Of course, the reasons there have been so many comparisons are painfully clear.
Share via Email Intensity and soulfulness Mads Perch Of the 15 contenders in this year's BBC Sound of poll, Jamie Woon is the only one, as far as we know, whose mum sang with Michael Jackson and whose uncle was in a legendarily hard-living 70s Scottish rock band.
He's also the only one to have had one of his records remixed by the dubstep enigma Burial and to have had another praised as "good music to do yoga to" by the actor Gemma Chan, last seen playing a geologist in Dr Who.
But, then, Woon's songs do feature his smooth, supple vocals swooping and soaring over fidgety, edgy electronica.
The opaque and mysterious world of Woon It’s been a while since we heard from Jamie Woon. to be precise. Back then his debut album Mirrorwriting was a critics’ favourite, a ghostly post-dubstep soul affair that had “music journo-friendly” written all over it. Watch the video for Night Air from Jamie Woon's Mirrorwriting for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Amazon MP3 $ iTunes $ Physical media. Amazon Search eBay Search Amazon Music 3 Months for $ Auto renews. New subscribers only. Album reviews: Jamie Woon, Troye Sivan and CeeLo Green – after the zeitgeist Troye Sivan and CeeLo Green – after the zeitgeist the sounds and style of his album Mirrorwriting have.
And yet he's not remotely offended by the suggestion that they represent, in the nicest possible way, the sound of boxes being ticked. The only other sound is the low hum of the air-conditioning unit.
I've always wanted to make pop music. Along with Mercury prizewinners the xx, the highly regarded Mount Kimbie and fellow Sound of hopeful James Blake who was at No 2 in the final countdown, two places above Woonhe is bringing an eerie spaciousness, a nocturnal tranquillity, to daytime radio.
It's even apparently been playlisted on Asda FM. His music is created in a bedroom in Clapton, in a house that he shares with modern jazz Mercury nominees Portico Quartetusing Apple's Logic software and skills acquired watching friends Burial and Ramadanman work their dark magic on his music.
On the other hand, he's tall and handsome, with jet-black hair and a goatee, and a soulful croon designed to charm the mainstream. He seems calm and self-assured, but then, at 28, he's had time to prepare for this.
He's also been schooled in all the right places: There, he "hung out a bit" with Winehouse, but he wasn't part of the legwarmers-and-pirouettes brigade because he didn't take dance or musical theatre, he just specialised in music.
Woon got the gig, their high point being a performance of Radiohead's Lucky at Croydon's Fairfield Halls, where the audience were, he recalls, "bemused by this intense, edgy-voiced kid".
Softly-spoken and inscrutable, it's hard to tell where his quiet intensity comes from. His upbringing was, he considers, "eventful in all the normal ways": She also provided backing vocals for her son's Night Air. He was impressed when he was introduced, aged eight, to Kylie — he remembers she had on "the sparkliest red dress I've ever seen" — but what he really wanted was to be a journalist or an astronaut.
He discounts professional golfer or tennis coach, even though these were what his Malaysian father, who left when Woon was nine, did for a living. I was a bit of a geek, really. He returned to America soon after to attend a guitar camp in North Carolina, an acoustic and folk guitar workshop where he learned how to play the instrument percussively and how to employ open tunings, beloved of Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and John Martyn, all artists he began to admire.
Around this time he also fell under the spell of DJ Shadow's sampling classic Endtroducing Less widely known is one of Woon's "absolute all-time heroes", the troubled London soul wonderkid Lewis Taylor, whose 90s and noughties albums have earned him cult status, even though he has retired from music, having removed all traces of himself from YouTube.
Woon's debut album, Mirrorwriting, released this spring, will feature an homage to his electronic soul forebear in the form of a series of one-word song titles, a speciality of Taylor's. I interviewed Taylor several times, about his experiences with hard drugs and his unease about being marketed as a soul boy — a sort of credible Jamiroquai — when really he wanted to make records influenced by the weirder parts of the Brian Wilson catalogue, as well as by Captain Beefheart.
I put it to Woon that he lacks any of Taylor's self-destructive tendencies and seems destined for success. You don't, I tell him, seem to have the air of a casualty about you; you're not messed up. They strike the right balance between organic warmth and synthetic cool, between the doleful and the digital.
At least four of the songs on the album are, he explains, about trying to find peace amid the angry noise of the city. Throughout, he uses "tons of reverb and delay" to stretch out the sounds, because he has "a terrible relationship with time" and wants to, as far as he can, create more of it.
This is what he has acquired from Ramadanman and Burial — that ability to take a moment and make it linger. What he has also learned from these mysterious producers is that you can make commercially impactful music without giving too much of yourself away.
I ask him whether he'll be as in-our-face as Jessie J this year, but I already know the answer. It's a vicious cycle of self-laceration.
Why do I put myself down? So that it's harder for other people to do it. You would think he was, like that earlier exponent of quirky modern soul, Craig David, Born to Do It.JAMIE WOON Records and CDs: British singer, songwriter, and producer.
Born: 29 March in New Malden, Kingston Upon Thames, London, England, UK. Placed fourth in the BBC's "Sound Of " poll, Woon makes electronic music, and "[m=]" () was . Watch the video for Lady Luck from Jamie Woon's Mirrorwriting for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists.
Amazon MP3 $ iTunes $ Physical media. Amazon Search eBay Search Play on Amazon Amazon Music Unlimited. Woon’s debut has taken its time, but the beguiling results have been worth the wait.
Paul Clarke As the stately pace of Mirrorwriting attests, Jamie Woon is not one to rush. Jamie Woon - Jamie Woon is a British singer, songwriter and producer signed to Polydor who gained widespread acclaim in for his single Night Air which was co-produced by Burial, following his previous independent release, Wayfaring Stranger.
Disparate elements though these may seem, it's all effortlessly pulled together by Woon's own quivering soul vocal, while the enormous sense of space throughout 'Mirrorwriting' makes for a light. Jamie Woon’s debut Mirrorwriting came out in , the same year James Blake released his first album.
Both Londoners specialised in nocturnal R&B ballads, all soft crooning and hushed atmosphere.