Paul McCartney sat down for a comprehensive interview with Billboard, discussing everything from the new stage musical he’s working on to his efforts to reclaim the rights to his Beatles songs.
He also opened up about working with Kanye West on their 2014 single “Only One”, revealing what it was like to write with the rapper.
“I had no idea what was going to happen,” admitted Sir Paul. “I didn’t want it to be at his house or my house, because it could be awkward if one of us wanted to leave. So we met on neutral ground — a cottage at the Beverly Hills Hotel.”
When the songwriting process began, McCartney said he was surprised to see West intently focused on his iPad — looking at photos of wife Kim Kardashian.
“I showed up with a guitar and my roadie, and we had a keyboard and a bass,” he said. “I was sitting around, strumming the guitar — that’s normally how I start a song — and Kanye was looking at his iPad, basically scrolling through images of Kim.”
McCartney then revealed the touching inspiration for the song, which sparked from their discussion about an iconic Beatles song.
“At one point I told him how ‘Let It Be’ came from a dream about my mother, who had died years before, where she said, ‘Don’t worry, just let it be,’” McCartney recalled.
“He said, ‘I’m going to write a song about my mother,’ so I sat down at this little Wurlitzer keyboard and started playing some chords, and he started singing. I thought, ‘Oh, are we going to finish this?’ but that was that. And it became ‘Only One.’”