James Blake (born September 1988) is an electronic musician and singer-songwriter from London, England, United Kingdom. Blake is primarily considered a dubstep producer and is frequently heralded as a leading figure in the “post-dubstep” community, but he is also noted for his prominent soul influences. Blake was nominated the Critic’s Choice award by the 2011 BRIT Awards and the Sound of 2011 award by the BBC, and won second place in the latter. In addition, his self-titled debut LP, James Blake, was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize. Blake has also released material under the alias Harmonimix.
James Blake began his final year at Goldsmiths in September 2009 studying popular music while recording songs in his bedroom. In July 2009, he attended the Latymer School and released his debut single “Air and Lack Thereof” on Hemlock Audio. It was a firm favorite with Gilles Peterson from BBC Radio 1, and Blake was invited to do a special mix on Peterson’s worldwide show, which included an exclusive Mount Kimbie track.
Blake released his debut EP The Bells Sketch on 8 March 2010 on Hessle Audio, followed soon after by CMYK on 31 May 2010 and Klavierwerke on 10 October 2010, both on R&S Records. All three EPs were met with significant critical acclaim: BBC’s Nick Grimshaw chose CMYK as his Record of the Week, the title track of CMYK was ranked 24th on Frontier Psychiatrist’s top 40 songs of the year, and all three of Blake’s 2010 EPs were collectively ranked 8th on Pitchfork’s top 50 albums of 2010.
Blake was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2011, an annual poll that highlights the forthcoming year's likely successful musicians; he was eventually placed second, ahead of fellow shortlisted acts; The Vaccines, Jamie Woon and Clare Maguire. It was also revealed on 15 December 2010 that Blake had been made the runner-up behind singer-songwriter Jessie J at the BRIT Awards' "Critic's Choice".
In January 2011, Blake was awarded Single of the Year (2010) for "CMYK" at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards. Blake's work found itself on numerous 2010 year-end best-of lists, with "CMYK" ranking 24th on Frontier Psychiatrist's top 40 songs of the year, the Bells Sketch/CMYK/Klavierwerke EPs ranking 8th on Pitchfork Media's top 50 albums of 2010, and "I Only Know (What I Know Now)" ranking 8th on Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of 2010.
Yet another 12" Love Happened Here surfaced in late 2011 and Blake spent much of 2012 working on his second album, releasing new work under the name Harmonimix and performing less often as the new songs percolated. In April of 2013 second album Overgrown appeared, featuring collaborations with Brian Eno and RZA.