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ARTIST OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY: JAMIE XX


By the age of 20, James Thomas Smith, aka Jamie xx, had made quite the name for himself as a member of the (then) up and coming group, The xx. Fast forward to 2018 and Smith is one of the most recognised DJ/ producer/ remixers to come out of the UK in the last generation.

As described by interviewers, Smith is a man of few words. Funnily, that then translates to his own work - more music, fewer lyrics. He seems most comfortable when he's working in a studio rather than performing. You watch The xx play live and Smith dones his regular background spot - head down, earpones on.

Over the last 10 years Smith has grown from creating mixtape compilations, to producing, to gracing the stages of some of the world's biggest and best venues and festivals. He ventured into producing by chance through the creation of the first ablum by The xx and his remixes are well known, having done works for artists such as Florence + The Machine, Adele, Jack Peñate and Glasser. He released a mix "NY Is Killing Me" from Gil Scott-Heron's last album I'm New Here and aired the track on radio stations across the UK and Europe which then led to his 2011, 13-track remix album, We're New Here, produced entirely by Jamie xx and credited to "Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx".

Listened to Drake in the last few years? Smith produced the title track off Drake's second album, Take Care (featuring Rihanna) and also helped create several reworks for Radiohead's song "Bloom" which were released on a remix album, TKOL RMX 1234567. He also co-produced the song "When It's All Over" with Alicia Keys on her Girl on Fire album.

In 2015, Smith finally released In Colour, his first solo record featuring a number of guest vocals (including Romy Madley Croft of The xx) and collected samples from years creating music. Comepleted over 5 years, Smith wanted to make an album that sounded like it did not come from any particular era, mixing dace, electronica, U.K garage and house. His blood sweat and tears was recognised with a 2015 Mercury Prize nomination, and a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album nomination.

Venturing out into new projects, Jamie xx composed the score for Tree of Codes, an incredible ballet commissioned by Manchester International Festival for its 2015 edition. Based on a novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, the ballet was choreographed by Wayne McGregor and had an incredible visual set created by Olafur Eliasson (recently on at the Sydney Festival 2018).

Catch Jamie xx performing with The xx in Hong Kong at the start of February and listen to him on Soundcloud here.

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