Our Latest Obsession: James Blake
“Just go listen to his music and say, ‘Hey, that’s Kanye’s favorite artist.’”
- Kanye West on James Blake (source)
Taking on the irregular genre of post-dubstep soul, Mr. James Blake has to be one of the most talented and under appreciated artist out there right now. With a voice so edgy, smooth, deep, and unique it’s no surprise he has the support of Kanye West himself. Also, having Ellie Goulding cover your song isn't a bad thing either.
Originating from the UK, as an electronic music producer and singer-songwriter, Blake is a walking contradiction. Like a typical Brit, he’s an unsuspected genius. Listening carefully to his style and tone of voice, you can tell he listened to a lot of Motown growing up. Having a producer as a father definitely benefited his talents greatly.
Though, sadly, he’s not all over the radio and charts as I would like to see him, his talents haven’t gone completely unnoticed by the public or the critics, having been nominated at the 56th Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and the 2014 BRIT’s for British Male Solo. The album to get US attention, was his most recent one titled ‘Overgrown’. This is honestly one of the best albums I've ever heard. The lead single off of it, “Retrograde”, is so amazingly produced and lyrically savvy that it’s become my all time favorite song. It made me stop and think completely. The vocals in it are undeniably stunning. If you only listen to one song of his, that is the track I suggest. The rest of the album is just as mind-blowing. It opens up with the song named after the album. Later on in the tracklist, you get everything from ballads to more soul based composition. He features a few other artist within the disc; all in all, the album is very cohesive.
If my prediction for James is as correct as the ones for Sam Smith and Ella Eyre, give it a year or two and I promise he’ll be accepting a Grammy, not just being nominated for one.
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