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Damon Albarn

From Academic Kids

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Beetlebum_2.jpg
Albarn singing in the video for "Beetlebum"

Damon Albarn (born March 23, 1968), (Leytonstone, London) is a British vocalist who is most famous as the lead singer of the rock band Blur. In recent years he has been on the music scene as a member of the virtual band, Gorillaz.

Contents

Early years

At the age of 10, his family, his father being a university lecturer, moved to Aldham, Colchester (home of Essex University). He attended Stanway Comprehensive school, in deepest Essex, where, when he was 13, Albarn met Graham Coxon who shared his taste in music - The Jam and Madness. At school, Albarn was seen from an Essex viewpoint as conspicuously 'high-brow' and even vain. He preferred bird-watching instead of enjoying male company on the football field. He went to the East 15 Acting School, thereby realising his talents lay in music instead.

He moved to London in 1987, losing contact with Coxon, and experimenting with music in a synth band called 'Twos A Crowd'. He frequented the Beat Factory recording studio, producing several songs, such as "Birthday" - later to be included on Blur's debut album, Leisure.

Blur

In 1988, he enrolled on a part-time course to study at Goldsmiths College, in New Cross, London, where he met Blur's eventual bassist, Alex James. There, 'The Circus' was formed with Coxon. Adding James and Dave Rowntree, the art-rock 'Seymour' was formed which transformed into Blur in 1989. Albarn had a relationship with Justine Frischmann in the 1990s. He now lives in Notting Hill with Suzi Winstanley, the mother of his daughter, born 1999.

In 1996, Albarn appeared on the soundtrack for Trainspotting both as a member of Blur and with his own solo work, namely the instrumental "Closet Romantic".

Solo work and beyond

Albarn has released the album Mali Music, based on sessions he made whilst visiting Mali on a trip for Oxfam in the summer of 2000, which was released in 2002 partly through his own label Honest Jon's. Recently he has visited Nigeria to make music with drummer Tony Allen. Albarn is virulently anti-war, and has made protests against the wars in Afghanistan, and of course, Iraq. He would like to record a new Blur album in Baghdad as he 'likes the Iraqi style of music'.

Albarn also released a low profile solo album called Democrazy in December 2003 through Honest Jon's. The album was compiled of raw demos he recorded on a four track in hotel rooms during Blur's U.S. tour in 2003.

He also appeared on Fatboy Slim's 2004 album Palookaville, featured in the song called "Put It Back Together".

2005 saw Albarn reunited with the Gorillaz as they released their highly anticipated second LP, Demon Days. Singles include "Feel Good Inc.". Albarn has also spoken out against Bob Geldof's Live 8, saying that there were not enough black and African acts on the bill. After this criticism, several more non-white artists were added to the lineup and an entire concert specifically for African artists will be staged at the Eden Project in Cornwall at the same time as the other concerts.

Discography

(see also: Blur discography, Gorillaz discography)

Sources

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