Interview: Liam Bailey

By on Friday, 10th February 2012 at 12:00 pm

London soul singer Liam Bailey’s had a mixed few months. Co-writing and featuring in Chase and Status’ huge ‘Blind Faith’ brought him a whole new fanbase but his debut album release was delayed by over 6 months. We talk to him about this, the BBC Sound Of 2012 List and the future.

Having been a dedicated artist for a while now, the album was meant to launch at the end of last year. What happened to that and are there plans to reschedule?
The album was held back due to me not being completely happy with it and also my important people at my record label losing faith in its potential. Now that I’m happier with it, I do intend for the album to be released this year. I would love for it to be out by summer.

What can fans expect from the album when it surfaces?
The songs are all honest and are definitely documentations of what I was going through whilst recording the album. It’s a good and solid first attempt at making the best out of a bad situation.

With Michael Kiwanuka winning the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, do you feel that there’s going to be a sizeable shift in both demographic and mainstream recognition towards modern soul singer-songwriters?
I hope so. But there’ve been there all the time. The BBC are not really reliable tastemakers. I hate the fact people decide what the mass public will listen too though.

Why do you feel that the genre has been seemingly overlooked in the last few years? Is the scene lacking or is it just reluctance of radio to play that style?
Radio One and the BBC are not renowned for their taste making skills for decades. I’d say it’s more because some sort energy or star constellation has aligned over time. Almost as though a room full of idiots fools, wise men and women have all eventually settled on one decision after hours of arguing, and it was all over what to drink.

When you look at the current musical landscape, who do you look up to and/or aspire to emulate?
Radiohead have inspired me a lot this year. They’re just incredible.

One thing that fans have seemed to really warm to is how in touch with them you are, responding to Facebook and YouTube comments. How important do you feel this is to an artist?
I just think it’s important to be real. So any interaction with people whether it be face to face in public spaces or in the strange world of the internet should be real.

Where do you hope 2012 will lead you?
I hope 2012 bring enables me to keep doing what I love and I hope I get a strong chance to shine.

Liam Bailey’s EP It’s Not The Same is available to buy from Amazon and iTunes via his official Web site. Watch the video for his song ‘It’s Not the Same’ below. Many thanks to Jono for helping sort this interview for us at TGTF.


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