Damon Albarn

Biography

Damon Albarn (born 23.3.1968)

Damon Albarn is a singer and musician. He is best known for his work with Blur and Gorillaz.

Damon Albarn: Childhood

Damon Albarn was born in the Whitechapel area of London, to Keith and Hazel Albarn. His mother was a theatrical set designer and his father once managed Soft Machine and also presented Late Night Line Up on the BBC, as well as being the head of North Essex College of Art.

Albarn grew up in Leytonstone, in a middle-class, bohemian environment. He went to school at George Tomlinson Primary School. Whilst at school, he learnt to play guitar, piano and violin.

At the age of 12, he befriended Graham Coxon, when they both studied at Stanway Comprehensive School. Three years later, Albarn won his regional heat of the Young Composer of the Year competition. He briefly studied drama at the East 15 Acting School but left after just a year. He found work as a mime artist and as a tea boy at the Beat Factory studio.

Damon Albarn then attended Goldsmiths College, where he studied music. Before forming Blur, he was in other bands, including Two's A Crowd, The Aftermath and Real Lives.

Damon Albarn: Music

Damon Albarn formed Blur in 1989 with Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree. They became hugely popular in the 1990s. Their album Parklife became their breakthrough album, with the lead single (also named 'Parklife') featuring the actor Phil Daniels.

When Blur released their single 'Country House' on the same date as Oasis' 'Roll With It', the music press made much of the rivalry between the two bands, with Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher engaging in a public slanging match with the members of Blur. Eventually, 'Country House' won the battle to the UK singles chart number one spot.

Graham Coxon left Blur in 2002 and embarked on a solo career. The band disbanded not long after that, but reformed in 2009, playing Glastonbury Festival, amongst other dates.

In 1999, Albarn collaborated with Michael Nyman to produce a score for the film Ravenous, which starred Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle.

Damon Albarn released a solo album in 2002, entitled Mali Music. The album was conceived when he traveled to Mali in 2000 to support the work of Oxfam. In 2009, Damon Albarn was credited with producing parts of Amadou & Mariam's Welcome To Mali album.

In 2003, he released Democrazy, which was a collection of demos that he recorded in hotel rooms on the US promo tour for Blur's Think Tank album.

Damon Albarn's song 'Closet Romantic' also appeared on the soundtrack for the film adaptation for Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, which starred Ewan McGregor.

In 2004, Albarn also made a guest appearance on Fatboy Slim's Palookaville album.

After leaving Blur, Damon Albarn formed the band Gorillaz along with Jamie Hewlett (the artist who created Tank Girl). The concept of the band is that the music is fronted by four two-dimensional animated characters, named 2-D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel. They style of the music ranges from rock, to hip-hop and electronica. They have released two studio albums, entitled Gorillaz and Demon Days.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen is a project announced in May 2006 and features Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse (as producer), Paul Simonon of The Clash, Simon Tong of The Verve and Tony Allen (a member of Fela Kuti's Africa 70). In April 2008, The Good, The Bad & The Queen headlines Victoria Park's Love Music Hate Racism concert and were joined onstage by Jerry Dammers of The Specials.

Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn worked together once more, adapting the Chinese story Journey to the West and 'Monkey: Journey to the West', along with the opera director Chen Shi-zheng. The show received its world premier at the Manchester International Festival in 2007.

Damon Albarn: Personal Life

Damon Albarn had a very public, lengthy relationship with Justine Frischmann of Elastica during the 1990s.

Albarn is now in a relationship with the artist Suzi Winstanley. They have a daughter together, Missy Violet, born in 1999.

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Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations

15th September 2014 -

 News

The 24th edition of the annual Barclaycard Mercury Prize is due to be held on Wednesday 29th October at London’s Roundhouse.Last week we brought you our analysis of who we thought would make the dozen-strong...

East India Youth is Smart Bet For 'Mercury Music Awards' 2014

11th September 2014 -

 News

The debut solo album from Damon Albarn has been nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2014. The list of nominees - better than last year but still mostly uninspiring - also includes Kate Tempest,...

Latitude Gratitude: Damon Albarn is Thankful of "Brave" Festival

23rd July 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn isn’t exactly a stranger to playing in front of huge crowds at some of the world’s biggest music festivals, so hearing him thank Latitude for giving him a headline slot doesn’t quite add...

Blur Stage Mini Reunion at Latitude, Delight Audiences

21st July 2014 -

 News

The weather over the weekend may have been unpredictable, but there was one nice surprise in store for revellers at Latitude Festival when Damon Albarn was joined onstage by Blur bandmate Graham Coxon. With a...

Damon Albarn - Heavy Seas Of Love Ft. Brian Eno

2nd May 2014 -

 Video

'Heavy Seas of Love' featuring vocals from Brian Eno and The Leytonstone City Mission Choir is the newest single from Damon Albarn's recently released debut solo album 'Everyday Robots' released on Parlophone and Warner Bros....

Damon Albarn - Heavy Seas Of Love Single Review

1st May 2014 -

 Review

He's well-traversed in various genres of music, from his history with Britpop success Blur and experimental virtual project Gorillaz, to his collaborative African music project, but Damon Albarn has finally ventured into solo territory with...

No Heroin, But Damon Albarn Is Still Near His Creative Best With 'Everyday Robots'

26th April 2014 -

 News

Glamourizing drugs is a crime punishable by censorship and criticism, but Damon Albarn’s detractors – the ones who weren’t happy when he said heroin made him more creative – should take one listen to his...

Damon Albarn on Drug Abuse (Again): "I Found it Initially Very Agreeable"

23rd April 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn has already told us that heroin was a great source of creativity, for him anyway. And now he’s opened up on his days of drug addiction in a new interview with Time Out...

Damon Albarn Describes Heroin As "Initially, Very Agreeable"

22nd April 2014 -

 News

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has controversially claimed that he found Class A drug heroin “initially very agreeable.” The statement comes just a few weeks after Albarn admitted he felt that the drug helped his productivity...

Damon Albarn Describes Taking Heroin As "Very Agreeable And Very Creative"

22nd April 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn seems to show no regrets of being a past heroin user.The 46 year-old musician recently described taking the class A drug as "very agreeable and very creative".Albarn, who was a massive influence during...

James Blunt in Remarkable Tirade Against Damon Albarn. Plums Are Involved.

14th April 2014 -

 News

Being incredibly posh and remarkably privileged is okay, according to James Blunt – who just so happens to be incredibly posh and remarkably privileged – as long as you own up to it. And that’s...

Damon Albarn Took Heroin "Five Days On, Two Days Off"

27th March 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn has spoken candidly of his heavy heroin usage during the "height of Britpop", saying he would regulate his intake to "five days and two days off." The singer-songwriter - who is now sober...

Damon Albarn Just Ruined Our Week, "Can't Foresee New Blur Album"

25th February 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn, who is busy promoting his new album Everyday Robots, says he can't foresee a new Blur record in the near future. Rumours had suggested that the group would begin work on a new...

Damon Albarn Finally Going Solo With Upcoming Debut 'Everyday Robots'

20th January 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn is finally set to go solo as he unveils his long-anticipated debut album Everyday Robots on April 28th 2014.Blur is still an ongoing projectThe Blur frontman is definitely a workaholic of the music...

Glastonbury Festival 2013 In Pictures: Sun, Cider and The Rolling Stones [Pictures]

1st July 2013 -

 News

And that's it. Another year passes and Worthy Farm closes its gates on the Glastonbury Festival revellers for another 12 months. Though there's always the distant murmur of someone professing it "the best Glastonbury ever,"...

A Week in Music - James Blake Still Seeking His Niche, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Triumph With Lily Cole Video, Eels Stage A Love-In In Bournemouth

2nd April 2013 -

 News

Albums of Note... It’s been a long two years since James Blake released his debut eponymous album and now, the pioneering producer returns with Overgrown, album number two. Peppered with quality collaborations, with hip-hop legend...

Hatchet Buried: Noel Gallagher And Damon Albarn Unite Onstage For Teenage Cancer Trust

25th March 2013 -

 News

Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn put their notorious Britpop feud behind them this weekend to perform onstage together in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts that Noel was charged with curating. In the heady...

BBC Radio Marks its 90-Year Anniversary With Simultaneous Broadcast

14th November 2012 -

 News

In all of BBC Radio’s 90 years, there has only been one scheduled simultaneous broadcast; in 1922 for the British Broadcasting Company’s first ever radio-wave outing. Now, 90 years later, Damon Albarn heads another in...

Blur, Pulp And Muse Dominate The Q Awards

22nd October 2012 -

 News

Britpoppers Blur fought off competition from The Stone Roses to be named best live act, but lost out to Muse for the mantle of best act in the world, Sky News Reports.Muse have had a...

Damon Albarn Spearheads New Drive To Get Younger Fans Into Opera

3rd October 2012 -

 News

Damon Albarn is among those who've lent their name to a new initiative aimed at finding more opera fans, as the once prestigious form of entertainment finds itself in danger of being eclipsed thanks to...

Damon Albarn Encourages ‘Jeans and Trainers’ Look For Opera Season

3rd October 2012 -

 News

Damon Albarn and filmmaker Terry Gilliam are leading a campaign to attract more youngsters to the opera, encouraging first-timers to ditch the tuxedo and dicky-bow in favour of wear jeans and trainers. Anticipating that the...

Damon Albarn - Dr Dee

1st May 2012 -

 Review

Damon Albarn has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Manchester International Festival since Gorillaz performed Demon Days Live there in 2006. The following year, he took Monkey: Journey to the West to the festival and...

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Comments

tegslovesdamon's picture

tegslovesdamon

Hi my name is Tegs and im 15 and from Australia. Hi other girl from Australia (hehe). Anyways, i LOVE Gorillaz and Blur, they are my TOP bands ever. Damon Albarn is the best singer, writer that i know of. I was really excited when mtv had a gorillaz special, watched everything that was that they showed. I also brought the best of Blur dvd. Damon was SO HOT, BEETLEBUM IS THE BEST!That clip is HOT. Pretty good now anyways. All my friends never heard of him, and when I told them that he sings for Gorillaz, they thought that Gorillaz was just cartoon, and that there was no real people behind it. Damon if you ever read this (which i highy doubt) I think your awesome, and your music makes my day:):):)bye byesps:Franz Ferdinand rule!!!

8 years 5 months ago
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Sharon Smith's picture

Sharon Smith

I REALLY LIKE YOU AND I'D LIKE TO MEET YOU ONE DAY

7 years 10 months ago
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Fruit Salad's picture

Fruit Salad

Hello. Damon is a minger but he makes good music!!Gorillaz rule!!!

8 years 6 months ago
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Y Mazariki's picture

Y Mazariki

I knew it was Damon Albarn singing along with the "Clint Eastwood" song but i never thought he was behind the band.I used to be a huge Blur fan and i like Gorillaz too so i'm quite thrilled finding out that i'll be hearing more of Damon again :)

9 years 2 months ago
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