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Boots Talks ‘Beyonce’: Writing “Haunted”, Bey’s Vision & The Influence Of “Roach Cock”

083c7866b4c165e26a0245c92a0d82f3 Boots Talks ‘Beyonce’: Writing “Haunted”, Bey’s Vision & The Influence Of “Roach Cock”

Beyonce‘s self-titled fifth album was a revelation on my levels but one of the biggest surprises was the involvement of mystery producer Boots, who wrote LP highlights “Heaven”, “Haunted” and “Blue”. He ended up working on most of the album and clearly played a large role in creating the record’s innovative soundscape and introspective tone.

Jordy Asher (his real name) has avoided the spotlight since Beyonce dropped but opened up to Pitchfork about his involvement in the diva’s game-changing album. The reclusive producer explains that the track that would eventually become “Haunted” was Queen Bey’s introduction to his sparse, emotionally confronting music.

“It was originally called ‘I’m Onto You’, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t get it at all at first,” he says. “I was like, ‘What is she hearing in this?’ because it was just me sounding sad as fuck, singing by myself.” Bey is obviously the world’s best A&R because she knew she had struck gold. “There was something about what I had to say that resonated with her.”

And while Boots well and truly left his mark on the album (it was his idea to include the chirping birds on “Blue”), he makes it clear that Beyonce was steering the ship. She saw potential in tracks that others dismissed — the finished version of “XO” is radically different from the demo — and acted as the album’s quality controller.

He crafted “Haunted” to satisfy her vision. “She just kept saying, ‘It doesn’t feel like how I want it to feel like yet,” the producer reminisces. Her advice? “This shit has to knock harder than any rap album out there.” She even helped tweak “Jealous” by sending along a video from LA-based garage rocker Hanni El Khatib called “Roach Cock” with a note saying: “I’m inspired by how this feels.”

Were you impressed by Boots’ contribution to the album? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via Pitchfork].

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

 

 

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