Human - Rag'n'Bone Man
After his excellent performance on Jools Holland's New Year's Eve 'Hootenanny' our LCM featured artist today is a London based singer-writer who we think will have a great 2017 and make the same kind of impact as artists like Hozier, The Heavy and Bastille. His music is a fusion of soul, blues, funk and hip hop and we think he has a rich blues and soul vocal. Rory Graham better known as Rag’n’Bone Man is originally from Uckfield in East Sussex. His debut album 'Human' was released by Columbia in July and our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is the powerful title track. In 2016 Rory also won the Brits Critics' Choice Awards 2017.
If you like to catch Rag'n'Bone live has is playing with his band at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on April 19th.
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man has been a prolific underground name for a couple of years now, honing a ferocious live reputation through guitar wielding solo performances, as the resident vocalist of rap's Rum Committee, and now through his first release through independent label ‘Best Laid Plans’: Wolves. And, like many things, it began with the blues.
Having discovered the genre as a child, the rhythmic troubles that rang out from his parents' record player planted a stubborn seed in this kid's head and it wasn't long before the youngster was venturing through classic realms of soul, jazz and folk.
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (or Rory)’s first dice with performing real live music was to be rooted in those earlier fascinations. Twenty five years younger than most of the clientele, Graham used to hit up a local jam session, and one particular evening, after a couple of pints, he'd end up making a decision that would define his future. After one too many, he got the courage to jump on stage and sing a Robert Johnson song; shocked that people actually liked it. He went a few more times, then every week – playing harmonica or singing on stage. At this point, he knew it was what he wanted to do.
A move to Brighton and a slice of fate introduced him to two influential figures. Firstly, the rapper Gi3mo, who immediately shipped Graham's vocal talents into his hip hop crew, Rum Committee. Next came a meeting with the prolific beatmaker Leaf Dog, resulting in an intense meeting of minds; their six track Dog n' Bone EP.
In his good friend and producer Mark Crew, he found a kindred spirit and the two began working towards a 'project'. After eight months, they found themselves staring down the pop, soul and hip-hop cannonade of nine blistering tracks, which Graham has named ‘Wolves’.
Owing to that moment when his blues and beats worlds collided, the sound of Rag N' Bone perfects an artistic dualism of old and new. The nine tracks of ‘Wolves’ pack an eruptive mixture of hip hop and electronic thunder, with a golden coating of soul. He may have honed his trade underground, but this release marks the Rag ‘N’ Bone Man stepping out of the shadows.
The follow up, in 2015 was the Disfigured EP, also released through Best Laid Plans Records. Lead track "Bitter End" was supported, then playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, and made it onto BBC Radio 1's 'In New Music We Trust' playlist.