The rising star is ready to takeover Nashville with his genre-blurring sound.
After dominating 2020 with his critically-acclaimed project Bettie James, Jimmie Allen is back with his new album Bettie James Gold Edition. Doubling down on his tellings of love and heartbreak, the singer finds himself oscillating between an array of music genres, tapping into just about everything from old town country to contemporary indie-pop. Teaming with stellar collaborators such as Babyface, Monica and Pitbull, the artist wraps himself in a blanket of alt-rock sensibilities and serves up a project that firmly establishes the artist as country’s newest star.
Opening up on the album, the artist revealed, “I’m a fan of so many different artists and styles of music, I wanted to put together an album that talks about and showed my interest in different genres of music – from country, hip-hop, Christian, pop to R&B- you can find all of that on Bettie James Gold Edition – it was something I’ve always wanted to do so we did it!”
Pulling on inspiration from the likes of Michael Jackson and Kanye West, the artist has spent the past year busily working on new music, as well as a children’s book titled My Voice is A Trumpet. Teasing that he has some movie and TV spots in the works, we caught up with the artist talking all things music and the album.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Jimmie, how has this past year been for you? Do you think it has affected your creativity in anyway?
Obviously, this past year has come with a lot of challenges for so, and not being able to be out on the road with my band – who are like family to me – was tough. But I also had some really great things happen. I got married, expanded the family, wrote a book and worked on a new album. I think this year creatively has actually motivated me to create even more and find ways to be more of who I am.
How did you first get into music? What is your earliest memory?
I fell in love with music when I was a kid, growing up in church, singing with my mum in church and my dad just listening to music. I fell in love with it early. Then I got into musical theatre. I think my earliest memory was playing drums in church when I was around 6 and that’s when the musical bug took over.
You’re originally from Milton on Delaware, do you think growing up here impacted your sound?
It was awesome, it was a country town but close to the beach. We got to experience a lot of things growing up…. we had the feel and the sound of the country and the country music, but it was so close to the beach that we got to meet so many different people from other places. I love where I grew up and loved the exposure I had to different cultures from a young age. It was super important to me and it helped me to be appreciative of the town where I’m from and also not to be afraid to try different things.
Congratulations on your new album! Talk us through your mindset approaching this project!
I’m a fan of so many different artists and styles of music, I wanted to put together an album that talks about and showed my interest in different genres of music – from country, hip-hop, Christian, pop to R&B- you can find all of that on Bettie James Gold Edition – it was something I’ve always wanted to do so we did it!
How do you think this project differs from your last? It really cross into various genres and sounds, what made you want to tap in to new sounds?
I feel like this project is different – this album is definitely different from the last album because of the variety. It’s a lot more free and open, with all the different styles of music. Going from song to song you really don’t know what to expect until the song comes on. I like surprises like that.
You collaborated with various talents for this project, what is your favourite memory from the production process?
Producing and co-producing it, writing the songs and working with these artists was amazing. My favourite memory is that music is just music, and there are a lot of similarities with artists from different genres but at the end of the day we all just want to work hard and make music that we love.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to take whatever they take from it – I never want to put expectations on myself or them. My job is just to create the music and put it out and whoever is meant to hear it and whatever a song is meant to do and how it will affect them, it will happen.
Who are your inspirations?
There are a lot of them – you go from Kanye West, Elton John, Prince, Michael Jackson, Matchbox 20, One Republic, U2, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, There are so many people I’ve listened to for so long that I’m such a fan of.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Continuing to write music, keep pushing this Bettie James Gold Edition album for as long as I can and hopefully people find it. I’ve got a kids book coming out July 13 called My Voice Is A Trumpet on Flamingo Books and Penguin Random House. I’ve got some TV and movie stuff in the works, I’m just trying to chase down things I love and things I love to do!