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Jordan Rakei

Since debuting just out of his teens in 2013, Jordan Rakei has continually refined a nuanced form of soul-rooted alternative R&B with increasing vulnerability. A singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, the London-based Rakei is at home on the roster of Ninja Tune, the label through which he has issued a handful of albums including the deeply personal What We Call Life (2021) and subsequent Bruises EP (2022). A keen collaborator, Rakei has been featured on varied tracks such as Disclosure's "Masterpiece," Loyle Carner's "Ottolenghi," and labelmate Bonobo's "Shadows." Born in Tokoroa, New Zealand and raised in Australia, Jordan Rakei grew up playing piano and guitar. He debuted in 2013, just out of his teens, with Franklin's Room, a self-released EP rooted in traditional soul and reggae. Rakei followed it a year later with the more R&B-focused -- and D'Angelo inspired -- five-track Groove Curse EP. A move to London in 2015 resulted in him working with a host of artists, appearing on recordings by FKJ ("Learn to Fly"), Alfa Mist ("Hopeful"), and, most prominently, Disclosure ("Masterpiece"). In 2016, Rakei released his first album, Cloak, on his own imprint, 4101 Records, and also debuted his house alias, Dan Kye, on the Rhythm Section International label. His sophomore album, Wallflower, his first for Ninja Tune, appeared in 2017 and saw him taking a more eclectic approach to his style of alternative R&B. Rakei continued to collaborate with the likes of Loyle Carner and Nightmares on Wax before issuing his third album, 2019's Origin. Following its release, he headed out on tour with dates in Europe, Australia, and the U.S. In 2021, Rakei put together a selection of tracks for the long-running compilation series Late Night Tales, while also supplying two covers -- Radiohead's "Codex" and Jeff Buckley's "Lover, You Should've Come Over" -- specifically for the project. At the same time, Rakei was working on his fourth studio album. Preceded by the single "Family," a reflection on his parents' divorce, the deeply personal What We Call Life was issued in late 2021. The album charted in the U.K., reaching number 54, and just before the end of the year, Rakei co-wrote and fronted Bonobo's single "Shadows." Only a few months later in 2022, Rakei offered the Bruises EP, consisting of three new songs and a live version of the What We Call Life ballad "The Flood" recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios.
© Andy Kellman & Rich Wilson /TiVo


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