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  • Writer's pictureSimon Rushby

Jealous by Labrinth

#listeneveryday 11 Feb 2021

Labrinth is Timothy McKenzie, a Hackney-born producer, songwriter, singer and rapper who began his career writing for artists such as Professor Green and Tinie Tempah, with whom he appeared (uncredited) on the 2010 hit Pass Out.

Following this he was signed as an artist to Simon Cowell's Syco label - the first in a number of years to do so having not appeared in a TV talent show. He went on to have a very successful string of releases including Beneath Your Beautiful with Emeli Sandé in 2012 and Jealous in 2014.

Labrinth has continued to produce and write with other artists such as Rihanna and Ed Sheeran, and more recently has seen a lot of success as part of a collaboration with Sia and Diplo called LSD. This has produced singles such as Genius and Thunderclouds.

McKenzie wrote Jealous in Nashville with pedigree songwriters Josh Kear and Natalie Hemby. For many it is the archetypal tear-jerker break-up song, cited by Adele as the one she used to make her cry on command for her Hello video, but Labrinth has said it is specifically about family separations during his childhood.

The honest, simply-shot video does much to emphasise the genuine, heartfelt delivery of the song, and whilst Nashville's country music vibe is definitely an influence, the soulful chords and key changes of the bridge and final chorus remind me of tracks like Stevie Wonder's Lately - another desperate break-up song.

More to listen to

Lately by Stevie Wonder - Labrinth's use of harmony and sentiment reminds me of this classic song.

Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth and Emeli Sandé

This clever track is a collaboration between Labrinth, Sia and producer Diplo

A new #listeneveryday post is published every weekday! Comment below or tweet @SimonRushby with your suggestions for future music.

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