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JAMWS

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST JAMWS

Hiya Jamws, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat 

What made you decide that music is a thing for you? 

My dad was a songwriter so I think I’ve always been bound to it. It’s kind of hard for me to untangle my desire to do music with me wanting to live out my dad’s dream, which is strange. He recorded an album with a major label but it fell through and was never released. It was actually put out for the first time this year which was a really special moment for me. 

Introduce us to your musical history. 

I was playing in a band for many years and we were slowing down around the same time I realised music was something I wanted to pursue and that’s why I started Jamws. Going from a post-rock band to writing pop songs has been a bit of a journey. 

Name me your 3 favourite albums. 

The Earth is not a cold dead place – Explosions in the Sky 

Ok Computer – Radiohead 

Purple Rain – Prince 

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path? 

My godfather wrote a song called ‘Western Life’ which I used to blast on my dads stereo. It’s got one of my favourite intros ever. 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in. How do you feel you are doing? Some days I feel optimistic and can see the progress, like for example, I pretty much recorded my EP in my bedroom and then I recorded my album with a Grammy-nominated producer so that’s huge. But other days I can feel jaded, music is super competitive and it’s easy to get a scarcity mentality. Ultimately, it’s hard but it’s also my favourite thing to do and the thing I understand the best in the world so I try to remind myself of that. 

Whats your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry? 

Ooh good question. I’ve tried to learn about how money works in the industry and honestly, it goes over my head, like how do DSPs decide what a stream is worth? I could google that now and sound more intelligent in this response but I know it’ll give me a headache. All I’ll say is, it’s a shame that more musicians can’t make a living from their art, myself included, and people should follow the #BrokenRecord campaign if they want to learn more about improving conditions for artists. 

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories? 

I don’t, but if flat earth was real that would be fun. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic? 

No, but in retrospect I wish I had bought a cat. 

What was the worst experience on stage? 

Portsmouth Student Union with my old band. We were borrowing the drum kit from the headliner and their drummer was shouting at our drummer while we were playing because he was playing the kit ‘too hard’, also it was dead and half the people there were watching rugby. 

Tell us something that you think people would be surprised about. 

My name isn’t Jamws at all. 

What makes you stand out as an artist? 

I’m an almost nepo-baby.

I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it? 

Sure, it’s called ‘Soft’, it started as a break-up album but grew into something more personal as I got to the end of the writing process. It’s named after the title track which is about wanting to be seen but being afraid of vulnerability. I used to think that being a musician meant I was good at being open but the older I get, the more I realise that isn’t exactly true. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes. 

It wasn’t so much a thought process, I just find that writing music can be healing during difficult times and my life was chaotic when I was writing these songs. I was at the end of a huge relationship, I was dating for the first time, then the pandemic, it was overwhelming. As the album started taking shape, I was thinking more and more about what I wanted to say and that’s where the song ‘Soft’ came from. It was wonderful to find a way to link all the songs together. 

What was the recording process like? 

Recording was amazing, I got to work with some great people. Mikko (producer) gave me a lot of confidence to try different things and was big on committing to decisions. He’s a sweetheart but also no-nonsense which is a great combo to keep you on your game. I think good recording is all about being with people that you’re comfortable failing in front of and whose opinion you trust, Mikko and Matt (recording engineer) were great for that. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album? 

Getting comfortable making decisions and being more vulnerable. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished? 

Sure but ‘art is never finished, only abandoned’ 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world? 

It’s pronounced ‘Jam-wus’ 

Thanks for having me x

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