With his dazzling electro-soul-jazz fusion, Jamie Lidell is quite the showman. He has a new album out — the dryly named Jim — and a head full of sparkling melodies to share. So we stopped him in his tracks for a chat.
You’ve talked about the free gigs you did in Eastern Europe as a means of “cleansing” yourself. A lot of mudslinging in the celebrity world or is it the relentless indulgence that grates? ‘Ah, that’s the big question, isn’t it! Well, I was just getting too used to the usual treatment from show to show in Europe and America — the backstage scene, the candy, the highshakes, the low ballers, the rollers … Eastern Europe gave me a new taste — the taste of quality. A gift that keeps on giving after the take take mantra of the west. Amen!’
I’m sure readers of this site wouldn’t like the bubble to completely burst on their ideas of music stardom. In 10 words can you let rip on the best thing about your job? ‘I got me friends in every part of the world through the gigging. Friends’.
In the UK you’re all over Radio 2 at the moment, known traditionally for its older audience. Can you really categorise your fanbase or are you traversing genres, so to speak? ‘First of all, 2 is the new 1 darlin! You see, radio 1 is only for those crazy roll body breaklording yoot. I got my sights on another pie and another habit. Jockeying the charts is for sick looseball surf dogs. I try and keep the keel strong and true. The only way is through. And on the way through it’s up. That was something of a first lesson I had to learn. Back in the day you see’.
Your label, Warp, is largely known for its bleepy electronic music. Where does your take on soul fit into their spectrum? ‘On the gold side. On the sunny side up side. On the sidle over here side. On the side of the overdog. Underneath the over over dog but on the top heap looking through one of the less warped windows. Quite a view’.
Super Collider have been on hold for a while now. Any chance we’ll see a resurrection any time soon?
‘Hold is gold. Think of it like two old clarets taking taking form. I personally don’t have a problem with that metaphor. Cris might. Nah … I doubt it. We will regroup when the stars are in the low and the wind is high. That’s my last word’.
Jamie Lidell’s new album, Jim, is out now on Warp through Inertia.