“As soon as I heard the demo, I knew it would be crucial to add rock elements”: Justus West reveals how he sneaked Tosin Abasi and Plini onto the new Beyoncé album (sort of)

Left - Beyoncé accepts the Innovator Award onstage during the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on April 01, 2024; Right - Justus West performs during Future X Sounds Concert at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on August 31, 2019 in Hollywood, California
(Image credit: L-Kevin Winter/Getty Images; R-Timothy Norris/Getty Images)

Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter has been lauded for its modern take on country and Americana. Still, it might come as a surprise that guitarist Justus West, who played on single 16 Carriages, brought some progressive gear choices into the studio.

“As soon as I heard the demo version of the song, I knew it would be crucial to add rock elements on the chorus to really emphasize the scale of the song,” he tells Guitar World.

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.