b. Benin. Singer-songwriter, novelist and poet Julien Jacob was born in the west African state of Benin but grew up in the south of France. He dipped his toes into the music scene between the late 70s and early 80s as a member of local pop rock band Anaphase before relocating to Nice, where he began to establish himself as a poet and novelist. Jacob continued to play music, however, and after a period spent living in Paris he moved to rural Brittany where he continued to develop his literary and songwriting skills. He published a number of literary tracts in the mid-90s before landing a contract with Warner France, for whom he recorded the album Shanti at the end of the 90s. Released in 2000, Jacob promoted the album with a number of well-received appearances at festivals throughout Europe and North America. For his follow-up Cotonou, released by the London, England-based label Wrasse Records in 2005, Jacob used his own imaginary jazz language based on the timbre and vibration of words. Drawing on rock, folk and Arab music, Jacob and his band fashioned suitably otherworldly textures as a backdrop for the singer’s hypnotic vocals, with the words transcending conventional interpretation to form an integral part of the sound of the album.