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Jamie Isaac


Event details

Tue 20 Nov
7pm - 10pm

Jamie Isaac is a young producer and songwriter, a Londoner born in Croydon to Burmese and British parents. It was his father, a rare groove, funk and soul fanatic, that instilled his passion for music, but his grandmother, a pianist who played on Burmese radio, that inspired him to become a musician. He signed to Marathon Artists in 2014 and has been harnessing his sound ever since, operating in the space between jazz, soul, R&B, electronics and hip hop. Across a handful of singles and EPs, as well as a mixtape, his debut album and its follow-up, he has evolved into a formidable artist with a transatlantic following. His critically acclaimed debut album – 2016͛s ͚Couch Baby͛, was a true organic word-of-mouth success story, steadily building status as rabid new fans discovered the understated gem, propelled by collaborations with King Krule, Denzel Curry, Rejjie Snow, Allan Kingdom, Wiki and Sporting Life – as well as a cover of the Alicia Keys classic ͚Un-thinkable͛. His forthcoming sophomore effort, ͚(04:30) Idler͛, combinesbossa nova, with 70s analog synths and the polymorphous vibrations of London͛s new burgeoning jazz scene. Itchronicles a personal struggle with sleep that inspired the album͛s title, ͞04:30͟ referring to the kind of fidgety, maddening early hour at which much of the album was composed. ͞The night is the only time I write,͟ he says. ͞I have massive problems sleeping and the good thing about music is that you don͛t have strict times to adhere to. It͛s quiet, there͛s no one around, the settings have already been made.͟The themes of the album are wide and varied but for Jamie they recurrently return to romance and vulnerability. Not a romance about any one person in particular, as such, but a kind of anonymous yearning. It͛s the same kind of peaks and troughs you hear in the eerie balladeering of timeless artists like Chet Baker – a huge influence on Jamie͛s work. ͞It͛s the music I͛ve always been in to,͟ he explains. ͞I͛ve always loved that vulnerability. I know people around me who make music that is really aggressive, and they tell me I should, but I like to keep it romantic sounding. Taking personal struggles and personifying them.͚͟(04:30) Idler͛ is an album designed to be listened to in transit, with hypnotic motion setting you adrift into the music. ͞It͛s all around the idea of movement,͟ he says. ͞Even in a metaphorical sense and getting to another place in my life. I know myself a lot more than on my first record.͟Whereas the first record was relatively ambient, the nocturnal workings of ͚(04:30) Idler͛resulted in an altogether more direct affair – showcasing both a refined production skillset, and an advanced song craft. Jamie͛s painstakingly constructed piano lines offer the backbone of the album͛s entrancing melodies and grooves, and the classically trained vocalist͛s emotive lyricism is no longer shrouded in reverb. This time round, he͛s evolved his role as producer, tracking an all-live band into heady atmospherics. In a first for Jamie, the album͛s recording process transplanted him away from his native South London, with extended stints in Los Angeles. ͞That was really weird because it made the whole writing a bit more summery,͟ he explains. ͞There are some really summery, Californian vibes on the record that are obviously influenced by where I was. And then there͛s another half of songs written in London, where the choruses are really dark and creepy.͟ He continues, ͞I thought being in L.A. might turn my music into something that I didn͛t want it to be, but it actually brought something new to it

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