Reminiscent of the likes of The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, it’s fair to say that the UK has found its equivalent in 21 year-old Joel Compass. Growing up in Brixton, Joel found solace in playing a piano his mum had saved up to buy him, after his music teacher discovered that he had perfect pitch. After years of singing, songwriting and producing, Joel was scouted and signed to label of the moment, Black Butter Records (home to Rudimental, Clean Bandit, and Gorgon City amongst others).
His debut EP, Astronaut, was released to huge critical acclaim this summer with final track, ‘Back to Me,’ racking up over 150,000 YouTube views in one week. Astronaut is not only filled with passion, ambition, and raw emotion, but also a sincere vulnerability that is often lost behind hazy production in other R&B artists’ music. Joel perfectly combines painfully heart-breaking lyrics with sweet melodies and dull bass to achieve a beautifully tender EP that also leans towards a deep and disturbing underside.
Joel’s debut single ‘Run’ (featuring Pusha T) was released in November and was selected as one of Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Records of 2013’. Having toured with Mercury-nominated Rudimental in October 2013, he’s recently announced news of an album for spring 2014.
It’s his drive and modesty that make Joel Compass one to watch; but above all, his tender falsetto, forlorn echoes, and hazy basslines are in the process of making him a super-hyped R&B legend-in-the-making.