By Andy Hong
I first heard of Jacob Collier when I watched his arrangement and multitracked solo performance of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" on YouTube almost a decade ago. Jacob's creativity captured my attention so completely that I immediately shared his video with my friends, as countless others did. The young teen, working alone in his family's home, was clearly achieving a level of musical skill and vivacity far beyond his age. A couple years later, I learned that Jacob was collaborating with Ben Bloomberg, a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab [in the same research group from which I graduated]. I subsequently watched Jacob's TED Talk, and I was equally impressed that he was able to articulate so well his unique approach and inspirations to music-making. Jacob has five Grammys to his name, and, more importantly, he has earned the respect of many of the best musicians in the world.