Sunday, 26 July 2015

The sublime musical talents of Jacob Collier

Who is Jacob Collier? When I talk to people about this immensely talented guy, I have to explain that he is not just an amazing talent, he is totally unique. So instead of boring them with my enthusiasm for Collier and his music, I just made this summary that I could point them to for more information. There are a lot of links to other pages here, a lot of it to YouTube, but also other sites with music, interviews or references.

All information below is correct, as far as I can tell. I can't put absolutely everything in here, so let me know if there is something substantial missing, or if there are errors. I'm only human, after all. :-)

So, here goes.

Who is Jacob Collier?

Photo: Greg Gorman, from
Jacob Collier facebook page.
Jacob Collier is a composer, arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist who - as of this article - is only 20 years old, but has a musical understanding that seem well beyond what other musically gifted people may hope to understand in their lifetime.

Collier plays all sorts of stringed instruments, double bass, electric bass, drums, keyboards and lots of different percussion instruments. And yes, the "studio" recordings (in his music room at home) are all done with his own voice, layered one by one, with no auto-tune, Melodyne or other cheats in the close harmony singing sections. Here is a short feature and interview with PRI in 2012, a long interview with Leo Sidran in 2014 (1 h 38 min) and a short interview with CoolCleveland Feb 2015. Also a BBC Radio 2 interview with Clare Teal in January 4, 2015.

His performances have been praised by top artists such as Chick Corea, Take 6, David Crosby, Herbie Hancock, James Taylor (singer), Jamie Cullum, Jimmy Haslip, K.D. Lang, Pat Metheny, Peter Erskine, Quincy Jones, Snarky Puppy, Steve Vai, Tower of Power. And the list goes on. They are all awed, and Quincy Jones himself has taken Collier "under his wing" and is clearly impressed.

Here's a sort of timeline containing some of his achievements and activities, the start of it is lifted from his web page and supplemented with other information found around the "interweb". His age is in the timeline to show how early his talent shines through.

Recommended listening: Well, all of it, really. At least one of the early singing tracks, like his second effort Isn't She Lovely, some of the later tracks with more instruments on, like Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing or Fascinating Rhythm. The interview with Leo Sidran shows him as the pleasant, intelligent and humble person that he is, and he talks about his background, life in general, music, education and his videos. Highly recommended.

My personal favourites are The Road Not TakenI Saw Three ShipsDon't You Worry 'Bout A ThingClose To YouAncona and Danny Boy

Where to find him:
Web page:


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