Forward
by Beyoncé (featuring James Blake)

Album: Lemonade (2016)
Charted: 63

Songfacts®:

  • Having vented her anger over her husband Jay-Z's infidelity over the first half of Lemonade, Beyoncé now feels ready to move on. This short, hymn-like duet finds her singing along with James Blake. The British electro-soul singer also co-wrote and co-produced the song with the Texan songstress.
  • James Blake's self-titled debut album was released in the United Kingdom in 2011 to critical acclaim. Its follow-up, Overgrown, was even more successful, winning the Mercury Prize in 2013. Blake also co-wrote Lemonade's opening track "Pray You Catch Me."
  • James Blake told Pitchfork how the collaboration came about: "Beyoncé came to the studio, and I was sitting at the piano when I met her. She was just lovely. I came up with something to go with an idea she had; I just embellished her melody. I think the idea was to use some of her lyrics, but I didn't realize that - I misunderstood and did something entirely different from what she wanted. But it didn't matter, because she really liked it, and they ended up using [my version]."

    "Blue Ivy was there, too, which was nice. She was singing along to the song, which was a huge compliment, because kids just don't have any pretence whatsoever."
  • Speaking to BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac, James Blake discussed working with Beyoncé. "She's wonderful. As wonderful in person as I hoped that she'd be," he said. "I just sang the right thing, I don't know. I didn't know what was going to happen with it. It could have ended up falling into the ether, but somehow it didn't."

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