Producer Jacknife Lee (The Killers, Regina Spektor, U2, R.E.M., Empire Of The Sun, Jack Garratt, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Snow Patrol) is today sharing news of his latest project – the first under his own name – an album featuring Genesis Owusu, Earl St Clair, Beth Ditto, Sneaks, Haviah Mighty, Petite Noir, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Bibi Bourelly, Barny Fletcher, Aloe Blacc, and Open Mike Eagle. The album’s first single Made It Weird feat. Open Mike Eagle is accompanied by a Jackie Radinsky video which is available to watch below.
“The Jacknife Lee” is an album with its roots in unpredictability. Lee freely admits that he had no intention of even making a record. However, with so much time spent inside what he calls the “studio bubble”, he began to write letters to a variety of artists, to express his admiration and thank them for the great work they were doing. It is here that the story of “The Jacknife Lee” begins, as intermittent pockets of studio time, WhatsApped beats and verses, and organised “blind dates”, turned into the relationships that would form a carefully curated record.
“The Jacknife Lee” is also a record that sees one of the world’s most in-demand producers discovering new ways of working, and revelling in the role of being a music fan again. He would immerse himself in processes that would be alien to some of the Big Names and found his love for the record in amongst the experimentation and uncertainty of what would come from it. He says: “It’s usually my job to organise the sessions and to a certain extent be the grown-up in the room. This is me not being that.” The result is a transcontinental record of African beats and electronic music that exists in its own world, and only for itself.
Watch the video for Made It Weird feat. Open Mike Eagle – BELOW:
Continuing about lead single Made It Weird, he says: “Open Mike Eagle was on my dream list of collaborators but I didn’t think he’d do it. His flow is ridiculously clever and smooth. I’ve been a fan of his for ages. Once he was convinced to come to Topanga we just hung out, listened to records and I played him the beat and he took it away. And then this happened. He makes it sound so so easy but he’s doing some mad shit in there. This beat is the only sample on the record. It’s from Francis Lai, Young Freedom.
The video was made by Jackie Radinsky. I’d seen and loved his documentaries on Daedelus and Open Mike Eagle, and he was a friend of a friend. He lived locally so I gave him the track and said do whatever you want. Being a producer and “in charge” most of the time, I love handing over the controls to someone else and letting them just get on with it. It’s really refreshing for me and I get to be excited by the newness of what happens.”
Jacknife Lee – “The Jacknife Lee” tracklisting
1. Flutter feat. Genesis Owusu
2. I’m Getting Tired feat. Earl St Clair and Beth Ditto
3. What Does It Mean?
4. Hit The Bell feat. Sneaks & Haviah Mighty
6. Firewalls feat. Petite Noir
7. Sisa Wabaya feat. Muthoni Drummer Queen
8. The Studio feat. Bibi Bourelly and Barny Fletcher
9. I Gave You Everything feat. Aloe Blacc
10. That’s What All Boy Do feat. Bibi Bourelly
12. Made It Weird feat. Open Mike Eagle