Image. It is everything. Even when it comes to music. The cultural association of a 'look' with a music genre, has long been explored since the dawn of rock and roll. Being a manufactured artist with an handful of stylists or a trendsetter with an innate individual approach, we all infer how an artist "should" sound on a first visual impression.
We caught-up with Rag'n'Bone Man on the road, fresh from an outstanding response at Lowlands 2016 and on his way to Reading and Leeds 2016, playing at the Radio 1 Dance Stage!
"A lot of it has to do with the way people see you physically, if people don't know what I do, they think: 'Oh… he is a rapper or a heavy-metal guy'… people are always surprised by how it sounds, which I think you could call it a "joker card", I guess", says Rory.
Whitsa1, reminisces about discovering him. "I came across Rag'N'Bone Man by accident watching BBC Glastonbury coverage in 2015 and hearing the strip-down version of The Bitter End. I was struck immediately by how soulful and powerful his voice was, so I checked out his back catalogue. Not really the sort of stuff I would usually listen to (more of an indie/alternative fan) but I think he blurs the boundaries of blues/soul/hip-hop/rock and you can't not like that voice!".
LenniePaine, from Switzerland, tell us about discovering Rag'n'Bone Man; "I saw him at the Great Escape 2015 festival in Brighton. I haven't seen such a compelling stage presence for a long time and I was absolutely impressed by his voice. It is hard to name a 'favourite' track, but the whole Bluestown EP is awesome"
Indeed, it was awesome enough for Rory to get a publishing deal and shortly after a recording contract with Columbia Records. "I felt like a needed a bigger platform… I never had it in mind I will sign to a major record label, it was never even a consideration; but it was put on the table and it was a deal which gives me 100% freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. I saw the benefit of having that backing"
His debut album will be released this autumn and will count with four different producers; long time collaborator Mark Crew (Wolves EP, Disfigured EP), Jonny Coffer (Beyoncé) and Two Inch Punch (The hip-hop side, not the UK Garage one). To support the release, a new single should land in October, as he and his band embark on a three month tour through the UK and Europe. Check availability and dates by scrolling down at http://www.ragnbonemanmusic.com