Jacob Collier (born August 2, 1994) is a singer, arranger, composer, and prodigious multi-instrumentalist based in London, England. He gained recognition in 2011 after his inventive and unique homemade split-screen video covers of popular songs, such as Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing, went viral on YouTube. Since then, he has attracted a huge worldwide following and racked up millions of views across a multitude of social media platforms.
Collier’s distinctive style fuses elements of Jazz, A cappella, Groove, Folk, Trip-hop, Classical music, Brazilian music, Gospel, Soul and Improvisation. In 2014, Collier was discovered by legendary producer, Quincy Jones; he was subsequently signed to Jones’s management company and began working on his critically acclaimed one-man, audio-visual live performance vehicle, designed and built at MIT in Boston Most recently, he finished working on his debut album In My Room, which was released July 1, 2016 through Membran Entertainment Group.
In July 2015, Beats by Dr. Dre reached out to Collier to provide the music for the ‘The Game Starts Here’ England Rugby World Cup campaign. Collier recorded an a cappella version of the well-known hymn ‘Jerusalem’ for the commercial, which was aired on national television before each England match. In late 2015, Collier began working on his debut album In My Room.
In the same vein as his YouTube videos, he arranged, recorded and produced the album entirely on his own, playing every instrument, in addition to writing eight of the eleven songs present. The album was recorded and mixed in one three-month period. It was recorded exclusively in the music room of his family home in London, England (hence the title In My Room). He explained his reasoning for this choice in an interview with Front Row Live: “This album is representative of how I’ve made music up until this point – in that room … I probably won’t have that world forever in this way, so I wanted to make sure I kept for myself how it felt to be there.” His album was released on July 1, 2016 and distributed worldwide through the independent record label Membran Entertainment Group. Following the release, he will embark on a live solo show tour with his one-man show, which will feature original content from the album in addition to his YouTube covers.
Noteworthy is Collier’s innovative use of social media to reach new audiences with his music. In anticipation of the release of In My Room, Collier launched the #IHarmU campaign through Patreon, a crowdfunding site for content creators, where Patrons send him 15-second video clips of melodies, which he then harmonizes with his trademark 6-faces layout, from wherever he is in the world, and uploads to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The campaign has greatly increased his online following. Notable patrons include British Jazz artist Jamie Cullum, Ben Folds, and Kevin Olusola of the a cappella group Pentatonix. On August 22, 2016, Collier took part in a Quincy Jones tribute at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London, in which he performed his own orchestral arrangement of his original song, In The Real Early Morning, with the Metropole Orkest, under the baton of Jules Buckley, amongst other songs.