Jamie Scott

The first contemporary record Jamie Scott ever heard was Bon Jovi. Growing up on a diet of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan It took him six months to get into this strange new rock sound and thank god he stuck to his guns and followed his natural instincts that hop on some 80s cock rock revival. Over the past 12 months Scott has supported artists as varied as Lemar, Sugababes and Carleen Anderson as well as doing regular gigs at Ronnie Scotts and the Jazz Cafe. With an album co-produced with ex-Jamiroqai member Toby Smith the album mixes up the classic soul Stevie Wonder with the traditional songwriting of Paul Simon.. Designer Magazine caught up with Jamie ahead of his forthcoming tour with Beverley Knight

Q: Lets go back to the beginning of the Jamie Scott experience. Someone told us porkies and said that you were in the defunct boy band Third Edge. Where did we get that from?
A: I don't know. I toured with Third Edge on the Blues and Soul Tour about two year ago, but I was never in them. I can pretend I was in them if you want me to.

Q: No worries. So what is the real story. Where would people have heard of Jamie Scott?
A: Well i've just done the Lemar tour. Before that I did the Sugababes tour and previous to that I did the Carleen Anderson tour.

Q: And your story is?
A: When I was growing up I never listened to radio. I was always listening to my parents collection of LPs. That's why my songwriting's so mature for my age because I grew up on Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. It's all I ever heard till I was about 14 and when someone showed me my first modern record it was Bon Jovi. It took me about 6 months to get into it, but I finally did. Growing up with that you automatically get a taste for how you want your tunes to sound. I never listened to 80s or 90s music cos I never had a radio. The only radio I heard was 1548, which was Capital Gold, so it was old school.

Q: What sort of town did you live in that could only pick up one radio station?
A: A place called Rowtown, Surrey which rhymes with Motown which is pretty cool. My dad was a really big jazz and soul fan. He grew up in East London and always used to hang around the clubs there so he'd always tell me about seeing Georgie Fame and all that. I wanted to do this from an early age so I was really intrigued.

I heard my first record when I was 6 and i'm really proud of the fact that it was Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster". I was just hooked. My mum was a guitar player, she used to play in church a lot, and I picked up the guitar at 7 so between the two of them (parents) being so into music and being surrounded my music there wasn't a lot else I could do.

Q: When you listen to the album the thing that strikes you immediately, and this comes from your influences, is that you're more interested in songs than beats
A: Without a doubt. I never got into the whole idea of writing a track round a beat. I wrote my first song when I was 9, but I wrote the first song that I thought was decent when I was about 15. It's actually made it onto the album. It's a song called "Shameful".

Q: The sentiment on the song "Shameful" - "I want you to be my wife" isn't one you'd normally find on an urban artists lyric sheet
A: I don't really see myself as urban. Maybe it's because of who i've grown up listening to. I've never seen this as R&B though. I think soul and R&B music are two different genre's. Soul music is much more a wide range of music for me, whereas R&B is more of a groove thing. I'm not the sort of person to spend 3 or 4 days producing a track to make it sound like the hippest thing ever. I just want to lay a track down and the fact i've hooked up with Toby Smith from Jamiroqai who produced the album with me gave it a very funky feel. The album was recorded first with a live with a band and then digitally without the band and we've merged the two.

Q: I do see you in the same field as Lemar, who you toured with. The fact that you can appeal to both teenagers and the parents that grew up with Stevie Wonder and Al Green
A: Naturally I haven't made a record to appeal to anyone. I've just made the record that I wanted to make. I think the good thing is that because I've wrote about things that i've done and seen in my life that a lot of people can relate to it. Therefore it does appeal to all ages. When I wrote this album I just sat down for every track with just a piano and guitar and started like that. When I did the Blues And Soul Tour 3 tracks acoustically and when the tracks have started off that way it allows you to do that.

Q: Do you feel it's the live shows you excel in as an artist?
A: It's my favourite part. I don't know whether it's where I excel. When I first started out I was just doing gigs acoustically and the record's changed over time when I introduced the full band and played live. I think it is rare to have a songwriter that does tours with Lemar and Sugababes maybe because that's a little bit more commercial Damien Rice and Tom Baxter. What its done is given me an audience already and you get the best of both worlds. So we've got the teenage girls buying the singles, but even so I know the record company are gearing up to sell albums.

Q: And finally what do you want from this album?
A: All I really want is for people not to knock what i'm doing and for anyone's that into it is into it and anyone that's not into it doesn't like it, but I don't think you can knock it. Sometimes music's a little a bit fake and that's why you've got to put trust in this music. If you're doing something that's true then no-one can knock you.

Jamie Scott supports Beverley Knight throughout November
The single "Searching" is released Jan 2005 with the album to follow
For more info

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