Jacob Collier

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Jacob Collier
Jacob Collier -1180632.jpg
Jacob Collier at the Moers Festival 2016
Background information
Birth name Jacob Moriarty
Born (1994-08-02) 2 August 1994 (age 24)
North London, England
Origin North London
  • Musician
  • arranger
  • composer
  • singer
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • producer
Years active 2011–present
Labels Membran Entertainment Group
Associated acts
Website jacobcollier.co.uk

Jacob Collier (born 2 August 1994) is a British singer, arranger, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in London, England. In 2012, his homemade split-screen video covers of popular songs, such as Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing", began to go viral on YouTube.

Collier's style fuses elements of jazz, a cappella, groove, folk, electronic music, classical music, gospel, soul and improvisation, and often features extreme use of reharmonisation. In 2014, Collier signed to Quincy Jones' management company and began working on his one-man, audio-visual live performance vehicle, designed and built at MIT in Boston.[1]

On 1 July 2016, Collier released his debut album, In My Room, which was entirely self-recorded, arranged, performed and produced in his home in London. In February 2017, Collier was awarded two Grammys for his arrangements of "Flintstones" and "You And I", both from the album.

Life and career[edit]

Collier grew up in North London, England with his parents and two younger sisters.[2] He attended Mill Hill County High School in North London, and The Purcell School for young musicians in Bushey, Hertfordshire. His mother, Susan Collier, is a music teacher, violinist, and conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.[3] Collier's maternal grandfather, Derek Collier, was a violinist who also taught at the Royal Academy of Music and performed with orchestras around the world. His father, Patrick Moriarty, is also a musician. Regarding the role music plays within his family, Collier says, "We sing Bach chorales together as family – it's just so much fun."[2] Collier is of part Chinese descent, through his maternal grandmother, Leila Wong.[4][5]

Collier was also a child actor in film[not in citation given][6] under the name Jacob Moriarty.[7] In 2004 he portrayed Tiny Tim in Arthur Allan Seidelman's A Christmas Carol. At the same time, young Collier was also immersing himself in classical music, gaining performing experience as a treble singer performing roles such as one of the three boys in Mozart's The Magic Flute and 'Miles' in Benjamin Britten's "The Turn of the Screw", the latter of which heavily influenced his usage and understanding of harmony.[2] Of Britten's harmonic language, Collier says, "my mind was shattered outwards."[2] Collier received the ABRSM Gold Medal for the highest mark in the country for his grade eight singing result in 2008.[8]

Collier is a self-declared autodidact. He began uploading homemade, multi-instrumental content to YouTube in 2011, releasing, among others, vocal arrangements of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely", "Pure Imagination", from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and in 2013, a multi-instrumental rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing". His activity caught the attention of Quincy Jones,[2] who flew Collier out to the Montreux Jazz Festival where he met with him and Herbie Hancock.

2014–2015: Quincy Jones, MIT, and Live Performance Vehicle[edit]

Around this time, Ben Bloomberg, a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, reached out to Collier regarding the creation and development of musical hardware and software for live performance. Over the following months, he and Collier developed and constructed a new multimedia live experience.[9]

Jacob Collier's Live Solo Show

In 2015, alongside Louis Mustill and William Young of Artists and Engineers, Collier's debut live solo show was completed and began touring Europe and the US.[10] The performance involves multi-media by pairing multi-instrumental loops with real-time 3D capture video loops in order to create a musical and visual experience and a vocal harmonizer Collier designed and created with Bloomberg.[10] The first performance of this show was held at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London.[1] Collier later opened with this show for Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea at the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival.[11]

2015-present: In My Room, World Tour, and #IHarmU[edit]

In July 2015, Beats by Dr. Dre reached out to Collier to provide the music for 'The Game Starts Here' England Rugby World Cup campaign.[citation needed] Collier recorded an a cappella version of the well-known hymn "Jerusalem" for the commercial, which was aired on national television before each England match.[12]

In late 2015, Collier began working on his debut album In My Room, after performing with WDR Big Band in a concert in Cologne, Germany.[13][14] He arranged, recorded and produced the album entirely on his own, playing every instrument, in addition to writing eight of the eleven songs. The album was recorded and mixed in one three-month period[15] in the music room of his family home in London, England, hence the title.[16] It was mastered by Bernie Grundman,[17] and released on 1 July 2016 through the independent record label Membran Entertainment Group. Following the release, Collier has embarked on a world tour with his one-man show including the 2016 Montreux Jazz Festival.[18]

In anticipation of the release of In My Room, Collier launched the "#IHarmU" campaign through Patreon, a crowdfunding site for content creators, where $100 patrons sent him 15-second video clips of melodies, which he harmonized with multiple vocal parts with his well-known multi-screen layout, and uploaded to his social media platforms. He demonstrated this creative process in a two hour live-stream on October 31, 2017.[19][20][21][better source needed] Collier received more than 130 melodies and donations to the project, including from British jazz artist Jamie Cullum, Ben Folds, Herbie Hancock, and Kevin Olusola of the a cappella group Pentatonix, the latter for whom he arranged "White Christmas" on A Pentatonix Christmas, which won a Contemporary A Cappella Society award.

In February 2016, Collier was featured on Snarky Puppy's album, Family Dinner- Volume 2 [22]. Then, on August 22, Collier took part in a Quincy Jones tribute concert at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London, in which he performed his own orchestral arrangement of his original song, 'In The Real Early Morning', with the Metropole Orkest, under the baton of Jules Buckley, amongst other songs.[23][24] In December 2016, Collier collaborated with 150 students at MIT in a concert entitled "Imagination Off the Charts," playing orchestral arrangements of his repertoire. This residency was made into a documentary film.[25][26]

In February 2017, Collier won two Grammy Awards: Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for the original song "You and I" and Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals for a cover of "Flintstones", the theme song from the 1960s television series The Flintstones.[27][28] One month later he made his US television debut on The Tavis Smiley Show performing a rendition of 'You And I' with jazz-gospel a cappella group Take 6.[29] In 2017, Collier also recomposed Samsung's signature ringtone, "Over The Horizon", for the new Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+,[30] and was co-producer on two songs from Becca Stevens album, Regina.[31] Collier also helped score DreamWorks’ 2017 film, The Boss Baby, with composer Hans Zimmer.[32] The following month, Collier performed with Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[33] In April, Collier was also a guest on the daily weekday talk show Harry,[34][35] and a speaker at the annual TED conference in Vancouver, Canada.[36]

Collier toured internationally with his One-Man-Show for two and a half years (between July 1st 2015 and December 18th 2017),[37][38] alongside hosting masterclasses, and performances with orchestras and big bands around the world, including the Metropole Orkest. On July 9, he and Cory Henry performed again with Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley at North Sea Jazz Festival.[39] On July 16, Collier and Jules Buckley were part of a concert at Stuttgart Jazzopen alongside Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, SWR Bigband and Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.[40] In December 2017, Collier collaborated with American Pop/R&B singer Tori Kelly to record an a cappella YouTube video cover of the Christmas song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."

In December 2017, Collier announced that the final performance with the One-Man-Show would be held in Rome on December 18, 2017. He has discussed plans for a second album, to be recorded in 2018.[citation needed]

In April 2018, the BBC Proms announced Collier will be performing at their 124th classical music festival in London. Once again he will team up with conductor Jules Buckley and his Metropole Orchestra in a special collaboration.

In June 2018, Imagination Off The Charts, the documentary made by MIT Video Productions about Collier's collaboration concert, won a regional Emmy.[41]

In July 2018, Collier was one of the surprise guests at Quincy Jones' 85th birthday party celebrations, at the Montreux Jazz Club. On July 19th, Jacob Collier and Friends took place at the BBC Proms in London's Royal Albert Hall.[42]


Studio Albums[edit]

  • In My Room (2016)
  • Pure Imagination - the hit covers collection (Japan - P-Vine Records) (2017)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Result Ref
Jazz FM Awards Breakout Artist of the Year Nominated [43]
Digital Initiative of the Year (Sponsored by 7digital) Won [44]
MOBO Awards Best JAZZ Act Nominated [45]
Grammy Awards Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella (for You and I) Won [46]
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals (for Flintstones) Won


  1. ^ a b Lewis, John (3 July 2015). "Jacob Collier review – jazz's new messiah". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jacob Collier – the vocalist/multi-instrumentalist YouTube sensation". Jazzwise Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "SusanCollier.com". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "With 'In My Room,' Jazz Phenom Jacob Collier Is Bringing Jubilation Back". NPR. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  5. ^ Hum, Peter (6 July 2017). ""If you can't paint in primary colours, no one's going to listen to your songs" — The Jacob Collier interview". Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia Network Inc. 
  6. ^ "IMDB". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  7. ^ [Jacob Moriarty https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1775528/ "IMDB"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Jacob Collier- Encore". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Jacob Collier and Ben Bloomberg turn to DPA Microphones". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Quincy Jones Presents The Future of Music with Jacob Collier and Justin Kauflin at Ronnie Scott's". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Lewis, John (3 July 2015). "Jacob Collier review – jazz's new messiah" – via The Guardian. 
  12. ^ "About- Jacob Collier". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  13. ^ wdr.de (2 June 2015). "I wish". 
  14. ^ Imort, Carmen Braun / Johannes (2 June 2015). "Jacob Collier - In My Room". 
  15. ^ "Jacob Collier talks Quincy Jones & Debut Album "In My Room" w/ RobertHerrera3". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  16. ^ NDR. "Musik - Von Jazz über Klassik, bis Weltmusik". www.ndr.de. 
  17. ^ "Jacob Collier - In My Room - ginalovesjazz.com - the jazz magazine by matthias kirsch". 27 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Live Concert - Jacob Collier - 07 July 2016". 
  19. ^ Jacob Collier (31 October 2017). "#IHarmU LIVE! #1 ft. Lewin Blümel" – via YouTube. 
  20. ^ "Jacob Collier - JazzRefound 2016". 
  21. ^ "'In My Room' – Out July 1st!". Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  22. ^ Fordham, John (2016-02-11). "Snarky Puppy: Family Dinner Vol Two review – uninhibited, high-flying jazz-fusion". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  23. ^ Fordham, John (23 August 2016). "Quincy Jones Prom review – heartfelt tribute to a great musician's extraordinary legacy" – via The Guardian. 
  24. ^ "Proms 2016: A chance to luxuriate in Quincy Jones's genius – review". 
  25. ^ "Jacob Collier harmonizes with MIT". 
  26. ^ MIT Video Productions (8 September 2017). "Imagination Off the Charts: Jacob Collier comes to MIT" – via YouTube. 
  27. ^ Quincy Jones (1 May 2017). "Jacob Collier GRAMMY Speech 2017" – via YouTube. 
  28. ^ "Jacob Collier Wins Two Grammy Awards – TenEighty — YouTube News, Features, and Interviews". 
  29. ^ "Grammy Winning Performer Jacob Collier - Interviews - Tavis Smiley - PBS". 
  30. ^ "Samsung and Jacob Collier Collaborate on New Galaxy Smartphones' 'Over the Horizon'". 
  31. ^ www.girafficthemes.com, Giraffic Themes. "About - Becca Stevens". 
  32. ^ The Boss Baby (2017), retrieved 2017-06-27 
  33. ^ "Hans Zimmer's Coachella Diary: "It's Fantastic Shambles" (Guest Column)". 
  34. ^ "John Lithgow & singer Jacob Collier! - HARRY". 
  35. ^ HARRY (19 April 2017). "How Jacob Collier Went Viral" – via YouTube. 
  36. ^ "Jacob Collier - TED Blog". 
  37. ^ Luzern, Luzerner Zeitung AG 6006. "Die Klangmesse eines Genies". 
  38. ^ "Jazzfest review: Jacob Collier uplifted fans with his mind-blowing show". 4 July 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  39. ^ Jacob Collier (23 July 2017). "Hideaway - Jacob Collier & Metropole Orkest" – via YouTube. 
  40. ^ Germany, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Stuttgart,. "Jazz Open in Stuttgart: After-Show-Party mit Legenden und einem „Wunderkind"". 
  41. ^ "MIT Video Productions wins third Emmy with "Imagination Off the Charts: Jacob Collier comes to MIT"". 5 June 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  42. ^ "Prom 7: Jacob Collier and Friends". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  43. ^ "Jazz FM Award Winners 2016". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  44. ^ "Jazz FM Award Winners 2016". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  45. ^ "MOBO Awards Best Jazz Act". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  46. ^ "2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees". Retrieved 6 December 2016.