We talk to the modern man of blues about collaborating with some of the biggest players in the music game.
Jamie N Commons is hailed as a modern day blues man and is responsible for showcasing blues in truly own way.
The British born Singer / Songwriter spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Chicago, and took part in the BBC Music Poll a few years ago. His progressive sound and mature and coarse, gravely vocals have previously caught the attention of collaborators Eminem and Jay -Z, who appears on the latest track ‘Jungle’ which also features X Ambassadors and is currently riding high in the UK charts. We caught up with Jamie to talk time-out, touring and Marshall Mathers.
It seems like you’ve been away for a lengthy amount of time- what have you been up too?
Tinkering away in the factory, you know same old, same old. To get from point A to Point B you’ve got to go around the houses sometimes. Oh and I moved to LA.
Tell us more about the ‘X Ambassadors’ track featuring Jay Z – How did that collaboration happen?
Well we had the song on the Beats By Dre headphones advert and it came about through that I guess. I’m glad it came together though, I really like Jay’s verse on it.
You’ve collaborated and worked with some of the most credible and iconic musicians of our time – who else would you love to work with?
Derek Trucks, Dan Auerbach, Dolly Parton, Ralph Stanley, DangerMouse, Q-Tip, Rosanne Cash, The Boss, Dr John, The Dust Brothers (are they still going??), Father John Misty, Kenny Rodgers, Joe Cocker, Huey Lewis, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, ?uestlove, Taylor Swift.
What else is happening for you for the remainder of the year?
Just finishing up the album, filming a documentary for Vice and Budweiser, then heading out on an east coast US tour with X Ambassadors starting September 30th, get ya tickets now!!!
What is the main inspiration behind your music – is there anything which really triggers your creativity?
Force yourself into a corner, time constraints are where the magic comes from for me. Finding people that work that way is key as well, cause if you’re go go go, and the person likes to take time going along its hard to match up. Once the chords, beat and melody are done though, that’s when my microscope comes out… productions still super tough for me.
What song do you wish you had written and why?
Bonnie Tyler (Jim Steinman)- Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Just an absolutely amazing melody throughout, maybe just for that one line, “Forevers gonna start tonight, Forevers gonna start tonight”. Gets me every time!
a close second is Harry Nilsson “Without out”
You’ve achieved a colossal amount already – what else is left? Do you have any goals set?
well i still haven’t even have an album out yet, so that’s pretty much my main goal at the moment! outrageous!
Top 3 tracks on your iPod / iTunes?
Neil Young “Cripple Creek Ferry” , J.J. Cale “after midnight” , Lana Del Ray “Old Money”
How have things changed for you since winning the BBC Music Poll a few years back?
Well, that was kind of odd, I was the only one on that list that wasn’t already signed to a label and I think everyone thought I was signed because I was on the list. So it wasn’t until a year after that I got a label deal! Helped to get some great festival bookings that summer though I remember, I had a great time!
How did the collaboration with Eminem happen? are you guys still pals and will you be at any of his live dates this month?
Just through my Label boss Alex Da Kid. He was working on Em’s album and played him my song “Desperation”, he liked the chorus and wanted to use it. We’ve had to hold back my version for years, but can hopefully get it on the album though, just the way these things go sometimes.
Words: Shane Hawkins.