic vocals to everybody from Big Boi to SBTRKT and more recently ODESZA. She does a really great job of adding to the song without completely taking over it and making herself the star. That’s exactly what a Gorillaz record needs.

     

    Lana Del Rey

    Back in 2011 it was revealed that Lana Del Rey had recorded a song with Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack. The late Womack was all over Plastic Beach but Del Rey was barely known when that was released. Del Rey and Womack collaborated for Dayglo Reflection in 2012 and it was produced by Albarn but surely there were more tracks to come out of that session that would be perfect for a Gorillaz record. Her dulcet tones are perfect for the other-wordly electronics of Gorillaz and it would be even more perfect if they recovered Womack’s vocal for the track too.

     

    Adele

    Albarn collaborated with Adele for her forthcoming studio album but he doesn’t think that any of the songs made the final cut. He also described her album as being “very middle of the road,” which is surely something that he could change. You know what would take it a little more left of the road? Use her vocals for the Gorillaz record. Gorillaz records have featured male soul singers in the past but there has never been a female voice quite as booming as Adele’s. Maybe now is time, he’ll just have to get it past Adele after calling her album “middle of the road.”

     

    Kendrick Lamar

    Albarn has always favoured the more jazz-inspired, soulful rappers from Snoop Dogg to De La Soul and Mos Def so Kendrick Lamar would be the next obvious choice. Just imagine how ridiculous Lamar would be if he added a verse to Stylo or even remixed Clint Eastwood. This year he’s featured on Taylor Swift, Dr. Dre and Jay Rock records so he’s not shy of being a featured artist. Albarn hasn’t ever said anything publicly about Lamar but maybe Snoop who featured on To Pimp A Butterfly and Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach could introduce the two?

     

    Kamasi Washington

    And if he gets Lamar on board, why doesn’t he also get the guy who played saxophone on To Pimp A Butterfly, Kamasi Washington, on board? Gorillaz records always managed to be soulful and jazz-infused while preferring synth-work over organic instrumentation so it could be interesting to experiment with some saxophone. Washington’s 2015 LP The Epic is easily one of the most boundary-pushing of the year. It was released via Warp Records - a label best known for electronic releases. While The Epic is not electronic it could easily morph into it. Imagine a sax outro at the end of On Melancholy Hill? All the feels.

     

    Erykah Badu

    Neneh Cherry, Paul Simon, De La Soul - Gorillaz records have featured their fair-share of legends but one they are yet to release a song is Erykah Badu. Badu is one of the greatest and sometimes most underappreciated soul singers in the world and perfectly suits that slightly off-kilter rhythm and groove vibe that Gorillaz records go for. She’s also able to mould her voice into any situation whether it be rapping with Janelle Monae or crooning over an experimental beat with Flying Lotus. In 2011 she said she was working on a project with Gorillaz, so where is it?

     

    Amy Winehouse

    Back in 2009 reports surfaced that Amy Winehouse was working with Albarn on material for Gorillaz. It was said to be reggae-flavoured material that didn’t suit her own work but apparently suited Gorillaz. Her label were not too happy with her focussing on other projects so she shut it down but surely Albarn has a Winehouse vocal sitting on his hard drive that is ready to be unleashed. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but we never got to hear Winehouse on an electronic-tinged track so pulling her into Gorillaz world would be pretty spectacular.

     

    Future

    Albarn is a pretty harsh critic about everybody. He doesn’t think Tay Tay is “unique” enough, he doesn’t think Drake is “consistent” enough and he basically thinks pop music's gone to shit. That’s why it was surprising to hear him heap praise on Atlanta rapper Future. He told Rolling Stone that the rapper was "really interesting, and sometimes exhilarating." No Gorillaz record has ever featured a rapper as wild and rogue as Future and it would potentially be really exciting. Future is also a really adaptable artists having got emotional with Miley Cyrus and Rihanna and then amped it up with Drake.

     

    Noel Gallagher

    As much as Albarn love a rapper or soul artist, he’s also shown himself to have a soft side for white singer/songwriter types like Mick Jones, Gruff Rhys and Mark E Smith. Fitting very easily into that description is Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher who has feuded with Albarn in the past but they seem to have put their differences behind them. Last year Albarn said working with Gallagher is “a very distinct possibility” and even though Gallagher has pretty much shut it down, he wouldn’t be the first musician to lie in order to keep things a surprise (e.g. Frank Ocean). He’d be perfect for one of the more guitar-driven Gorillaz cuts like Kids With Guns.

     

    Ibeyi

    This one is a real possibility. Albarn has worked with XL Records’ Richard Russell a number of times in the past. They worked on Bobby Womack’s The Bravest Man In The Universe together and Russell co-produced Albarn’s solo album Everyday Robots back in 2014. It’s safe to say the pair would be swapping music from time to time and the last record Russell produced was the debut album from French duo Ibeyi. Ibeyi have some of the most unique and beautiful harmonies in the game right now and can wrap their vocals around some challenging melodies. Get them to sing a hook on something really off-kilter like Plastic Beach’s Sweepstakes and our bet is they’ll tear it apart. Also, they have met Albarn before.

     

    - Words and pictures by the interns' Sam Murphy and Bianca Bosso.

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RELATED POSTS

Submitted by Site Factory admin on Fri, 16/10/2015 - 14:37


 

After years and years of teasing, it looks like we can finally get our hopes up for a new Gorillaz album, the first since 2010’s The Fall which was recorded entirely on an iPad. Gorillaz animator Jamie Hewlett confirmed it and now Albarn has been talking about it saying, “it's really fast, and it's got quite a lot of energy."


That little quote from Albarn basically gives us nothing in terms of what to expect on the next LP but we can be sure of one thing and that is that it will feature a quest or two (or three). Over the four records, there have been features from De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Snoop Dogg, Bobby Womack and Lou Reed which is only a small selection. We did some sniffing around, connected a few dots and did a little dreaming about who we think could potentially feature on the next Gorillaz record.

 

Little Dragon

The Swedish outfit featured twice on Plastic Beach and were probably the best fitting feature so bring ‘em back we reckon. Yukimi Nagano is one of the best guest vocalists doing the rounds right now. She’s added her sweet, melodic vocals to everybody from Big Boi to SBTRKT and more recently ODESZA. She does a really great job of adding to the song without completely taking over it and making herself the star. That’s exactly what a Gorillaz record needs.

 

Lana Del Rey

Back in 2011 it was revealed that Lana Del Rey had recorded a song with Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack. The late Womack was all over Plastic Beach but Del Rey was barely known when that was released. Del Rey and Womack collaborated for Dayglo Reflection in 2012 and it was produced by Albarn but surely there were more tracks to come out of that session that would be perfect for a Gorillaz record. Her dulcet tones are perfect for the other-wordly electronics of Gorillaz and it would be even more perfect if they recovered Womack’s vocal for the track too.

 

Adele

Albarn collaborated with Adele for her forthcoming studio album but he doesn’t think that any of the songs made the final cut. He also described her album as being “very middle of the road,” which is surely something that he could change. You know what would take it a little more left of the road? Use her vocals for the Gorillaz record. Gorillaz records have featured male soul singers in the past but there has never been a female voice quite as booming as Adele’s. Maybe now is time, he’ll just have to get it past Adele after calling her album “middle of the road.”

 

Kendrick Lamar

Albarn has always favoured the more jazz-inspired, soulful rappers from Snoop Dogg to De La Soul and Mos Def so Kendrick Lamar would be the next obvious choice. Just imagine how ridiculous Lamar would be if he added a verse to Stylo or even remixed Clint Eastwood. This year he’s featured on Taylor Swift, Dr. Dre and Jay Rock records so he’s not shy of being a featured artist. Albarn hasn’t ever said anything publicly about Lamar but maybe Snoop who featured on To Pimp A Butterfly and Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach could introduce the two?

 

Kamasi Washington

And if he gets Lamar on board, why doesn’t he also get the guy who played saxophone on To Pimp A Butterfly, Kamasi Washington, on board? Gorillaz records always managed to be soulful and jazz-infused while preferring synth-work over organic instrumentation so it could be interesting to experiment with some saxophone. Washington’s 2015 LP The Epic is easily one of the most boundary-pushing of the year. It was released via Warp Records - a label best known for electronic releases. While The Epic is not electronic it could easily morph into it. Imagine a sax outro at the end of On Melancholy Hill? All the feels.

 

Erykah Badu

Neneh Cherry, Paul Simon, De La Soul - Gorillaz records have featured their fair-share of legends but one they are yet to release a song is Erykah Badu. Badu is one of the greatest and sometimes most underappreciated soul singers in the world and perfectly suits that slightly off-kilter rhythm and groove vibe that Gorillaz records go for. She’s also able to mould her voice into any situation whether it be rapping with Janelle Monae or crooning over an experimental beat with Flying Lotus. In 2011 she said she was working on a project with Gorillaz, so where is it?

 

Amy Winehouse

Back in 2009 reports surfaced that Amy Winehouse was working with Albarn on material for Gorillaz. It was said to be reggae-flavoured material that didn’t suit her own work but apparently suited Gorillaz. Her label were not too happy with her focussing on other projects so she shut it down but surely Albarn has a Winehouse vocal sitting on his hard drive that is ready to be unleashed. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but we never got to hear Winehouse on an electronic-tinged track so pulling her into Gorillaz world would be pretty spectacular.

 

Future

Albarn is a pretty harsh critic about everybody. He doesn’t think Tay Tay is “unique” enough, he doesn’t think Drake is “consistent” enough and he basically thinks pop music's gone to shit. That’s why it was surprising to hear him heap praise on Atlanta rapper Future. He told Rolling Stone that the rapper was "really interesting, and sometimes exhilarating." No Gorillaz record has ever featured a rapper as wild and rogue as Future and it would potentially be really exciting. Future is also a really adaptable artists having got emotional with Miley Cyrus and Rihanna and then amped it up with Drake.

 

Noel Gallagher

As much as Albarn love a rapper or soul artist, he’s also shown himself to have a soft side for white singer/songwriter types like Mick Jones, Gruff Rhys and Mark E Smith. Fitting very easily into that description is Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher who has feuded with Albarn in the past but they seem to have put their differences behind them. Last year Albarn said working with Gallagher is “a very distinct possibility” and even though Gallagher has pretty much shut it down, he wouldn’t be the first musician to lie in order to keep things a surprise (e.g. Frank Ocean). He’d be perfect for one of the more guitar-driven Gorillaz cuts like Kids With Guns.

 

Ibeyi

This one is a real possibility. Albarn has worked with XL Records’ Richard Russell a number of times in the past. They worked on Bobby Womack’s The Bravest Man In The Universe together and Russell co-produced Albarn’s solo album Everyday Robots back in 2014. It’s safe to say the pair would be swapping music from time to time and the last record Russell produced was the debut album from French duo Ibeyi. Ibeyi have some of the most unique and beautiful harmonies in the game right now and can wrap their vocals around some challenging melodies. Get them to sing a hook on something really off-kilter like Plastic Beach’s Sweepstakes and our bet is they’ll tear it apart. Also, they have met Albarn before.

 

- Words and pictures by the interns' Sam Murphy and Bianca Bosso.

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