On the back of the release of his self-titled album, British singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson is begins touring the UK this week and will play a date at Bristol Academy on January 16.
Last year, Jamie was unveiled as the first ever signing to multi-platinum, international superstar Ed Sheeran’s own label Gingerbread Man Records. Enigmatic and soulful, Jamie first drew Ed’s attention with an early version of his international juggernaut hit Wasn’t Expecting That, which drew the ginger-haired superstar to tears. Andy Howells recently put questions to Jamie.
How did you start out in the music industry?
That's a tough one, I guess I'd been trying to break into the industry for years, making enough money to live on, playing shows and cover gigs but only recently would I consider myself part of the industry, since signing to Gingerbread Man Records.
What made you want to become a musician?
I have absolutely no idea. I asked for a guitar when I was 8 years old but I never had any guitar heroes. I think I wanted to be a singer and thought by playing guitar I'd have something to sing along with and there was no way we'd have been able to afford a piano! I realised I wanted to take it seriously when I was about 21. I was at art college doing a photography course, and I love photography, but I was pretty miserable, half way through I left it and 6 months later moved to London to chase the dream.
How would you describe your style of music?
Gentle, heartfelt, acoustic, folk/pop. Something like that anyway.
What's your best live experience?
I was lucky enough to open for Ed Sheeran in Dublin this summer at Croke Park which holds 82,000 people, I'm assuming that was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Can you tell us about your current album and upcoming tour?
The new album is self titled, I decided to self title it because I'm very happy with where I am right now and happy with how the album came out. It truly is the record I wanted to make so in that way it's sort of a statement of intent. I aimed to make a really open, warm, loving record and from the response I've been getting that seems to be what people are taking from it. The tour is almost sold out which is very exciting. I'm playing Shepherds Bush Empire which is a dream come true, I've seen a lot of my favourite bands there, I can't quite believe I've sold it out.
Who are your music inspirations?
R.E.M., The Jackson 5, Radiohead, Ron Sexsmith, American Music Club, Natalie Merchant, Kate Rusby, Crowded House, Iron & Wine...
What was the first record you bought?
I think it was Bad by Michael Jackson, my brother had the Thriller record and a Best Of Jackson 5 album that I loved. I still think Bad is a great record, apart from the song Speed Demon, which is rubbish!
Where are you playing in Bristol and what are your thoughts on the city from previous tours?
Bristol was one of the first to sell out which is great, that might be because it's the closest show to home I'll be doing, I'm originally from Plymouth, but there's no where really this size to play there. I think all my family are coming so I'll be the most nervous doing this one. I think I've only played in Bristol a couple times before, neither of which were well attended so I reckon this one will make up for it. I like the city, it seems well steeped in culture, music and art and that tends to pull in the sort of people I call on as friends, so I like it there.
- Andy Howells is a freelance writer. A version of this article appeared in The South Wales Argus during December 2015.
- For more details on Jamie Lawson visit his official website.