“One hundred thousand voices all singing together in harmony – that’s what gets me excited,” Jacob Collier says. “It’s an anthem that has become the soundtrack to my life.”
Seventy dates into his year‑long world tour, the 28-year-old British multi-instrumentalist is surrounded by song. Each night, Collier sits behind the piano and begins playing an undecided and unrehearsed cover to his audience of thousands. He feels his way around the keys without knowing where he will land, eventually settling on a pop standard such as the Bee Gees’ How Deep Is Your Love or Abba’s Dancing Queen and conducting the crowd with his hands in a multilayered choral singalong that ends his two-hour shows.
His latest single is the culmination of this impromptu practice. Combining audience vocals from the US leg of the tour with thousands of individual video submissions from fans, Collier’s version of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love swells from a massed opening singalong to a rousing and surprisingly moving multipart harmony produced by his choir of 100,000 voices. In under two minutes, Collier spans both the simplicity of a school assembly rendition and the head-scratching complexity of so many voices interweaving that the individual is obliterated.
Read the feature in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 26/11/22]