Jacob Collier: The Grammy winner making music in his childhood bedroom

By Steve Holden
Newsbeat music reporter

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Image source, Getty Images

Jacob Collier has never had a single or album in the UK Top 40.

But on Sunday night he made history - the first UK artist to win a Grammy for each of his first four albums.

The 26-year-old still lives with his parents in North London, but has now won music's biggest award five times.

Asked how he was going to celebrate, Jacob told E! Entertainment News "I might go for a swim in the ocean
 I feel like a shock to the system is the only way I can fathom this."

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His song He Won't Hold You won the award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals - the third time Jacob has scooped that prize.

He was also nominated for Best R&B Performance for his song All I Need which features Ty Dolla Sign and Mahalia - and best album for Djesse Vol 3.

Jacob was watching a live stream of the Grammy nominations with his family in November last year, when he found out he was nominated for Album Of The Year.

"My heart stopped. It was completely ridiculous. I'm absolutely thrilled," he told Radio 1 Newsbeat at the time.

He was listed alongside Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Post Malone for his album Djesse Vol 3.

He calls it an "extraordinary moment" in his career.

As the name suggests. Djesse Vol 3 is the third of a four-album project that features collaborations with the likes of T-Pain.

Jacob probably wouldn't mind if you said you'd never heard of him but he's already well-established in the music industry.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jacob Collier has toured the world extensively

Jacob's from a musical family and he's always played multiple instruments including keyboard, drums, guitar and bass.

He describes his sound as a "great big mixture" of music that takes in jazz, classical, folk, rock'n'roll, trap, rap and soul.

"I love all music," he says. "It's one massive language."

What he'll often do is loop his music to create "tapestries of sound" and layer his voice over itself. What you then get is "10, 20, 30 or even 80 Jacobs all singing at once".

He's worked with a massive list of artists over the years, including Coldplay, composer Hans Zimmer, Lianne La Havas, Tori Kelly, Jessie Reyez and Pharrell Williams.

"It's a whole different mixture of forces I guess. But each one presents its own unique challenge. I've loved the experience of learning how to shapeshift my universe and incorporate all these different people's styles."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jacob Collier won two Grammys earlier this year

This is Jacob's fifth Grammy in total.

He won two for his debut album In My Room in 2017, and also got wins in the Best Arrangement category for volumes 1 and 2 of the Djesse project.

Despite all the accolades, he still makes music from his childhood bedroom at his family's home in north London.

"I learned to walk in that room. It's the same sacred childhood space I've always enjoyed. I'm so lucky to have it, especially during lockdown. It's been my sanctuary."

He may be 26, but his parents haven't tried to get rid of him yet and he's still happy to live at home.

"I've thought about leaving," he says. "But the reality is when I'm touring and travelling the world, it's really lovely to come home to a place that feels like it belongs to me.

"I'm very lucky to get on with my family like a house on fire."

A version of this article appeared on 26 November 2020, when Jacob Collier was nominated.

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