But that's not "the craziest story" yet. On the third night of his stay, the "Lonely" artist debated how to properly bid adieu to one of the biggest pop stars. A hug? A simple "Bye"? A kiss on the cheek?
"I'm very European. You go in and you do that. ... And I went to do like, kiss on the cheek, and I guess we just missed a little bit. And just like, I definitely hit the corner of some sort of lip. I'm like, 'Oh my God. This is the worst thing in my life,'" he said. "And I'm sitting there, and as I'm doing it, out of the corner of my eye, Jay-Z is right there looking at me. And I'm just like, 'My lip is here. Hers is there, and there's definitely some corner things are happening.' And I look at Jay and I'm like, 'Oh, OK. I'm dead. My life is over. It was great. Nice knowing you guys.' This man is going to be in a coffin tomorrow. My life flashed before my eyes. And I'm sitting there, and I look. And then, he's like, 'All right, bro. See you tomorrow.' Like, no one noticed."
Although Blanco and Beyoncé never made music that was released from that trip, he counts the lessons he learned from her and Hov as the "best" experience because to him, "it's about the journey." Blanco has observed Billie Eilish's journey from the start, attending her first shows of just 100 or so people in the crowd when the "Ocean Eyes" singer was just 13 years old. While her budding career eventually blew up, Blanco and Finneas' budding friendship helped songs such as "Lonely" with Justin Bieber come about and thrive.
"We finally get in the studio one day. We're like, 'Let's make some s--- for Justin. We're right here. He's right there.'... And then we finished the song and I'm like, 'Finn, I want that ballad. We need to do that. I want that ballad.' I want to get the feeling. He's the best in the world at writing. But I want that 'When the Party's [Over],' I want to cry," Blanco said. "So he's like, 'You want the ballad?' And I'm like, 'Yeah.' And so he sits down at that piano right there, Wurlitzer, and he's sitting there. I'm right there. We're talking, we're saying like, 'Oh, what should we do it about?' And then 30 minutes later, we got the song."
"Lonely" was one of the first singles from Bieber's latest album Justice that reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blanco and the Biebs performed it together on Saturday Night Live last October. Blanco has co-written and/or co-produced some of the biggest pop hits of the past decade, including Kesha's "TiK ToK"; Katy Perry's "California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg; Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger," featuring Christina Aguilera; and Rihanna's "Diamonds," which he had also shopped around to Kanye West and Eminem. ("This is the best song I've ever done," he added, noting, "This is how life works, full circle. Kanye West does a remix to the song.") But it's never something he says out loud in the studio.
"So it's like I'm just sitting here waiting for that magic to hit. Whenever it is. And I'm sitting here in life, waiting for it to hit and I'm not going to press it. Because when you press it, you make dog s---. You don't make good music whenever there's too much pressure in the studio," Blanco said. "And it's like, 'Oh, we got to make a hit today. We got to do that.' I've never said that, that word. I've never been like, 'Yo, we got to make a hit today.' Why would you do that? I want to be like, 'We got to eat some good food today, fart and smoke some pot. And maybe we'll make a mediocre song.' I want to over deliver."
Watch Blanco's Apple Music interview below.