Jamie XX On The “Challenge” Of Going Solo After Years Working With Mates

ICYMI, 2015 has kinda been Jamie xx‘s year.

After almost a decade with British indie pop band The xx, he broke away this year to give it a whirl as a solo artist, and proceeded to fkn kill it.
This includes – but is not limited to – picking up a 2016 Grammy nomination for his album In Colour (Best Electronic/Dance Album), selling out his Australian shows in five minutes (dw, more shows were added), and working with Radiohead to produce the darkly perfect track ‘Bloom‘.

When PEDESTRIAN.TV caught up with Jamie xx (real name: Jamie Smith), it became pretty clear that the story of his musical career has also been one of gaining confidence as an artist.

“It’s definitely different as a solo artist,” he said, after years of playing with his former schoolmates as the band The xx.

“I love being on tour with the guys, they’re also my best mates. Just on my own it’s like – you sort of have to perform just as me, it’s nice to work on that aspect.
I’m enjoying the challenge. I’ve learnt how to be comfortable on stage with the band, and now I’m learning how to be comfortable on stage on my own.” 

The 27yo artist told us that when he joined The xx a decade ago in 2005, his confidence was pretty much zilch. “My naivety helped create what the first album was,” he told P.TV, “but I’m glad to be out of it.”

Fast-forward to December 2015, and Jamie xx has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry (incl. the aforementioned Radiohead, as well as Drake and John Talabot), garnered masses of praise for his progressive-style of dance music, playing near sold-out tours worldwide, and picked up a 2016 Grammy nomination, where he’ll go up against stalwarts of dance music The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex and Diplo, Disclosure, and Caribou.

He’s also been granted the blessing / curse of having New York Fashion Week models (incl. Bella Hadid) dance to his track ‘Good Times‘ in a clip for the Vogue-hosted NYFW after party. This was a blessing for obvious reasons, but a curse because, unfortunately, he wasn’t even there. 

“I didn’t know about it till it came out,” he said. “I was even in New York at the time. I wish I’d been there.”

Same, tho.

One of Jamie’s major 2015 highlights was that collab with Radiohead, 100%.

“It was an honour to be able to do something for Radiohead,” he said, adding that it was great to go into a “proper studio” to produce the ridiculously perfect creation that is Bloom (give it a listen below, because holy shit it’s good).
“It was great to get me out of my comfort zone. I learnt a lot from that, but I think next I’d like to try to do something from the ground up. I’m up for working with other established artists, but the next step would be to help someone else grow.” 

FYI all you talented guys + gals: Jamie’s looking. To be continued.
Jamie xx is about to touch down on Australian shores, hitting up Beyond The Valley (VIC), Lost Paradise (NSW) and FOMO (QLD) from Jan 15-16, as well as putting on a couple of extra sideshow shows in Sydney + Melbourne (get tix HERE). 

Photo: Supplied.