James Blake has released his own version of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” accompanied by a stark music video of Blake performing the cover at his piano.
Fans of both artists will know that Blake has some familiarity with the track, as he produced, arranged and played piano on Ocean’s original version of “Godspeed” for his 2016 album Blonde. After initially covering the song in a snippet on Instagram Live, Blake decided to release a full version of “Godspeed” when the snippet went viral on TikTok.
“This song has always been special to me, but I wasn’t expecting the response it’s gotten,” Blake said in a statement. “Love to everyone who willed the full recording into existence.”
The “Godspeed” cover comes on the heels of Blake’s latest single, “Are You Even Real?,” released in July. Blake has spent much of Covid-19 quarantine performing numerous covers on his social media feeds, including renditions of Radiohead’s “No Surprises,” Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over,” Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” Roberta Flack’s “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,” Joy Division’s “Atmosphere,” Stevie Wonder’s “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer,” Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” and even Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” Blake has donated proceeds from his livestreams to nonprofits such as the Loveland Foundation.
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