The Cast of Cracker IslandCrac­ker Island


Thundercat “Cracker Island”

“He was someone who works with Greg Kurstin quite a lot. Although I had met him previously a couple of times, I hadn’t actually worked with him directly. I [thought] he would hopefully get the fun in the song. He was brilliant. He did exactly what I hoped he would do, and then added all that amazing extra bass, which just took it to another level.”

Tame Impala and Bootie Brown “New Gold”

“I met Kevin [Parker of Tame Impala] in the hills behind Malibu at some beautiful little studio. He came to me with the 6/4 bass loop. It took a long time, because I don’t usually write to basslines. The bassline usually comes afterwards. The chords come first. There’s many different versions of that, but then Bootie Brown very kindly agreed to come and help me. We were in Mexico at the time, and we somehow worked out the puzzle.”

Stevie Nicks “Oil”

“Originally on that song, I imagined Julian Casablanca­s. But that didn't work out for one reason or another. And then Greg had this inspired suggestion: he was like, ‘I’m working with Stevie Nicks at the moment — why don’t I play her the tune and see if she likes it?’ She related to the lyrics, which was great, because my lyrics sometimes can be a bit inaccessib­le to some people.”

Bad Bunny “Tormenta”

“The first line of communicat­ion came through some radio interview that I did, and I said that I really rated him. We met in Jamaica. There was a really crazy storm that day. That informed the tune we did. And then he was gone again. He appeared for the magic and then he disappeare­d, and went on to be the biggest streamed artist in the world. An amazing piece of good fortune. He is magic. There’s no doubt about that. He’s got some very special thing about him, I think.”

Adelye Omotayo “Silent Running”

“He has been singing with Gorillaz for a long time. He has the most wonderful voice. I had sung that answering phrase, but I felt like it needed somebody like Ade to interpret it, and he’s got a glorious, emotional voice. It’s nice when you can just call up a mate and go, ‘Can you please come and do something?’ It didn’t take him very long, because it’s easy for him to sing that.”

Beck “Possession Island”

“I’ve known Beck for a long time. We’ve been joking over a beer about doing a Walker Brothers record together. This is the first time I’ve written something that felt appropriat­e to try that out. It was a tester for what we might do at some point. We actually did a take where we played around and pretended that we were the Walker Brothers. There's a version of it where there’s very deep vibrato on both our voices. Especially as far as the genesis of Gorillaz, I would say that Beck was one of the most important influences on the whole thing, so he’s someone I respect hugely.”

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