A Grammy-winning crossover jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with a flair for harmony and arranging, Jacob Collier became an Internet sensation in the early 2010s with his layered performances, achieving a one-man harmony vocal group, often with accompanying video takes. A mix of original songs and heavily stylized covers, his debut album, 2016's In My Room, reached the Top Three of the Billboard jazz chart.
Raised in North London, England in a family of musicians, Collier began sharing music videos of his slick, multi-track performances from his home music-room as a 17-year-old in late 2011. Presenting most of the videos in a grid layout so that each vocal and instrumental take was visible, he would often arrange and perform up to eight-part vocal harmonies, with accompaniment ranging from keyboards and stringed instruments to varied percussion. His early songs included original tunes such as "Serendipity," and covers of songwriters spanning George & Ira Gershwin, Burt Bacharach, and Stevie Wonder. While enrolled as a jazz piano performance major at the Royal Academy of Music, he developed a method of solo, multimedia live performance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, which he debuted at the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival, where he opened for Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Soon in demand for his arranging skills as well as performing, he began collaborating with other musicians, including an appearance on Snarky Puppy's early-2016 release Family Dinner, Vol. 2. Collier's first official single from an album of his own, "Hideaway" appeared in April 2016. His debut LP, In My Room, followed mid-year on the Membran label and charted in Switzerland and the Netherlands in addition to reaching number three on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart. In 2017, Collier won two Grammy Awards for his arranging: one for his version of Stevie Wonder's "You and I" (Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella) and one for his cover of The Flintstones theme song (Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals).
By the time he returned to the studio to work on his second album in 2018, he'd been touring internationally for over two years.