Jamie McGraw is a singer songwriter from the North of England, he previously fronted the band ‘Sugarspun’ but has now started a solo career. Jamie is inspired by a huge range of old and new artists including Paul Weller and Andrew Cushion. His debut single ‘Soul Is Music’ was inspired by not wanting to give up on making music after fronting past band and the current climate the music industry finds itself in. Jamie released new track ‘Spontaneous Time’ yesterday which inspired by trying to persuade a friend to come on a spontaneous night out, I caught up with him for a quick chat to find out more…
Please introduce yourselves to our readers, who you are and how you formed?
I decided to start my solo career off the back of my previous band Sugarspun deciding to part ways during the first national lockdown of the year. I felt that I wasn’t ready to just give up on making music so decided to take the leap into the industry on my own and luckily a lot of the loyal fanbase Sugarspun gained has stuck by and enjoyed my solo material just as much.
What style of music would you describe yourself as and what influences do you draw upon?
I have always been heavily influenced by acts such as Oasis, Stone Roses, Beatles, Paul Weller, Richard Ashcroft, Arctic Monkeys but there has also been a lot of new artists who I’ve taken inspiration from when writing solo material as its different to writing for a full band sound. Acts that I’ve been looking at for this include the likes of Gerry Cinnamon, Jamie Webster, Andrew Cushin.
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
Well, trying to launch my solo career during the 2020 madness of lockdowns has been extremely difficult, I’d have hoped to have got a string of gig dates under my belt leading into 2021 where I would have liked to get amongst the festival scene. This obviously has been impossible to do so I’ve just been trying to use social media as much as I can to get my music out there and heard.
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
My honest answer is I am extremely worried for the music venues, without them what we do as an artform wouldn’t be able to thrive. For me and millions of people music is a way of life and I really hope we can push towards being able to access live music/entertainment as soon as possible.
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
No, I think the industry has been bitterly let down. The amount of money the industry makes for the country is staggering and the government are happy to take but when it comes to giving back, they have massively failed so far.
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you in 2020?
Positives I have taken from it have been the support I’ve received since deciding to go solo and to never take anything for granted, I will never under appreciate some of the simplest aspects of normal living again.
Tell me about your most recent please or upcoming single/album…
Well, as I am doing this interview my new single has been released Friday 8th Jan. The song is titled ‘Spontaneous Time’ and it is about trying to persuade a friend to come on a night out. (distant memory nights out I know). This song was actually one I wrote for my old band Sugarspun but we never got round to working on it as a band.
What’s the best venue you’ve played so far and what’s would be your dream venue to play after Covid-19?
I’ve played a lot of amazing venues over the years; we once played a gig before a Champions League game at the Etihad for Man City v Lyon. That was a surreal experience, my favourite music venue would probably be Jimmy’s in Manchester Northern Quarter had some amazing gigs in there over the years and hopefully get back down to Manchester for a gig soon.
Favourite festival you’ve played or want to play and why?
Best festival I have played would have to be Kendal Calling, had such an amazing time and got time to speak to the lads from Shed Seven and Carl Barât from Libertines backstage which was amazing as they have been big inspirations. I would love to perform there again in the future as it holds nothing but good memories for me.
What tune should readers listen to right now of yours that sums you up the best?
My new single ‘Spontaneous Time’ anyone that knows me knows I certainly do love a good night out and this song perfectly sums up that feeling.
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
I have 4 more songs that I recorded last year that I’m still to release. I am also aiming to get back into the studio and record a few more tracks but with a full band this time to enhance the sound which hopefully I can integrate into my live shows in the future.