Upon first listen, many people assume that James Blake is black. And when they do set eyes on the 26-year-old white Englishman singing, they're taken aback.
"He's like a white Erykah Badu," one smitten YouTube user commented on a video clip of Blake's 2013 live performance on the Late Show With David Letterman. "I'm a kid all over again, and it's all because of a white boy with a black voice."
Racial stereotypes aside, it's not often that the pop music world finds a male voice with Blake's pristine shimmering tone and voluptuously soulful expression, redolent of the great black gospel singers.
"I think if anyone wants to sing pop music, and they want to leave out the black contributions to popular music, they may find themselves wanting as a singer," Blake tells Crossfade.
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