James Blake’s sound is haunting, mysterious, and sexy. His expressive and soulful vocals are carefully dripped over sparse and austere accompaniments—he’s definitely a minimalist. It’s hard to place Blake’s music into a specific genre, but critics generally classify his sound as “electronic,” “post-dubstep,” and “neo soul.” While his songs rely on studio techniques, his songwriting can definitely stand alone. Blake can entertain a venue full of fans with state-of-the-arts electronics just as easily as he can with a piano and a microphone. Lyrically, Blake is mature, reflective, and sagacious. When you hear a James Blake song you’ll know it and best of all you’ll never forget it.
James Blake’s music career began in earnest in July of 2009 when he released the 12” record “Air & Lack Thereof.” Before Blake issued his first album, he had three EPs under his belt: The Bells Sketch (March of 2010), CMYK (May of 2010), and Klavierwerke (September of 2010). His self-titled, debut album dropped on Feb. 4, 2011. It peaked at #9 in the United Kingdom and #123 in the United States (although it got as high as #4 on the U.S. Dance Chart).
Even before his first album dropped, Blake was reaping in the accolades. He finished second in BBC’s annual poll that predicts the year’s next big artist. In December of 2010, he was the runner-up for the coveted BRIT Awards’ “Critic’s Choice.” At the 2010 Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, Blake’s song “CMYK” was selected as Single of the Year. His trio of EPs was collectively placed at number eight on Pitchfork Media’s top 50 albums of 2010 and “CMYK” came in at 24 on Frontier Psychiatrist’s top 40 songs of 2010.
Blake’s sophomore effort, Overgrown, hit proverbial store shelves on April 8, 2013. It peaked at number eight in the United Kingdom and number 32 in America. Despite having released a full-length album in 2011 and three EPs in 2010, Blake was nominated for Best New Artist at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which were held in January of 2014.
Overgrown was able to do what his debut album could not do and that’s win the Mercury Music Prize. That award, presented annually by the British Phonographic Industry, is awarded to the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
James Blake Litherland was born Sept. 26, 1988 in London. At an early age, Blake showed a talent for music and composition. He stands six foot, five inches tall.