Damon Albarn: Baby elephant inspired album

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 January 2014
Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn credits producer Richard Russell for his new album 'Everyday Robots' and said he was inspired by a baby elephant when writing one track

Damon Albarn used inspiration from a baby elephant for one of the tracks on his new album.

The Blur star, whose solo record 'Everyday Robots' is set for release on April 28, wrote the song 'Mr. Tembo' about an orphan elephant he met in Tanzania, Africa and producer Richard Russell insisted on listening to it while working on the album.

Damon told Rolling Stone magazine: "I started off giving Richard a lot of songs, 60 or 60-plus -- he had the editorship.

"Hence a song like 'Mr. Tembo', which I never would have considered recording, because I put that in my 'songs I write for other things', like for kid's birthdays, or in this case, it was for a baby elephant I met in a place called Mkomazi, in Tanzania.

"It was recently orphaned and walked onto this aerodrome - the people I know took it in and called it Mr. Tembo.

"I was there, and I met this little elephant, and he was very sweet. I sang it to him. It was recorded on a phone, and in a light-hearted moment, I put it on a list for Richard. He said, 'I'd really like you to try that', so I did."

But he admits the elephant wasn't a huge fan of the song and "sh*t itself" after Damon's sang to him.

He said: "It was on milk, it was white elephant baby poo, if you can imagine that. It's quite something at close vicinity."

Damon said he never would have used the unusual song if it wasn't for Richard and he also credits the head of XL Recordings for being a "fantastic editor".

He said: "[Richard] did a lot of the atmospheric stuff, so in a sense it's not entirely my record. It is my narrative, and my voice and my songs."

Damon Albarn

Renaissance man Albarn tours his first solo album Everyday Robots.

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