4 minute read
Interview: Sam // Words: Ollie
“The thing that will give you longevity in business is authenticity…”
Rising artist Jamie Hannah talks to us about his roots as a classically trained singer to duetting with pop star Boy George.
“Just trust in the journey, some people will try to intrude & take you in other directions, but you need to have faith in your intuition” he states.
Sound Of My Youth. //
“I am dyslexic so English was never a good subject for me, but I am creative & music has always been an integral part of who I am. There has never been anything else I have wanted to delve into, music was always the right path” he says confidently.
Detailing his initial journey, the London based musician explains, “At the age of 18, I was a scholar at the Royal College of Music & a classical counter tenor. After a while, I decided I didn’t like the rules it was putting on me, so I started to do covers on my Instagram. I went to a studio in central London after one of my friends got in touch & we produced a couple of tracks. I was quite lucky as my friend was close with Boy George, so one of the tracks got sent to him. Boy George loved the operatic influences & he took me under his wing per se for a year”.
After spending time being a mentee to Boy George, duetting with the artist on a single, Jamie went his own way & began writing music daily. Jamie says, “Working with Boy George, I learned a hell of a lot…not just about music, but the business behind it & how to portray yourself. After that, I started collaborating with people in LA, Sweden & other places around the world. It really gave me the confidence to catapult me to where I am now”.
Finding Inspiration. //
“Melodic ideas can come from anywhere. My latest single Magic came from a conversation with my sister, who is a transformational life coach. I was having a bad day & she said I need to manifest some magic…I just thought that was a great lyric. Basically, when I am not thinking about loads of other things & there is loads of stimulation, ideas will pop up – it could be on a bus, in a nightclub, even on a tube with a baby crying…obviously now it is difficult with Covid-19 as I am not experiencing any of these things!” he says.
The global pandemic has obviously had a massive impact on all industries & music has been hard hit. Jamie’s tour supporting Louisa Redknapp was 4 shows in when lockdown ground everything to a halt. Despite the difficulties, Jamie has been trying to make the best of the situation in his flat: “I was playing on my keyboard one night & my neighbour heard it. He messaged the house chat to ask who was singing & wanted to hear more”.
Inspired by the balcony singing around the world, Jamie took his keyboard to his own & began to sing some covers. “It was pretty nuts, everyone came to their balconies & windows, cheered & sang along. There is an Instagram influencer with over 200,000 followers a few floors above me who did a work out video a few days later to my single. I’d say I got a better reaction here than on the tour!” he says jokingly.
Where Next? //
While Covid-19 is a challenge for everyone to overcome, this is of course not the only impediment Jamie has faced in his career: “The biggest challenge is money, especially as an independent. Knowing where to invest the cash is tough & is a constant challenge for all musicians I speak to”.
As he strives to impart the cool into classically influenced pop music, the next steps in Jamie’s career are clear: “At the moment, I am just taking time to do my own thing. In the longer term, I want to write songs for films. I have always wanted to have songs of mine in films & if I could be in a film singing too, that would be amazing. Beyond that, I want to perform internationally. Being in the studio is exhilarating but performing is the best because you actually get to see the universally connecting language that is music bringing people together”.
We wrap up the interview by asking Jamie what advice he would give to other artists: “I think the thing to remember is all opinions are subjective & you have to be the one that is confident in whatever you do. Music is like marmite, some people won’t ever like your style but for every 1 person that dislikes it, there will be 99 who do”.
Having received the backing of a global hit artist at an early age, Jamie clearly has a style & a talent that is worth watching & we are sure his burgeoning career will continue to go from strength to strength.
Jamie Hannah’s new single ‘Magic’ is out now
Follow Jamie Hannah @justjamiehannah