Interview by Austin Duerst
Jamie Scott is not a fan of heartbreak, but he puts it to good use. Both lead singer and songwriter for electro-soul group Graffiti6 as well as a pen for hire for high profile solo artists like Enrique Iglesias, Scott’s deeply personal music conveys the bittersweet truth of love that doesn’t last. Reflected through the prism of a broken heart, it’s on the other side of sadness that optimism shines.
Though we missed him before his performance in Milwaukee back in May, Jamie was kind enough to give us a call here at True Endeavors for a quick chat about touring, songwriting, and London slang.
Read on to check it out.
True Endeavors: We tried to catch you before your Milwaukee show. How was it? What’d you think of the Milwaukee crowd?
Jamie Scott: I loved it, man. It was really cool. We haven’t really found one part of this tour that we haven’t enjoyed playing. So every time we do a show, we wonder if it’ll be the one we aren’t going to enjoy, whether it’ll be something about the crowd or whatever. But it’s been amazing. [It] was one those shows where we had to get to another gig straightaway, so unfortunately we didn’t get to see the area. But hopefully we’ll be back again in the future.
TE: Do you get to have at least some free time in each city you travel to, or are you mostly bussing yourself from one gig to another?
JS: Well, we do get to see a lot of it. But I’ve gotta admit, man, I love sleeping [laughs]. I love traveling, but I try to get as much sleep as I can. We’ve gotten to see a good set everywhere we go, though, and everyone in the band is just kind of amazed at how beautiful and fast the landscape changes when you travel by bus. It’s kind of crazy.
TE: Outside of writing music with TommyD for Graffiti6, you also write music for other solo artists. Because your music comes from a deeply personal place, is it hard giving up those records and releasing them to the world when you’re finished? Especially if the song you’ve written is going to be performed by someone else?
JS: There’s loads of emotions you go through. When writing a song, you go through a certain emotion. You then go through a certain emotion when you play a song for someone who ends up wanting to cover it and does it. And then there’s another emotion for when that song is actually released, where you hope that if you really believe in it, it reaches the audience you want it to. So yeah, every step of the way gets a little more emotional.
Writing a song for yourself is different. I think that it’s one of the closest things to relaxation for me. It’s inventing whatever you want. It’s a completely different process where I’m only listening to the things in my head.
TE: So mainly you just try and concentrate on expressing your own voice and think about the best venue for it later?
JS: That’s exactly it. It’s about yourself. It’s about everything you’ve been through; your own experiences and such. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks when it’s for yourself. But if you write for someone else, it can be completely different, because you have to talk to whoever beforehand and maybe even plan it. It’s completely a different task and more of a job, really.
TE: In your experience, is it the happy memories or the sad memories that make the best music?
JS: Sad memories. Always.
JS: Of course, man.
TE: You’ve said that you enjoy diving back into those kinds of sad memories for your performances. Is that still true?
JS: Yeah, as long as you don’t take it too far, there’s something really cool about referencing and finding things that weren’t so happy and remembering them when you’re performing. Because the thing is, you’re not there now, you’ve survived it. So it adds to the performance and becomes a powerful experience.
TE: Is there any British slang you can share with us before you go? Anything we might be able to adopt here?
JS: Well I’m not sure I use too much slang. I suppose the classic one is “the apple and pears,” which means “the stairs.” Or “Lady Godiva.” If you ask someone if they’ve got five quid, it’s known as a fiver, because they come in a five pound note. So that’s known as a “Lady Godiva.” I don’t use a lot of slang, but when I do that’s probably the one I’d use. So if you say to someone, “You got a Lady Godiva?” they’ll hopefully give you a fiver.