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James Blake

James Blake

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
birthday
26th
September, 1988
Birth Place
London, England
Birth Sign
libra
Biography

James Blake Litherland, better known simply as James Blake, is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from London, England. Born on September 26, 1988, the 33-year-old musician scored his first hit with his cover of Feist’s “Limit to Your Love,” a track from his 2011 self-titled debut album. Since then, he’s worked with Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Jay-Z, Bon Iver, and many others. 

James is proficient in piano, vocals, synthesizer, and music production. He’s been the primary producer for all of his solo records, of which he’s had five in total – James Blake, Overgrown, The Colour in Anything, Assume Form, and Friends That Break Your Heart. 

Blake’s musical style can be described as a blend of elements of electronic music, R&B, hip-hop, soul, pop, and tinges of avant-garde. His early music takes inspiration from artists like Burial and Skream. 

He’s been awarded numerous accolades for his work, including a prestigious Mercury Prize for Overgrown and second place in the BBC’s “Sound of 2011” contest. He’s also been nominated for numerous BRIT Awards, received a Grammy Award for his collaboration with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and Future on the Black Panther soundtrack, and earned years’ worth of critical acclaim. 

Here’s everything you need to know about James Blake. 

instruments played
Piano
synthesizer
Vocals
Also Known As

Harmonimix One-Take Blake

Associated Acts

Brian Eno Bon Iver Mount Kimbie Oneohtrix Point Never RZA Travis Scott Trim

Birth Name

James Blake Litherland

Genres

Electronic R&B UK bass soul post-dubstep pop

Labels

1-800 Dinosaur R&S ATLAS A&M Polydor Universal Republic Hessle Audio

Occupations

Singer songwriter multi-instrumentalist record producer

Years Active

2009 present

Name

James Blake

Nationality

England

James's Early Life 

James's father is prog-rock icon James Litherland, one of the founders of the English group Colosseum. In large part thanks to his father, Blake Jr. took an interest in music at a young age. He started piano lessons early, and his primary school years were spent at Grange Park Primary School, followed by secondary school at The Latymer School, Edmonton. He went to Goldsmiths, University of London, for college, where he studied popular music.  As a college student, James became one of the founding members of the "Bass Society," a group that hosted performances from some of the biggest names in EDM and dubstep.  During his college years, James released Air & Lack Thereof, his debut EP, in 2009. The project was recorded exclusively in the musician's bedroom. Air & Lack Thereof caught the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ Giles Peterson, who gave James his first airplay on mainstream radio.  Shortly after the success of his debut EP, James started releasing singles that would later appear on his self-titled debut album. One of these singles was "Limit to Your Love," James's cover of Canadian musician Feist's 2007 indie hit. The cover was chosen by Zane Lowe to earn the superlative of "Hottest Record in the World."

James Blake 

James's self-titled album, a completely self-produced effort, earned a heap of critical praise from even the stingiest online music outlets, with Pitchfork calling it the 12th best album of 2011. The album features "The Wilhelm Scream," a track that James modeled after one of his father's songs. James Blake earned a Silver certification in the United Kingdom and a Gold certification in Denmark. 

Overgrown 

After releasing his full-length debut and two EPs, James put out his second album, Overgrown, in April 2013. The record was supported by the title track and "Retrograde" as singles. Guests on the album include legendary producer Brian Eno and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA.  It was this record that earned James his first Grammy Nomination – he received a nod for Best New Artist at the 56th Grammys. The single "Retrograde" became one of Blake's most successful songs yet, making appearances in the TV series The Leftovers, The Blacklist, Baby, Suits, and Silent Witness, as well as the score for the video game Tales from the Borderlands. It also won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song. 

The Colour in Anything 

In 2016, Blake appeared on Beyonce's Lemonade, providing vocals and production on the song "Forward." The feature took James to new levels of worldwide fame and proved that he was becoming a sought-after collaborator. In the past, he'd already worked with the likes of Kanye West, Drake, and many other big names. Blake's third album, The Colour in Anything, is his first record to feature production work from others, with Rick Rubin and Justin Vernon – better known as Bon Iver – coming in to help with producing the album. Featuring the singles "Modern Soul," "Timeless," "Radio Silence," "My Willing Heart," and "I Need a Forest Fire," the album became a critical favorite and hit the charts in numerous countries. Several songs are interpolated or sampled on the record, including "Godspeed" by Frank Ocean, "More" by Tamia, "Hope She'll Be Happier" by Bill Withers, and "Giving Up" by Donny Hathaway. After the release of The Colour in Anything, James contributed to the soundtrack for the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther. The tracks "King's Dead" and "Bloody Waters" feature production from Blake, earning him high chart placings, a Grammy, and new levels of commercial success. That same year he also released “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead.” 

Assume Form 

James's fourth album, Assume Form, was released on January 18, 2019. The record earned nominations for several awards, including the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. It features high-profile features from Travis Scott, Moses Sumney, André 3000, and Rosalia, as well as production assistance from Metro Boomin. Following the release of 2019’s Assume Form, James put out several EPs before dropping his fifth studio album in October 2021. 

Friends That Break Your Heart 

Featuring a star-studded cast of producers and guest musicians, James's fifth studio album once again showcased his unique style. With James's signature R&B vocals, cameos from Joji, Dominic Maker, SZA, and others, and a slew of successful singles, the album became another notch in Blake's musical belt.

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