James Blake may be unknown to many mainstream music fans, but the artist has quite a following in the electronic music scene. The 25-year-old was nominated Friday night for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards, beating out favorites like Lorde and Imagine Dragons.
So who exactly is James Blake, and what can you expect from him in the future?
1. Blake's first studio album was released in 2011 on his own label, and it was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize that same year (PJ Harvey took home the award). He released his second studio album, Overgrown, which won the Mercury Music Prize in 2013. He beat out fellow Brits like David Bowie and the Arctic Monkeys.
2. He attended Goldsmiths, University of London, where he graduated with a degree in popular music.
3. In 2013, he revealed he was dating Theresa Wayman, the singer and guitarist for the American indie band Warpaint.
4. He has released five EPs and two full-length albums in the last three years.
5. Blake's father, James Litherland, is a British hard-rock artist who played with numerous bands in the 1960s and 1970s.
6. He sounds like nobody and everybody at the same time. He recently told Billboard about struggling with what to compare his sound to, saying, "I knew vaguely it might sound like almost anybody."
"Someone said it sounded like a video game," he added. "As if that was meant to be an insult."
7. He is an indie darling. Critics the world over seem to love Blake and their inability to put him in a box.
"James Blake's new LP, Overgrown, continued the boy wonder's foray into more explicitly singer/songwriter territory and away from his knottier, earlier work, but live, he still possesses the capacity to surprise," said Pitchfork in a 2013 review.
8. He likes the roller-coaster ride he is currently on, which includes his relationship and his career.
"The uncertainty of touring. The uncertainty of the music industry, and the uncertainty of my position in it," he told the UK Guardian earlier this year. "I've found that I kind of thrive off not knowing what's going to happen next."
9. He is a musician at heart, and nothing can change that.
"There was a feeling that what I wanted to do for a living wasn't going to lead to a reliable salary; it was just something I should do in my own time. As a musician at heart, you hear that and immediately rebel," he said. "We were being told that music is something you do in the meantime. Then you go and get your engineering degree."
10. He is looking forward to taking some time off!
"2014 is starting to look very relaxing," he told Billboard. "I've been solid for the last three to four years now. Its good torment that kind of comes out, but it's still work. It didn't really feel like I got a mental break for a long time."
With the Grammy nomination, it looks like his schedule may fill again very quickly.
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