He grew up on the jazz scene, he’s reached the X-Factor finals, and now he’s going it alone as an independent artist - welcome our newest Jamma artist, harrison cole.
Smooth and soulful mixes of pop, R&B, jazz and grime form the discography of this London-based singer-songwriter and producer. Despite his time in the public eye during his stint on X-Factor in 2019, harrison is an extremely chilled guy, who weaves beautiful melodies with creatively-blended production to create distinctive tracks.
Harrison is a 20-year-old artist living in London. He performed as a jazz drummer at underground clubs before he began his X-Factor journey in 2019, joining the band ‘Unwritten Rule’ to reach the finals of the show. Since his time in the limelight, he has focused on producing music inspired by life in the city, his passions, and his Iranian roots, including three singles: “ 19 ”, “ eyelash ”, and - his most recent release - “ breaking my bank ”.
We recently caught up with him for a quick interview:
Despite his young age, harrison cole is already a thoroughly mature and experienced performer. Jamma co-founder, Nathan Fullbrook, recently caught up with him to discuss his journey so far, where he wants to take his music career, and a chance meeting at Pizza Express Live in Soho!
Nathan: So, I know you were dragged around to a lot of jazz clubs and a lot of really amazing venues as a kid. What impact did being around all of those really talented live musicians have on you growing up?
Harrison : Yeah, I mean it was pretty amazing to be honest. I’m now lucky enough to have played at [the same venues]. When I was a kid, especially as a 14 to 15-year-old teenager, it was a really really cool experience just being amongst all those proper jazzers, these really hardcore musicians. It was really inspiring to see all of that. It was so different to what all my mates were going to see [...] it was really amazing to see all of that and it definitely put me in a different direction.
N: So you’re a jazz lover, are you?
H: Yeah. I was a bit more when I was 16 or 17 - that was when I was really on it. It’s a bit more widespread now, but yeah still.
N: What inspired you to pick up the instruments and get going with music?
H: I started playing music when I was 10, actually. I started out on drums, so I was a drummer until I was about 17/18, when I made the transition to being an artist. That was why it was so inspiring [growing up] to keep going to these jazz clubs and watching jazz musicians, as a drummer. It’s different as a singer - there are singers in jazz but I tend to prefer jazz without [singers] a lot of the time.
N: So did the singing come after the drumming?
H: 100%, yes. It wasn’t really a discovery that I could sing - it was more of a decision that I was going to sing until I was good. I was really, really bad for about two years - yeah, I was horrible!
N: I find that hard to believe! So were you self-taught or did you then take lessons?
H: I had one lesson. And then, from there - the technique was all wrong from the get-go, you know - so after that lesson, she just showed me everything I was doing wrong and then from there I could progress on my own.
The full interview:
If you want to find out why Nathan was so surprised to hear that harrison wasn’t a born singer, either head to the end of the interview to hear his single “eyelash”, or check out his Jamma page for videos of how good he sounds now! If you would like to book harrison for any virtual or future events, you can send him a message from his Jamma profile. Visit his soundcloud to check out his new single, “breaking my bank”.