Sir Paul McCartney has revealed his passion for songwriting remains undimmed, and if his professional music career ended he would “do it as a hobby tomorrow”.
The former Beatle, 77, is one half of the most successful songwriting team ever alongside John Lennon.
His most recent studio album, 2018’s Egypt Station, was a hit around the world and Sir Paul said he still loves to perform after a hugely successful career spanning six decades.
Speaking to Take That’s Gary Barlow for his Radio 2 show We Write The Songs, he said: “It’s the passion. It’s something you love to do you. I always say if they stopped me now, I’d just do it as a hobby tomorrow, so it’s just something you love to do.”
Sir Paul was asked about his collaboration with the rapper Kanye West after the pair performed alongside Rihanna at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
The Liverpool-born rock star collaborated on the songs Four Five Seconds and Only One with West, with both becoming chart hits.
He told how he and West met up for secret recording sessions, which were a world away from how he used to write songs with Lennon.
While Sir Paul and Lennon would often sit nose-to-nose, each with a guitar in hand while working on a track, West’s method’s were “more cerebral”.
“It was just talking and thinking and me plonking away a little bit”, he said.
“And you record everything and he takes it away and kind of does stuff with it and just a month or so later, he sent back this record and it was Rihanna singing and so I had to ring up and sort of say ‘Am I on this? Did I have anything to do with it?’ I couldn’t tell!
“He said, ‘Yeah, what it is is, that’s you on guitar, so it’s all the chords and the musical idea’s yours, but we’ve sped it up to suit Rihanna’s key, musical key, so I did it in A so now it was up in D’.”
Sir Paul added: “You can imagine the fun of that. So when you’re saying to me why do I do it, how do I do it, because it’s all that kind of fun. And if someone like Kanye’s going to ask me, then I’m going to show up.”
Radio 2 Beatles is a four-day pop-up DAB radio station airing from September 26-29.