Singer/songwriter Liam Bailey may have discovered Amy Winehouse, but his soulful delivery and highly individual songs stand on their own.
Born in Nottingham in 1983 to an English mother and Jamaican father, Bailey grew up listening to his parents' Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, and Jimi Hendrix records. As a member of hip-hop collective 1st Blood, who were briefly signed to Tricky's now defunct Brownpunk label, he appeared on the album Eat Defeat by Bloodleech and recorded an LP, There Were Wolves, as one quarter of short-lived folk outfit the Accidental in 2008. After moving to London to carve out a solo career, his emotive and heartfelt brand of acoustic guitar-driven soul soon attracted the attention of Winehouse, who tracked him down after hearing one of his tracks through a mutual friend. In addition to teen singer Dionne Bromfield, Bailey became the second artist to sign to her Lioness Records imprint and released two EPs through the label, 2AM Rough Tracks and So Down, Cold, in 2010. While working with her producer Salaam Remi on his debut album, he supported Ellie Goulding on her U.K. tour and provided vocals for Chase & Status' Loleatta Holloway-sampling number four hit "Blind Faith." After signing to Polydor Records, he released his debut single, "You Better Love Me," and its parent album, Out of the Shadows, was scheduled to follow later in 2011 but it was pulled at the last minute. Bailey spent the next few years in record label limbo, but he re-emerged in 2014 on Flying Buddha/Sony with his long-delayed debut album, Definitely Now. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi