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On the 14th June Jordan Rakei will release his new album “Origin” on Ninja Tune. It includes new singles “Say Something” and “Minds Eye”, and is overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future, with many of the album lyrics exploring technological growth, and how it affects our sense of humanity.
With a fistful of highly praised releases under his belt and a timeless soulful, jazz and hip-hop driven sound, the 26 year-old multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer is a rare talent. Born in a quiet town in New Zealand, Jordan moved to Australia at the age of three, spending most of his childhood in Brisbane. In 2014, his “Groove Curse” EP garnered strong support from North America and Europe, coaxing Jordan to make the 10,000 mile journey to live in London. He quickly made a name for himself in the UK lending vocals to Disclosure’s 2015 album “Caracal”. It was 2016’s self-released debut album “Cloak” that proved he was an artist ready and able to make huge waves with his own sound though. He went on to sign with independent label Ninja Tune, releasing his second LP “Wallflower” in 2017, followed by the single “Wildfire” a year later. Acclaimed by the likes of The FADER, Evening Standard and Mixmag, he has clocked up over 100m Spotify streams, been voted as the #2 Album of the Year at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, had four singles included on the BBC 6 Music playlist, and performed live at BBC’s legendary Maida Vale studios with Moses Boyd, Joe Armon-Jones, Oscar Jerome and Binker Golding for BBC 1Xtra, as well as support from BBC R1’s Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and 1Xtra’s Mistajam and Jamz Supernova, plus NPR, KCRW MBE, COLORS Berlin and Boiler Room.
Jordan’s time in London has also drawn him into a network of like-minded individuals, forming friendships that have spawned many professional collaborations. He is part of the “Are We Live” crew with Tom Misch, Barney Artist and Alfa Mist (with whom he shares a studio), who put on gigs, record podcasts and make music together and Jordan has written, produced and performed on four tracks for Loyle Carner’s new album (including recent single ‘Ottolenghi’ and ‘Loose Ends’ feat. Jorja Smith), and he has also collaborated frequently with Richard Spaven (drummer and don of the British jazz scene who has collaborated with Flying Lotus, Jose James and Mala). Bradley Zero - the founder of the dance party and label Rhythm Section - released Jordan’s “Joy, Ease, Lightness” EP under the pseudonym Dan Kye in 2016, and Simon Green aka Bonobo also included an exclusive Dan Kye track on his recent “Fabric presents Bonobo” DJ mix, having previously invited Jordan to perform alongside him at Alexandra Palace in 2018. Beyond the London scene too, there is no doubt that the depth and craftsmanship of Jordan’s music is turning heads worldwide. He recently joined Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers in the studio for a writing session and, following his show at Cape Town Jazz Festival last year, Jordan came off stage to find Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin (producer for Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Herbie Hancock) waiting in the wings to commend him for his performance, with Martin wasting no time in inviting him out to LA to record together in his studio.
With previously sold out US and Australian headline tours, as well as performances at iconic venues and festivals - including Glastonbury, Pitchfork Avant-Garde Block Party, SXSW, Pukkelpop, BBC Biggest Weekend 2018, two sold out nights at Ronnie Scott’s, and a DJ set at Fabric (under his Dan Kye alias) - Jordan announced his biggest World tour to date, which includes a stop at London’s Roundhouse on 18th October 2019.
Sam Wills is rapidly becoming one of the most hotly tipped artists of the future soul / R&B movement in the UK, and an act to watch for 2020. A multi instrumentalist, producer and vocalist, Wills’ music is awash with soul, hip-hop and jazz influences from D’Angelo, Liane La Havas, Frank Ocean and Chet Baker, all delivered with a fresh UK twist.
His latest release, ‘Dimension’ is the perfect showcase of his wide range of influences, and an exciting indicator of what’s to come next year, as late night production plays off against the sultry, emotive vocals that have come to define Wills’ sound.
Wills burst onto the scene in 2016 with ‘In The Midst Of It All’ as featured on Tom Misch’s Beat Tape 2 which went on to hit number 1 on Hype Machine and has currently clocked up over 19 million plays on Spotify alone. His solo debut ‘So Bright EP’ co-produced with Karma Kid and Jordan Rakei followed soon after in May 2016 and continued Sam’s rise to fame, notably the standout single ‘Electrified’ which to date has gained well over 1 million streams on Spotify.
Wills followed the EP release with a string of collaborations and features with producers Joe Hertz (FOMO), Jarreau Vandal (Breathe Fire), Pablo Nouvelle (I Will) and Moods (How I Feel), as well as honing his craft with his first shows, with a full band supporting Jordan Rakei on his UK tour.
The release of Sam’s ‘Walking Underwater EP’ came in early 2018. Including collaborators Phairo (Bruno Major, Eliza), Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch, the EP gained support from Radio1, Radio 2, Beats1, Clash Magazine, High Snobiety and BBC Introducing, who made the track ‘Kool Aid’ it their BBC Introducing ‘Track of the Day’.
Not set on simply establishing himself as an artist in his own right; Wills has spent the last couple of years out of the spotlight but gaining heavyweight status in the song-writing/production arena, including Jorja Smith’s globally-acclaimed single ‘Where Did I Go?’ (45 Million Streams on Spotify) and writing/producing alongside Disclosure, Cadenza, Jarreau Vandal, Iyamah, Zach Said, Dolapo, Cosmos Midnight and many more. He also worked with Joe Hertz, Barney Artist and Blue Lab Beats on the stunning ‘Rain In Cuba’, which saw support from the likes of Notion at press, and Huw Stephens and Jamz Supernova at radio. He stepped into the world of remixing earlier this year too, reworking Lauren Faith’s ‘Jheeze’ to critical acclaim.
Alongside this, Sam Wills has backing from industry tastemakers across press - i-D, Spindle Magazine, MTV, CLASH, LINE OF BEST FIT, COMPLEX, DUMMY, INDIE SHUFFLE, WONDERLAND, ATTWOOD MAG, EAR MILK and many more.
Radio support comes from BBC’s Mistajam, Target, Jamz Supanova, Trevor Nelson, Huw Stevens, Jamie Cullum and Julie Adenuga on Beats 1 and BBC Introducing.
Now, after some extended time in the studio, working on his debut album, Sam Wills is ready to return and take 2020 by storm, both in the live arena and on record.