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English musician and soul singer Jamie Lidell will be gracing this year’s Mosaic Music Festival with his soothing tuness. We speak to this well-loved musician.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Prince, Human League, Heaven 17, The Cure, Michael and Janet Jackson, and Phil Collins!
How and when did you get into beatboxing and scatting?
It was when I was in school. In college, I met this guy that could really beatbox and it blew me away. It's a cheap way to make music all the time! Somehow, when I discovered looping, I got back to spitting beats and I’ve never been shy about mixing tech with vocals.
How did you come up with such wicked arrangements for your songs?
I had a lot of help with the arrangements from my buddy Mocky. We worked heavily on Multiply and Jim. He showed me the power of the 5 and the Cycle of 4s, 2,5,1 etc. Just those tricks alone open up so many possibilities for the arranger, like knowing why the bridge of a tune pops.
How did you meet Beck and what was it like to collaborate with him?
He asked me to open for him on his 2006 tour which was an epic! He had a full professional puppet crew with him. I felt right at home! We did a little studio work afterwards and then in Feburary 2009 he called to ask if I'd be into working on a record with him. The rest, as they say, is history.
Your music has been described as soul fused with electronica. What is "soul music" to you?
The opposite of soulless music I guess. My usual description would be something that feels like it's burning. Pop can have soul, ballads can have soul. I like to think of it as an intention rather than a genre.