The xx made their Mercury Award-winning arrival over a decade ago in 2009 with their eponymous debut album, and since then, they’ve become an unstoppable force with Jamie xx at the heart of the group. This gem from 2011, one that saw him team up with Childish Gambino, is an early indicator of his talents.
While most bands of The xx’s stature are built around the lead singer, it’s Jamie’s magnetism as a producer which grabs the headlines when dissecting the group’s phenomena. His beats are stimulating, tense, distressing and euphoric in equal measure, which, coupled with Oliver Sim and Romy’s sparring vocals, is a toothsome recipe that is incredibly moreish.
Outside of The xx, Jamie has made himself one of the most interesting electronic artists on the planet following his 2015 album In Colour, which he gradually composed over five years. Since the release of the album, Jamie xx is now a festival headliner in his own right as well as with The xx and is set to top the bill at All Points East in London this summer.
Back in 2011, Jamie xx was slowly starting to make his name as a creative who could produce a handy remix, and when he was asked to create a new version of Adele’s smash hit ‘Rolling In The Deep’, he turned it into a completely new entity thanks to Childish Gambino.
When the two teamed up, Childish Gambino was merely the rapping alter-ego from ‘that guy from Community‘, and he was yet to prove himself as the megastar he is today. Over the last 10 years since the collaboration, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, has established himself to be about as close as the 21st century has to a renaissance man as is humanly possible.
Never sticking to one particular art form, Glover has forged a career in both music and film by possessing that is all about aptitude. Never deterred by denial, Glover often struggled to have his voice heard when he was coming up in the dual industries. Eventually finding fame and notoriety in both fields, as a rapper and musician under Childish Gambino’s moniker and through countless important roles on screen, Glover has forged his path and on his own terms.
Ever since achieving such worldwide recognition, Glover has chosen his projects carefully, even suggesting that he has now retired his Childish Gambino moniker entirely. When he worked with Jamie xx, Gambino was yet to release his debut EP and album, which both came later in 2011 when Gambino proved that while he is a comedian, his musical prowess is no laughing matter.
It’s maddening to consider that one of the most lauded artists on the planet, who is seen as the modern-day indictment of what a true artist is and Gambino’s ability to mix it up with every art form, shows he’s a rarity that needs celebrating. This remix of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ is a portrait of two quicksilver minds blending to shine a mirror into the future.
Stream the track, below.