Posted by Aphra Magazine on 5/10/15.
UK singer/songwriter Jamie Lawson released his first album Last Night Stars in 2003 and, with multiple releases now behind him, is on the verge of a new acoustic beauty in the form of Jamie Lawson. He’s perhaps most known for his 2011 single ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’, which achieved double platinum status, but is also the first artist to be signed by Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Records. And with the release of his new single ‘Ahead of Myself’, there’s some serious buzz surrounding the man from Plymouth.
A musician that counts among his influences REM, Jackson 5 and American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel, Lawson grew up surrounded by instruments, and decided from a very young age that he wanted to learn to play guitar. ‘They’re all the kind of bands and singers that have great lyrics and really beautiful melodies, and that’s kind of what I was into,’ he says. ‘I don’t know if you choose them, they come to you and you just attach or connect.’
Lawson’s newest album marks a new direction and evolution in his musical career, moving away from his self-described teenage, angst-y phase into more sophisticated territory. ‘It’s not so in your face or aggressive,’ he says of the album’s sound. And continues, it’s ‘a big musical duvet… nice and warm and more spacious than the other albums’. More upbeat and smoother than anything he has done in the past, it no doubt encourages people to just go with the flow and enjoy the rhythm.
With Lawson we can see a musician who is really pushing to enter new territory, both with his songwriting and choice of instrumentation. He lists ‘Only Conclusion’ as his favourite song on the new album, in which he takes to the piano, an instrument he is still learning how to play. Of new single, ‘Ahead of Myself’, Lawson says, it ‘relates to the idea of just taking that step forward and jumping into something’.
One of the many benefits of being signed to Ed Sheeran’s label is the opportunity to support the pop megastar at his shows. ‘Well recently we got to play at a venue called Croke Park, opening for Ed Sheeran, and that holds 82,000 people, so now I didn’t play to 82,000 people because they weren’t all in when I was playing, but probably about 40,000 people,’ Lawson excitably recalls. ‘Oh it was great fun, I loved it. Felt completely at home. It’s good fun to play to that many people.’
The two originally met some five years ago while playing gigs around London, and immediately became interested in each other’s music. ‘Ed is always fun, you know for someone who’s got so many teen fans, he attracts teen fans that want to listen to other things,’ Lawson says. ‘He’s got that about him, so his audience is always interested in what else is going on and listening, they tend to get there earlier if they can you know.’
As far as having fun outside of music goes, Lawson has quite the soft spot for Scrabble. ‘There’s a program in the UK called Countdown, it’s a word game on the television and I love it. I’m a big Scrabble fan; I play it online, so if anyone wants to play Scrabble then please just look me up. I just like playing it. It’s very ordinary.’
Maybe there comes a time when he takes his passion for Scrabble to a professional level, but at this stage Lawson is more than happy playing music, and following his one true passion. ‘Just do what you love, I think that’s the most important thing. You’re going to spend all your days doing something, it should be something that you enjoy, there’s no point in doing something you don’t.’
Jamie Lawson – Jamie Lawson is out October 16 via Gingerbread Man Records / Atlantic UK.