The Irrepressibles is the creative guise of vocalist, composer, artist and producer Jamie Irrepressible.
Recently collaborating and touring as lead vocalist (along with Ionnalee) with Norwegian electronic duo Royksopp whilst finishing his third record in Berlin and Manchester, Jamie Irrepressible is a vocalist, composer, songwriter, and visual artist who has released two critically acclaimed albums (Mirror Mirror 2010, Nude 2012) and two EPs (From the Circus to the Sea 2009, and Nudes 2014) with his project The Irrepressibles. Jamie works with sound, music video, live performance and collaborations with other artists to make political emotional works that aim to communicate to a broad audience and incite change.
Born in North Yorkshire, England to working-class beginnings, Jamie began writing the music he could hear in his head for the school orchestra inspired by progressive rock, early electronica and classical music. He later moved through various indie, punk and grunge bands either on guitars or vocals.
On discovering his sexuality, and being bullied, he focused on creating music that would express the beauty and uniqueness of homosexual love in a way that would illustrate it to everyone. Initially selling out small venues performing these songs alone on acoustic guitar in London before forming The Irrepressibles and expanding the songs with his orchestrations at university in 2002.
The Irrepressibles From The Circus To the Sea EP released in 2009 reached the top of the Rough Trade in-store chart and finally engaged the interest from the UK music industry. Amongst 4 songs the EP featured instrumental music Jamie had created for a film by Scottish director Shelly Love, called The Forgotten Circus.
Their debut album Mirror Mirror (2010) - a fusion of Bowie-esque glam-rock, grunge, exotica, baroque music, and honest authentic songwriting - was at the vanguard of the recent ‘chamber-pop’ movement. Lead single “In This Shirt” became a viral phenomenon with a cryptic art-house LGBT video made by Israeli director Roy Raz extending the bands popularity internationally and has been used extenstively in Film and TV with remixes made by Royksopp, Hercules and Love Affair and Zero 7. The album earned critical acclaim and the attention of many important figures in the music industry including Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), Boy George, George Michael, Bill Drummond (The KLF), Tom Robinson, Amanda Palmer, and many more.
Visual collaborations with Jamie’s then boyfriend, the artist JJ Stevens, established a visual aesthetic that continued through the albums promotional life with the band working with various fashion designers (Philip Traecy, Rachel Frier, the then violinist Jordan Hunt) together with makeup and hair teams on ‘performance spectacles’ dreamt up by Jamie. The band toured internationally performing inside of sets and lighting installations that collided fine-art interactive installation ideas with indie performance - either built by teams or Jamie himself - many of which had a significant influence on the then style of live performance in popular music such as the Human Music Box created for the V&A museum (2009) and the Light and Shadow, Mirror Mirror, Zeotrope and Air spectacles all performed at prestigious arts festivals internationally plus various site specific ‘happenings’.
Jamie's second album Nude was far more stripped back and emotional. Released in 2012, it gained similar acclaim both from critics and peers. A bold and radically honest homosexual record with imagery and music videos to boot, it challenged cultural norms in popular music and though the albums boldness lost them their record deal, the zeitgeist followed suit with artists making openly honest gay work both lyrically and in videos. They were again at the front of a movement, and Nude’s success built in the years to come regardless of the initial bans on music videos they encountered from Youtube. The lead track ‘Two Men in Love’ was picked up and used by fashion designer/film director Tom Ford and shared by Madonna. The album also saw the band take their message of equality to Asia, Australia and the US performing challenging environments such as in front of 5,000 people in an open-air headline show in Moscow, Russia, and celebratory ones -performing the song for the first gay wedding in the UK.
As a vocalist and composer Jamie’s worked in much of the breadth of the music industry. From the Avant Gard: performing site specific works with his choir Conversations With Sound on tube trains, in tunnels and public spaces, to improvised works working with directors including David Toop (Flying Lizards). Through to scoring electro-choral music for critically-acclaimed touring opera ‘War Sum Up’ (Hotel Pro Forma/Latvian National Opera) who’d previously worked with The Knife on the opera Tomorrow in a Year. He’s also provided studio vocals for dance music working thus far with Royksopp, Ionnalee of iamamiwhoami, and Rex The Dog and has also performed as lead vocalist for Jazz (Holland Festival, RomaEuropa), Classical, and rock productions with festival shows internationally. Jamie has recently scored orchestral music for a forthcoming fantasy film release and has also begun working in the world of music production - arranging,recording, and mixing a first release for American indie alt-Country artist Jon Campbell, titled “About A Boy” which was released February 2016. Most recently Jamie has dueted with Swedish artist ionnalee of iamamiwhoami on the track ‘Dunes of Sand’ released January 2017.