Jamie Smith, better known as Jamie xx, is one third of The xx and a prolific remixer and producer whose work spans a diverse range of musical styles.
He’s had some high profile collaborations that have brought The xx’s signature industrial sounds, hollow bass whisperings and clapping beats to a wide range of performers, from the Grammy-nominated pop of Adele, to the indie gloom of Radiohead, the orchestral sounds of Florence + the Machine and the introspective musings of Gil Scott-Heron‘s last studio album I’m New Here—remixing each into electronically-haunted melodies layered atop laid back, clubby percussions. (Stream the remix collaboration We’re New Here here.)
With a new album from The xx on the way, Smith reflects on his teenage years raving at Mass in Brixton, why it’s best not to over analyse why you like a certain track and the myriad musical influences that informed his own unique audio style, ranging from jazz, soul, hip-hop, drum n’ bass, disco and electronic music. He also talks about the importance of live performance and his ambition to develop an electronic instrument that leaves room for the human.
While The xx’s new material was informed by their partying, when it comes to making the beats, Smith likes to keep it simple using Logic, Space Echo, preamps, and the occasional CASIO to give the band their emotive, electronically-soaked sound. Watch the video profile above to hear more about the humble music mastermind’s creative process.