Jamie XX says working with the hip hop stars is difficult.
Jamie XX, the superstar producer who describes himself as being a wholly introverted child, has spoken of his sharp rise to fame as he readies his second solo album, In Colour. Real name Jamie Smith, the 26-year-old makes up The xx with Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft though he's since become a world renown producer working with some of the world's biggest artists including Drake and Alicia Keys.
Jamie Smith [R] is also part of acclaimed band The xx
"It's hard, really," he told the Guardian. "Hip-hop, in particular, is really difficult because you have to smoke a lot of weed while you're doing it. I mean, I'm happy to say 'no' but, at the same time, you feel like a nerd. Weed doesn't help me at all: it just makes me fall asleep or want to be sick."
"It's like being a producer for hire. You meet a lot of people, consider everybody's opinion. I've learned a lot." A pause. What have you learned? "Mostly that I like working on my own. But it's good to push myself."
Aside from producing and DJing career, Smith is also preparing the third album from the xx and he's scoring a ballet for the Manchester International Festival, based on Jonathan Safran Foer's experimental book Tree of Codes.
He's also set to perform some of In Colour live on television - though the prospect isn't too appealing.
"I'm dreading it," he says. "I have to be in front, for one thing, and then I have to orchestrate a whole band of people I don't know - as well as Ollie and Romy, if they're up for it - which I've never done. Again, it's a good thing to do, because it'll be a learning experience."