Jamie Lawson and 10 Questions with TotalNtertainment.
Jamie is known for the massive global hit ‘Wasn’t Expecting That‘, which was the debut song/album released on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records. This is Jamie’s first release since parting ways with the label after a successful 3 album run, and carries on the Lawson tradition of heart-string-pulling songwriting and delicate vocals, whilst introducing new elements such as a string section. We managed to grab some time with him for a chat.
1. Thanks for your time Jamie, how is life treating you on lockdown? How are you keeping busy ?
Life is actually okay. I’ve been lucky so far as I’d decided at the end of last year to take some time off and stay home for a while, recharge my batteries a bit after touring for the last 5 years or so and now everyone’s doing exactly the same thing. I was going to do one event in Switzerland which was cancelled but apart from that I’ve not really been affected by it. Obviously, I worry about family and it’s been difficult not seeing friends etc but it won’t last forever and it’s good to keep reminding yourself of that.
2. You’ve got a new EP, Moving Images, out in May, what can you tell us about it ?
It’s the first collection of songs that I’ve produced myself, apart from the song Closure which Jez Ashurst produced on the day we wrote it. It’s quite a personal collection of songs given that it was mostly recorded at home in my own studio. It has themes of both good and sad love, so I’ve not strayed too far away from the usual Jamie Lawson territory
3. About “She Sings For Me”, you say that music is always there whatever mood you’re in. Which track on the EP do you think is most suitable for these times ?
She Sings For Me seems to work well – “I sing for the lost and I sing for the lonely ‘cause I know that I won’t be the only one who feels this way.” We are all in this together like no other time in history, that’s pretty crazy.
4. You’ve also said that the EP marks a new chapter for you and you’ll put more releases like this out instead of full albums. What is the thought behind that direction ?
With streaming and social media playing a bigger and bigger part in the way music is heard it seems to me that you can no longer step away for a while, take some time off to recharge (even though that’s exactly what I’m trying to do right now), collate your thoughts, write new songs, make an album then release it. It feels like you have to have a constant presence, so the idea is to make less music more often. I can keep turning things over, be as present as I can be, release a couple of EPs a year and then tour on the back of those. It’s a little experimental at the moment, and due to the current situation everything has changed again anyway, so we’ll see how it goes.
5. The entertainment industry as a whole has been crippled by the Coronavirus, how do you think it will be different when restrictions are lifted ?
On the downside a lot of venues will have disappeared as they will have gone out of business so bands just starting up will struggle to find places to play. However hopefully creative people are getting creative, using this time as best they can to make art and turn this situation into something positive. The music industry before this crisis was broken, just look at how much writers get paid through streaming, hopefully some of that can be re-balanced, although I’m very sceptical that it will happen but it definitely should.
6. You’re doing gigs on instagram, what other plans do you have while you can’t tour ?
None really. Take a break. Breathe in and breathe out. And then maybe start writing some new music, but I’m not forcing it.
7. On the subject of social media, what are your thoughts on the part it has had to play in coverage of the pandemic ?
I’ve found it very useful to read different sides of the story on twitter. It’s always hard these days to find the truth but if you read enough, follow the right people I think you can find the balance.
I do like how it has been quite open to keeping people occupied. I’ve been doing the live streams once a week which has been good for me and people seem to be coming back each week and tuning in. Lots of other artists are doing the same, Emily Burns, Maisie Peters, Gavin James and Glen Hansard to name a few.
8. It’s clear music is a big part of your life, what is your first musical memory and which artist has had the biggest impact life ?
I remember getting caught dancing to Shakin Stevens when I was about 5 years old. I remember hearing One Day In Your Life by Michael Jackson for the first time and when I was about 8. The artist who has had the biggest musical influence on me is probably a singer called Mark Eitzel. HIs album 60 Watt Silver Lining changed my life. On hearing that record I left college and moved to London to try and make it in music. Something about the songs, the way they were sung and the emotion in them made me think, “I think this is what I’m supposed to do.” And so I did.
9. Just for fun: if you had to choose between going without toothpaste or deodorant for the duration of the lockdown which would you choose and why ?
Without deodorant for sure, does anyone choose toothpaste!? I’d like to keep my teeth thanks, as weird as they are.
10 Thanks for your time and good luck for the future. To finish, is there any message you have for fans, family and friends ?
Stay home, stay safe and keep being kind to others. Thanks. Jx
Jamie Lawson releases his heartfelt 5-track EP Moving Images on May 29th via Lookout Mountain Records.