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Earlier this month, we went to Irving Plaza in New York City to get to know Jacob Collier, the 24-year-old hyper-kinetic, preternaturally talented British composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist.
Collier began releasing YouTube videos in his teens that featured complex arrangements of pop songs and playfully showed off his extraordinary mastery of harmony, music theory and rhythm entirely recorded by himself.
His boundless creative energy caught the attention of Quincy Jones, who signed him to his production company in 2014. In My Room, his debut album, was released in 2016. The record was titled for the sweetly confessional Brian Wilson song he covers therein—not to mention, it was quite literally recorded in his bedroom. The album earned him two Grammys in 2017 for instrumental and vocal arranging.
Collier has ambitious plans for the outward expansion of his musical universe from childhood bedroom to a global stage—he aims to release four albums within a year. The first of these, Djessie (Vol. 1), was recorded with the Dutch ensemble Metropole Orkest and came out in December.
We saw Collier’s unbridled creativity firsthand for the third installment of On The Road, a series of visual essays exploring the creative lives of notable musicians, onstage and off.