Video: The Last Word On “While You Were Sleeping” With José James

 
 
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The Last Word: José James

The singer-songwriter makes his sophmore Blue Note Records release "While You Were Sleeping" and he gives the Last Word on the album cuts, as well as dishes some major R&B history lessons.

José James: The prolific singer born and raised in Minneapolis came of age with the sounds of Prince, hip-hop and Modern jazz. Discovering an early passion for both music and creative writing, José combined these through performance – singing jazz standards, originals, and the works of John Coltrane with his quartet throughout the Twin Cites. Becoming a member of the groundbreaking avant-garde performance poetry and jazz ensemble Ancestor Energy, José was determined to devote his life to music, community, and spiritual unity.

Moving to New York City to attend The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he was mentored by and recorded with both the legendary drummer Chico Hamilton and the pianist Junior Mance. There he also met his first ensemble that would form the studio and international touring band for his 2008 debut album The Dreamer.

A chance meeting in London with international tastemaker and DJ Gilles Peterson led to a record deal on Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label. Drawing upon diverse influences such as Freestyle Fellowship and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, The Dreamer was an international critical success, with José performing at venues such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Billboard Live Tokyo, The Hermitage Museum, and Central Park Summerstage.

Recently, José has released While You Were Sleeping, his sophomore Blue Note Records release. In our interview, José lists some major influences not only over him, but who he feels are the essential names in both classic and modern jazz/hip-hop music. Seriously, if you want some good recommendations throughout the genre… watch the clip… this guy is full of ’em. José also delivers some sage advice for young musicians who are beginning their journey.

“I was really late coming to music… I didn’t even start singing until I was 14, and didn’t start studying until I was 17” – José James

Follow along below to get into the nuts & bolts of 3 of José’s top scrobbled tracks from last week’s charts.

“4 Noble Truths” (2.3 scrobbles) > Listen here

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“Anywhere U Go” (2.4k scrobbles) > Listen here

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“Everylittlething” (2.4k scrobbles) > Listen here

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José James on Last.fm

www.JoseJamesMusic.com

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