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Ian Fitchuk Talks Working on Cowboy Carter

Klaudia//June 8, 2024
Producer Ian Fitchuk talked to Vulture about working with Beyonce on a song for Kacey Musgraves, as well as on "Cowboy Carter".

It is funny to hear you say you don’t quite consider yourself a country person, because when Cowboy Carter came out and I was looking through the credits, your name jumped out as one of the few Nashville people who worked on that record. How did that come together?

When we started working on star-crossed, I signed a new publishing deal with Sony. I had the crazy idea of, What if we got Beyoncé on a song? It turns out I was able to get that music to her. She really reacted to star-crossed, before the record was done, and sent a beautiful email to Kacey. For a while there, we were going back and forth, and there was a song called “good wife” that it looked for a minute like Beyoncé was going to do a verse on it. In the end, it didn’t work out.

But a couple of years later, I got a call from my publisher saying Beyoncé is working on a new record. I don’t know if it was even described to me as a country record. They were like, “We’re very interested in sending Ink and Dave Hamelin and Dixson to Nashville to try to work on some songs for Beyoncé. Would you be interested in writing some songs with them? And they’d be interested in having Kacey come too.” So myself, Kacey, and the three of them spent a week in Nashville writing songs. There were not a lot of parameters given. I think we did hear “16 Carriages,” but they were like, “Don’t try to do that.”

I guess that was in the summer of ’22. Then, not uncharacteristically for Beyoncé’s world, we didn’t hear anything for a long time. I actually didn’t know until four days before the record came out and they were like, “This song is going to be on there.” And I didn’t recognize the title because it was a piece of a song that I’d worked on two years previously and hadn’t heard since then. There were other people in Nashville that wrote songs, but amazingly, I scooted through.

So you weren’t thinking about “Amen” and “Ameriican Requiem” being bookends to the album.

Oh, no. I had no idea. In fact, “Ameriican Requiem” was something that Cam brought in one day. Then Dave Hamelin brought what became “Amen,” and that particular day we merged those two ideas into one song.