Monday, 7 March 2011

Interview: Liam Bailey

Liam Bailey: Music to savour from this years soul saviour?
When Amy Winehouse founded Lioness records at the height of her tabloid nadir in late-2009 as a medium through which to promote the precocious talents of her 15-year old goddaughter, eyebrows were raised. Dionne Bromfield’s record of soul and Motown covers duly stumbled into the charts at 33. The vultures sniggered. But they were premature. Mercurial as ever Ms Winehouse is, last year she began touting a little-known Nottingham-born singer-songwriter called Liam Bailey, and this time she was onto a winner.

Anyone who had the fortune to catch Bailey’s debut EP 2am Rough Tracks may have thought they had been sent back in time by some benevolent musical Gods, where the marriage of gospel and rhythm and blues consolidated into the blissful sound of 1960s American soul. Recorded into a laptop with just a guitar for company, the stripped-back arrangement showcased a voice of raucous beauty – soulful yet incendiary, and entirely uncharacteristic of the slew of feted modern vocalists. With another fine EP, So Down,Cold, and a soaring cameo on Chase and Status’ top-5 stadium drum ‘n’ bass anthem ‘Blind Faith’ under his belt, Bailey appears primed for a starring role in a feel-good summer 2011. He talks about cornrows, insulting X Factor also-rans, and his debut long-player Out of the Shadows. 

So, the word on the wind is that you’re going to be this summer’s soul smash, à la Amy Winehouse, Plan B or, er, Duffy. What do you reckon? 

[Laughing] Really? I don’t know about that. But this summer should be good. I’ve got some festivals to do with Chase and Status and I’ll be doing some on my own. Summers are all about that feeling of being about 15 and watching Glastonbury on TV and thinking “I could do that”. Imagine that, but this time you’ve got a nice shower instead of horrible portaloos. To be fair, I just can’t wait for a summer when I feel really positive, because last year was difficult… 

This interview was conducted for The Line Of Best Fit. Go here to continue reading the full interview.

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