James Blake has been announced in 2nd place for the Sound of 2011.
London producer James Blake sails into Sound Of 2011's 2nd spot at the forefront of the emerging post-dubstep sub genre of UK club music. The Deptford based artist started singing and studying piano at the age of six, a tutorage which eventually led to Blake's attendance of Goldsmiths University to study Popular Music. Early listening came in the form of his parent's classical and jazz collections, in addition to US Soul and R 'n' B from the likes of Stevie Wonder, D'Angelo and Sly & The Family Stone. Blake's love of electronic music came much later when the artist discovered dubstep duo Digital Mystikz a few months prior to his Goldsmiths enrolment.
Club nights at the University followed, before an appearance on Rinse FM's new producer segment saw Blake signed to fellow dubstep producer Untold's label Hemlock. James released his first twelve inch Air and Lack Thereof on the label, while creating blog buzz with remixes of tracks by Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and Destiny's Child under his alter ego Harmonimix. Soon after the producer joined Mount Kimbie as the third member of their live show.
Blake claims he was influenced to add more of his own vocal to his work by Joni Mitchell's Blue and Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, and this style has become increasingly evident in subsequent releases on respected Belgian label R&S. Recent single, a cover of Feist's Limit To Your Love, would seem to be his most refined to date. This was singled out by Radio 1's Zane Lowe in his "Hottest Record in the World" segment, which only adds to growing anticipation for the producer's self-titled debut, set for release on Atlas/A&M in early February.