An Interview with Jamie Lawson

From being the first signing to Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records to his international hit ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ award-winning singer songwriter, Jamie Lawson has had some amount of success over the years. We caught with him to discuss supporting Ed Sherran on his stadium tours, his songwriting process and of course the release of his EP, Moving Images which is due to be released on the 29th May… have a read below now!

Who are the main music influences in your life and what drew you to them?

R.E.M., Crowded House, Ron Sexsmith, Jackson 5, Natalie Merchant, Patty Griffin, Iron & Wine, bands and singers with great songs that you can either think deeply about what they’re singing or just sing along with. I’d have to say the main influence on me musically though is a singer called Mark Eitzel, his album 60 Watt Silver Lining changed my life. On hearing that record I left college and moved to London to try and make it in music. Something about the songs, the way they were sung and the emotion in them made me think, “I think this is what I’m supposed to do.” And so I did.

Your latest EP, ‘Moving Images’ is due out on 29th May, what was the creative process behind it and is there a particular message / meaning that you wanted it to represent?
The creative process for this EP was slightly different to other records I’ve made as the majority of it was recorded at home, by me, in my own studio. I built the songs playing guitar, bass guitar and keys and badly programming drums and loops. I’d then pass those recordings over to my friend Tim Ross
who would mix them beyond belief, replace anything that needed replacing but keeping the sense of what I was after and making it sound pretty great. There’s no overall meaning to the EP that I can tell but I guess the songs deal with both good and sad love, so the usual Jamie Lawson territory, aiming for a little hope out of the gloom.

You released your latest single, ‘She Sings for Me’ on the 10th April – what’s been the general reaction of the release so far?
Really great, very chuffed with it. A few fans saying it’s their new favourite
which makes me very happy.

You was awarded an Ivor Novello Award for ‘Best Song Musically and Lyrically’ -Do you have a particular songwriting process? Is there a place you go that can help you get inspiration or is it something that just comes naturally to you?
I did win that award yes, that was a surprise to say the least. The only process I have is that I keep doing it. Working at it day in day out seems to find results, a lot of songs can get written quickly but only because I’ve been putting all the hours in. I don’t have anywhere in particular I go, I guess I write in my studio a lot now as it’s in my house. For the Years In Between album I took a trip to Scotland specifically to write which was good. I may do that again sometime.

You supported Ed Sheeran during his stadium tours… how was it performing your music to a stadium full of people and was there a particular date that stood out for you?

It was an amazing experience. Looking back on it now it’s hard to believe I got to play some of those places to that many people. It’s a buzz like no other. Wembley stands out because it was Wembley. Berlin Olympia and Stadt De France in Paris were both amazing, Paris went crazy. I think they’d won some big football game that day and carried the feeling on through the night.

Of course we need to chat about your global hit, ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’. How does it feel when you play it live 9 years after initially releasing it and what’s the initial reaction from the crowd?
It was a hit in the UK in 2015 after Ed came along and decided to put the song out on his new record label. It’s still a great buzz to sing it though, it still genuinely makes me smile, and
occasionally still catches me off guard at the end.

Where did the storyline originate from the song?
It came out of a conversation, someone said, “I wasn’t expecting that,” within a conversation and for some reason I knew immediately it would make a good title. I think I came up with the second line first and then realised that wasn’t the start of the story. I then set myself the challenge of trying to write a whole life story in three minutes.

What’s the craziest thing to have happened to you on stage?
I don’t think anything crazy has ever happened to me on stage. I forget my lyrics a lot and have to start songs over but that’s become quite normal at a Jamie Lawson gig now.

What advice would you give to bands / artists who have just started out in the industry?
The industry has changed so much since I started that I don’t think its the same anymore. I used to do as many gigs as I could, playing anywhere that would have me, but I don’t think that matters too much anymore. Having a fan base online seems to be the biggest tool you need so get building, interact with your audience. Maisie Peters and Alec Benjamin are great examples to look at, they
were putting up YouTube videos all the time and building their audience and racking up the numbers. That’s how they got signed, that and writing great songs.

When the lockdown is lifted and the world returns back to normality – what are your plans for the future in regards to music?
I want to release another EP by the end of the year so at some point I’ll start working on that. If everything does start getting back to normal then I’ll hopefully tour the EPs sometime next year. It seems the one thing people have turned to in this unusual time is music so I’m very privileged that I get to make it for a living.





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