It’s difficult to imagine that anything or anyone has the ability to really leave Kanye West in awe, but apparently Radiohead member Ed O’Brien figured out the key to it. O’Brien recently made an appearance on Ninja Tune’s podcast, as Pitchfork points out, and spoke further about his unique encounter with Kanye.
During the podcast, O’Brien revealed that there was a time that he had the opportunity to sit and talk with Kanye a few years ago in Brazil, but that he was having a hard time trying to spark Kanye’s interest.
After many attempts to start a conversation about work and music, O’Brien just decided to open up a discussion about God instead, which happened to catch Kanye’s full attention. O’Brien mentions that he not only figured out how to finally get Kanye’s attention but also managed to “blow his mind.”
In an excerpt from the conversation, O’Brien said:
I had an evening with Kanye West about four years ago in Rio at Carnival. He wasn’t really interested in me at all. Not at all. I sat there for like three hours, and I tried everything. I said, ‘What are you writing with?’ and stuff like that. And he goes, ‘[mumbles].’ He’s not interested. His wife’s even less interested in me. Some mutual friend put us together for the evening.
The one thing that I did, kind of… I said to him, ‘If you ask pretty much any British musician whether they ‘believed in God,’ I’d tell you that 99% of them would say, ‘Don’t be stupid, of course not.’ And it blew his mind. He was like, ‘You cannot be serious, man!’ He was John McEnroe for a moment there.
For me, I guess it’s been really important. I grew up in very material Oxford, Oxford University. Everything has to be substantiated. Everything has to be proved empirically. We haven’t got the tools to measure this stuff. For me, life turned around when when I had an extraordinary—and I mean extraordinary in the proper sense of the word—spiritual experience that I still, to this day, haven’t been able to tell my dad about.
O’Brien went on to discuss his own levels of spirituality after detailing his memorable conversation with Kanye. Listen to the full hour-long discussion here.