South Shields is probably the last place you’d expect to find the crackling tones of soulful female vocals over dubstep tinged electronic experimentalness. But that’s exactly where you’d find 21 year old Lulu James. Well, at least when she’s not off gallivanting around the UK, winning friends and fans in venues and festivals across the country.
Drawing from her own eclectic taste, 21-year-old Lulu cites Jamie XX, Eminem, Nikki Minaj, India Arie, Gil Scott Heron, James Blake, Jamie Woon and Drake, as her main inspiration, and in her music she blends elements from them all to create a refreshing, brave and, more importantly, interesting sound. Let’s take, for example, Rope Mirage, the lead track from her latest E.P. release. It begins with sinister electronic blips and bleeps before bursting into its staccato beats and James enters, with her soulful, styled vocals, reminiscent of the likes of Mary J Blige and Morcheeba‘s Skye Edwards. You get the feeling it’s definitely one to catch live.
Having already supported the likes of Ghost Poet and played at festivals up and down the country, including the highly influential Great Escape Festival in Brighton, James is already making quite a name for herself. For all the right reasons as well.
After unveiling debut tracks 'Rope Mirage' and 'The End' to immediate acclaim late last year, there is a real anticipation for her new material. Edgy, effervescent, ethereal electronica straddled with James instantly recognisable vocal timbre makes for a unique take on an already exciting and fast developing musical movement. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about at Split Festival this year.