Damon Albarn, born on March 23, 1968, is an English singer, songwriter and musician from London. In addition to being the frontman of iconic Britpop band Blur, Albarn has also embarked on a series of side-project and solo ventures.
In 2000, Albarn introduced his first side-project, the cartoon concept group Gorillaz: the virtual hip-hop group, who were fronted by four animated members designed by artist Jamie Hewlett, released their debut album ‘Gorillaz’ in 2001 and have since released the critically acclaimed LP’s ‘Demon Days’ (2005), ‘Plastic Beach’ (2010) and ‘The Fall’. They have collaborated with a wide range of artists over the years, including The Fall’s Mark E Smith, Andre 3000, Bobby Womack, Snoop Dogg, Happy Monday’s Shaun Ryder, Little Dragon, James Murphy and Danger Mouse.
Albarn’s other projects include the unnamed super-group consisting of himself, former Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Fela Kuti’s drummer Tony Allen and The Verve guitarist Simon Tong. The band’s first album, ‘The Good, The Bad And The Queen’, was produced by Danger Mouse and released in 2007.
In 2012, meanwhile, Albarn debuted another supergroup called Rocket Juice And The Moon. The band, whose members included Allen and Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea, released their first self-titled LP in 2012.
Albarn’s other projects include his 2002 album ‘Mali Music’, which was a collection of songs recorded during a trip he made to Mali in 2000. He has since continued to take similar trips and in November 2013 was part of the album ‘Africa Express’ which featured tracks recorded by local musicians and stars including himself, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner and Brian Eno. He has also co-created two operas: 2007’s ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ and 2012’s ‘Dr.Dee’, which was inspired by comic book author Alan Moore. More recently, he has started a career as a producer and worked on the final album by soul legend Bobby Womack, ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’.
Albarn released his first solo album, ‘Everyday Robots’, in April 2014 and was also given the NME Award For Innovation at the 2014 NME Awards.