Jordan Rakei NPR Tiny Desk Concert - Watch Now

Posted Jan. 13, 2020

Origin - Latest Album Out Now Via Ninja Tune

Jordan Rakei NPR Tiny Desk Concert - Watch Now

Talented songwriter, producer and live performer JORDAN RAKEI wrapped up his extensive fall tour in November, ending it with a stop in Washington, DC for an intimate NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert. The London-based, New Zealand-born and Australia-raised musician performed "Say Something," "Mind's Eye" and "Speak" -- a song inspired by The Handmaid's Tale andthe main character's search for her daughter in a dystopian world -- all from his latest full-length album Origin (Ninja Tune); and "Talk To Me" from his 2016 debut album Cloak. The performance features Rakei's five-person band and three backing vocalists. NPR Music notes, "Rakei and his band locked-in and played a phenomenal set... Rakei's sound is easygoing and colorful. While steady grooves connect his singular blend of jazz and R&B, his tight chord voicings, compelling rhythms and mesmerizing vocals make for a wonderful performance." Watch the gorgeous set here:

Rakei has cemented his worldwide rep as a modern soul icon in the making since signing to Ninja Tune and releasing his album Wallflower. He has also clocked almost 175 million Spotify streams, performed at iconic venues and festivals including Glastonbury & Pitchfork Avant-Garde Block Party, and has sold out North American and Australian headline tours.

Soulful, intimate and expansive all at once, his latest album Origin cuts straight to the point, in every sense of the word -- the melodies are brighter, the sound is bigger and the vision behind it more finely-tuned. It's an album that is overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future, with many of the album lyrics exploring technological growth and how it affects our sense of humanity. He channeled the classic songwriting and musicality of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, striving to surprise and delight with the form of his work, and always infusing it with the same effortless swing and human feel that he fell in love with listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock and 9th Wonder. The album's well-received tracks include singles "Mind's Eye," "Say Something" and the soulfully psychedelic & funky "Rolling into One."

SET LIST - 1) Say Something; 2) Mind's Eye; 3) Talk to Me; 4) Speak

MUSICIANS - Jordan Rakei: vocals, keys; Jim Macrae: drums; Ernesto Marichales: percussion; Jonathan Harvey: bass; Imraan Paleker: guitar; Linda Diaz: vocals; Sam Wills: vocals; Opal Hoyt: vocals

CREDITS - Producers: Suraya Mohamed, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Natasha Branch; Editor: Jack Corbett; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Jack Corbett, Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Mhari Shaw/NPR

Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR

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