How did I find Jacob Lee? I heard the song “Demons” play through my headphones as I sat writing the chapters to my first novel. It expressed a portion of a relationship that not many people really discuss. It was such a very personal-sounding song, resonating with pained emotion.
I looked over at what YouTube had brought to me through the algorithm and I was surprised to see Jacob Lee, by himself, using a looping machine to create the vocal and instrumental beauty that was this song. Since then, I’ve found several of his songs to fit perfectly on my writing playlists.
His videos are mini-feature films. I get lost in them. He treats his fans like family and has been a supporter of other artists while continuing to grow his own brand and produce his own music. And that music is haunting, touching the soul of those who listens. He’s found a way to wrap philosophy in music so that it becomes something special to each listener.
The Brag has described Jacob Lee as – “One of the biggest artists in Australia you’ve never heard of.” I believe that’s part of the reason he belongs in my collection of artists here on Untapped Sound.
PERSONAL/ PROFESSIONAL HISTORY
Jacob Lee Christian Blowes, who performs as Jacob Lee, is an Australian pop singer-songwriter from the Gold Coast, Queensland. Jacob told Vicky Hebbs of AMNPLIFY.COM that he began his journey at a young age when he loved to use words and write about characters that he made up from images he found on Google.
“As a child, I intuitively fell in love with words. I would seek out pictures or sketches through Google images & develop imaginary worlds from the subjects that inspired me. Drawings of birds, or ships, or personified objects became protagonists in my short stories & allowed me to refine a creative expression before I even knew what ‘creative expression’ meant,” Lee explains.
He also says that it took him years to realize he could meld those stories and words with his love of singing.
He began his music career as a busker in Surfers Paradise, in which he performed on the street for over 4 years. When X-Factor Season 3 for Australia came along, Jacob made it to their boot camp round. In 2012, he was briefly a member of Gold Coast radio station’s Sea FM’s boy band, Oracle East.
In 2014 he was a contestant on the third Australian series of The Voice, and was coached by will.i.am. After his elimination from the competition, Jacob spent time to himself, rediscovering his path, writing his first album along the way.
He independently released his debut single, “Chariot” that same year (as of this article it has over 27 million streams on Spotify).
In January 2016, Lee supported Justice Crew on their Live & Local Tour in New South Wales. Then, in February, he released the extended play, Sine Qua Non.
Clarity, followed in the next year, also with four tracks. One of these, “I Just Know“, was released under Warner Music United Kingdom, which gave it greater reach.
He created his own record label, Philosophical Records by the time he was releasing his next set of tracks.
Late in 2017 and early 2018, Lee released the tracks that would be part of a new album, Philosophy. The artist has said that “Oceans” is from his perspective, but the video is quite a theatrical departure from the original meaning. But that’s fine, it’s a great bit of visual and lyrical entertainment.
Lee released “Black Sheep” in early 2018, to present his thoughts on the current state of the popular music industry. The other songs were released soon after.
Also in 2018, he released “I Belong To You” which most listeners have called the perfect wedding song. It has been viewed over 79 Million times on YouTube. Who knows how many weddings played it!
His next album, Conscience, also has 10 tracks. The title track, “Conscience” has been viewed over 2.4 Million times on YouTube. I prefer the live version, but the official video is beautiful and meaningful. The lyrics make you feel like questions everyone asks at one time or another, especially if they believe in a greater power.
Jacob has released over 50 songs, surpassing 240 million streams on Spotify heading his own independent label Philosophical Records. He’s also developing an eloquence brand called Lowly Lyricist.
He has independently toured parts of America, Europe, UK, and Australia. All of this with no label, management, or booking agent. And as of this article, he’s not even reached the age of 30.
STYLE AND INFLUENCE
As a child, Jacob listened to what his parents enjoyed, two examples happened to be Robbie Williams and Frank Sinatra. He’s inspired by emotion and also by other artists. For one interview he mentioned Childish Gambino, for instance. If he could work with any artist, he replied that he’d want to work with him.
Because of his rounded love of both writing and singing, Jacob enjoyed putting his creativity to the test. But once he found success, he realized he also needed to balance his creativity with business knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, so that he could remain independent. So far, he has.
Something that really influences him is the plethora of cultures he has been introduced to through his travels. He sums that influence up remarkably well in his interview with AMNPLIFY.COM’s Vicky Hebbs –
“You’re forced to instantly recognise that your perspective is merely a drop in the ocean of perspectives, & each & every view is valid (Unless it justifies the emotional or physical hurting of someone). No matter how right you think you are, I’ve realised that a philosopher should never fully arrive at a conclusion. There is always a viewpoint you’re yet to reach. I’d say my reflective thoughts & inquisitive mindset has definitely put me in a place to create introspective music. I’ve never been able to fathom the concept of ‘filler songs’, on an album. I feel as though each & every work should be single worthy & add some level of value to the listeners life.”
According to Lee, one thing that keeps him motivated is being on stage and hearing his lyric sung back to him. He said to The Playground, that he wants to know what resonated with each person and he thrives to recreate that for them.
COLLABORATIONS & CONNECTIONS
In January 2016 Lee accompanied Australian boy band, Justice Crew, on their New South Wales tour from Coffs Harbour to Sydney.
He was the featured vocalist on “Need to Feel” in April of the same year, a single by Social Hooliganz & Trifo, which peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Club Tracks. He also performed the featured vocals with them on “Stars at Night” in March 2017, which peaked at No. 36 on the ARIA Club Tracks.
ORIGINAL SONGS or DISCOGRAPHY
- Philosophy 2017
- Conscience 2019
- Sine Qua Non 2016
- Clarity 2017
Over the pandemic, Jacob continued to release what he called “Conscious Sessions” which I enjoyed whole-heartedly. He has this year posted the completed collections of those to his YouTube channel.
He’s continuing to post shorts and also posting things on his other social media – snippets of possible songs for the future. His TikTok is specifically marketed for this. It’s really interesting to see the making of the music as it happens.
This year he has also begun a “Members-Only” bunch of live streams that are left as videos on his YouTube channel. A lot of these are reading sessions, not just your normal Q&A or jam sessions. And don’t forget his Discord Community – it’s listed on his Facebook and Twitter, the links are below!
“Silhouette” was released in May of 2020 and reveals a new electronic addition to the music the artist normally makes. The lyrics, however, still tell a story of depth and emotion – definitely a hallmark fans know to expect of Jacob Lee.
Otherwise, Jacob and his partner welcomed their baby boy to the world during the pandemic and he was busy writing music and working on his social media. Touring is getting underway again soon and though he says he needed the break from travel, he’s looking forward to getting back out there.
Similar Sound – I am definitely reminded of some of the softer tones from Niall Horan or Ed Sheeran while listening to Jacob’s voice. However, his soul-touching lyrics and his mood-setting for his videos outmatch the mainstream artists, in my opinion.
FIND OUT MORE:
As always, if you want to share more, or feel I’ve missed something, let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.