With an upcoming debut album set to be released this year, Jamie N Commons is one to watch. His newest single ‘Won’t Let Go’ showcases his deep, sultry voice and displays his clever songwriting skills. This track is based on the infamous scene in The Titanic when Rose says she won’t let go of Jack and then does just that.
Jamie N Commons answers a few questions for us about his inspirations, his creative process and what music means to him…
You stated that “music is supposed to be fun, that’s what I want to achieve: fun joy levity. It doesn’t mean it’s not about heavy things, but it’s about moving forward.” When did you realise that music is what you wanted to do? When was your ‘ah ha’ music moment?
I suppose it’s just realising music should be a reflection of personality, and the closer you get to that, the more people can relate to it. I go between dark and light days, so the music should also do that. That’s why I’ve decided to do acoustic and remix versions of every song, so there’s versions to match the listener’s mood.
‘Paper Dreams’ was your last single, which has a soulful, blues and RnB tone. What was the inspiration when writing this track?
I think the way you get away with happy songs not sounding too basic is to offset the mood with some sad lyrics. Good examples are The Smiths, The Cure, even ‘Call Me Al’ Paul Simon, which is basically about having a midlife crisis. The music was quite up on ‘Paper Dreams’, so decided to take the lyrics into the doomed relationship/ heartbreak direction.
What went into creating your upcoming record ‘The Fever Dreams’?
A different way of working, really, writing and creating a lot of the sounds as we went along rather than writing on just a guitar and recording it later.
Is there a specific artist or album that you pulled inspiration from?
Yeah Bruce Springsteen ‘Fire’ usually got played at least once every writing session. Bruce Hornsby ‘The Way It Is’ and some Steve Winwood also.
How would you describe your sound? What do you shoot for when creating music in the studio?
I’d say I set out trying to write 80s-esque pop songs with modern pop production, but I think quite a bit of my older blues style crept in there also! You gotta shoot for good songs first though. If the song’s rubbish, production and style choices don’t matter anyway.
Since moving to LA, you have been focusing a lot on songwriting. What are the main differences when writing songs for yourself vs. writing for others?
I don’t really see a distinction really anymore. The key is to just get in there and write the best song you can that day. The more you try and fit a song into a box as it’s coming out, the more it sounds like it’s made by comity… That’s the key, after it’s out, edit and edit to make sure there’s no fat on it, but make it sound like the original spur-of-the-moment idea.
If you had to choose, which fuels and fulfills your creative soul more: songwriting or singing?
I think both really! You write a song, you wanna play that song, you sing that song too much, you wanna wrote another song… (que Lion King soundtrack).. it’s the ciiiircle of liiiiife… Can’t wait to get out and play these songs in 2019. I think everyone’s gonna have a good time.