No one has more trouble defining British musician James Blake's unique blend of folk, soul and ambient electronica soundscapes than Blake himself.
"I was actually struggling in a cab yesterday," Blake said during a recent tour stop in New York, "and I was saying I was gonna do a show at Terminal 5. [The driver] asked me what kind of music it was and I said, 'It's kind of electronic.' And he went 'Oh, we just had Tiesto on the radio.' I went yeah, 'It's not really like that.' And in my head I was thinking of Tiesto standing on his monitors, pumping his fists. But I didn't have any better description. I didn't know what to say. I knew vaguely it might sound like almost anybody."
Of course, Blake doesn't actually sound "like almost anybody," and his sophomore album "Overgrown" (released in April) bears a distinct pastiche of warped hip-hop beats, emotive vocals and trip-hop loops that caught the attention of Chance The Rapper, who collaborated with Blake on a remix of album track "Life Round Here." Drake also tapped Blake to produce a song called "Come Thru" for September's "Nothing Was The Same," and even though his version didn't make the cut, Blake recently posted it on his personal SoundCloud page.