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James Blake criticizes "romantic" notion of the muse, saying partners deserve more credit in the artistic process

James Blake and Jameela Jamil
Photo: Paul Archuleta (Getty Images)

James Blake just inched a little closer to the real good place. During an interview with Billboard at the ACL Music Festival, the English songwriter discussed how The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, his girlfriend of four years, not only inspired his recent album Assume Form, but helped make it—she’s credited as a producer. He then retweeted the Billboard video to make this extremely clear, which has sparked an online conversation about properly crediting musical partners, especially women.


Criticizing the romanticizing notion of a partner serving solely as a muse, Blake emphasized the actual work put in by those close to an artist. “In addition, women who help their partners with their album, being a sounding board and often their only emotional support during the process, almost invariably go uncredited, while majority male producers come in and make a tiny change to a track and they’re Mr. golden balls.” (James Blake, please write a song called “Mr. golden balls.”)

He added, “Shout out to all the partners who selflessly placated a musician during a very self absorbed process like creating an album, who got the title ‘muse’ afterwards which basically amounts to being an object of affection while the musician exercises their ‘genius.’”

His Twitter thread inspired his fellow British musician Labrinth and several others to chime in.


As a real bonus, when Blake was asked whether the busy actress joins him on tour when possible, he said that she’s doing way more important stuff—like her September speech at the UN Women’s Conference.

We won’t argue with Jamil when she calls him a “proper feminist.” 


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