Being of mixed heritage, has this had any influence on your musical style or taste?
Yes, definitely, I listen to a lot of salsa and a lot of Colombian music. Obviously I speak Spanish fluently, so in my music I’ll flip a couple of bars here and there in Spanish. It’s something I don’t really try and force, because if you were to understand what I was saying in Spanish everything makes sense and kind of legit. But definitely I think having that mix background has definitely helped me music wise, like my Mum was always listening to Colombian music, and my Dad’s from Scotland, so they was always listening to rock and stuff. No one in my house really listened to hip hop as I was growing up. That was just something I picked up. But I was able to kind of fuse those influences and make those into my own, if that makes sense.
What inspired the title for your upcoming EP ‘Nothing To Lose’ and what is the overall theme throughout the project?
When I first came to America, obviously that was one of the biggest moves I’ve made in my life. Every time we released a project, I always thought, ‘this is the one that’s going to catapult me, get me to the next stepping stone’. Sometimes you have this kind of blind ambition that you’re going to become an overnight success and I don’t think success really works that way. With this project, I decided to call it “Nothing To Lose”, because I don’t have anything to lose right now. Like when I was releasing other projects, I was working at Universal so I was working for Steve Rifkin, and a lot of the time there was always something holding me back musically, whether it was working, a personal problem I had, that wouldn’t let me focus 100% on putting out music. With this project, whilst some of the problems are still there, and life throws things at you, I have got the mentality now where, I’m not going to stress it, I’m not going to worry about it. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I’ve put together these great songs, I put them into a project and I’m going to do everything to make it work, and I really have nothing to lose by doing it.
The overall theme of the actual EP is the underdog, just really trying to make it happen and give it everything. A lot of the songs are influenced by real-life situations that I’ve been through and that’s always something that I’ve been adamant about doing in my music, talking about things that have happened to me.
What can we expect from the EP?
There are no features on this project. What you can expect is your typical Jamieson stories. The one thing that I experimented with this time round was live instrumentation, so there are a lot of live drums, live pianos. Where as in the past all you beats were your typical samples, pop beats. I’m more musical with this one and I‘m very happy with the results. I produced two of the songs on the EP which in the past I haven’t done. So you’ll be able to see me not just as the storyteller rapper but also as the Producer and get that aspect of me. Before I was rapping I was producing. So this is the first time in 9-10 years that I’ve actually put out music that I’ve produced myself. Adding that live instrumentation has definitely taken it to another realm and I’m just really excited for people to hear it.
How have you grown as an artist since your first mixtape – The Foreign Exchange in 2007?
When I look back to how I was then, not just as an artist but as a person how more mature I’ve become and I don’t think music matures you, I think life matures you. If you listen to the first mixtape that I put out, it was very punchline-orientated, a lot of bragging. I kind of had to step out of that because there were so many things happening to me that I felt like I needed to write what I was going through and put it to music, and that has probably been the biggest influence in my music. That’s what makes it so personal to me and I find it that even in my last project, which was the I Came I Saw Volume III that’s when I really started going down that lane and I realised that I had a song on there called “Losing Faith”, and I got such a good response from it. I don’t think it was necessarily the best song on the EP, I just thought it connected with people. I’m sure the coolest of the coolest rappers that are blinged-out get drunk every night in a club, and probably wake up some mornings and feel lonely and feel empty and feel as a human what are they doing. By talking about certain things and certain emotional things and it touches people. That’s what I want, I want people to interact with my music. I want people to listen to my music and say you know what, “I understand where he’s coming from”, or, “I had a day like that no to long ago”. I think my main aim is just for people to see that whether you are an artist whether you are a lawyer, police officer, we all have the same emotions. I don’t think that’s done enough in hip hop.
You’re a triple threat; a writer, producer and artist. But which out of the three do you enjoy the most?
Honestly, I enjoy performing the most. I love performing. The five minutes before I go on stage, will be the most nerve-wracking moment of what I’ve gone through that day. But I enjoy seeing people looking at me on stage with that bewilderment of, “What is this guy doing?” and by the time I’ve finished winning them over, just people being able to vibe to what I’ve created and translated to a live show. But it depends because there may be a time when I’m feeling really sad or depressed and I’m playing around on a piano and I come up with a beat and I listen to that beat for hours and hours and that its own weird self can make me feel good.
So along with the EP, what else can we expect from Jamieson in the near future?
I’m in the process of setting up a college/school tour in the UK for hopefully come the second single time, around the end of April, or September. But I’m trying to set something up for that and I trying to get a lot of my live shows up, so hopefully do a couple of dates in the UK. But it’s just been an avenue that’s so hard to penetrate, that live show aspect.
Written by Nikita Rathod