"Neon" is the way Jamie Lidell describes his music. Like the descriptor implies, Lidell's music is bright, vibrant and eclectic. But before he gets too out there, he reels his listeners back in with his voice, creating a fusion he refers to as "post-modern soul."
He creates this mix by modernizing his music influences such as Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye with electronic elements.
"Begin with the desire to create something unique and original ... injecting your personality into your music," Lidell said, adding that he exercises his creativity by tapping into his inner Picasso.
In February, Lidell released his latest full-length album, which he says brings back the disco vibe with a return to the days of dance music. The album was recorded and mixed in the studio at his Nashville home, where the English-born Lidell moved two years ago after living in New York. According to Lidell, the finished product has no real theme, as he just wanted to make a collection of songs that sound good together.
"I needed space to create, stretch out and think," Lidell said about his eclectic track list.
Currently, Lidell is on tour to promote the new release, a job he views with both love and distain.
"[You] wake up in another city, eat breakfast, do interviews, go to the venue for sound checks, get out there for the performance and then back to the bus to air out the wet clothes."
But to Lidell, his crew and his music are what make the task worthwhile.
"I hate the cramped bus, but love the camaraderie," he said. "I have a great bunch of people that I tour with."
During the show, fans can expect a "warm electric vibe," which includes a light show with a stunning unity of sound and vision.
"I am the singer in the show, but was involved intimately during the process of syncing the lighting and audio for this tour," Lidell said.
Before the performance, however, you might find Lidell in The Pyramid Scheme's bathroom doing vocal warm ups. A seemingly strange place for preparation, Lidell says he prefers the solitude to collect his thoughts before going out on stage into the lights and music that can simply be summed up as "neon."
Additional reporting by Lindsay Patton-Carson / Photo: Lindsay Rome