Wednesday, March 23, 2022

An Interview with London based singer-songwriter Amie Jay

Amie Jay is set to release a new single called ‘Sweet Nostalgia’ on March 25th. An alternative pop artist who started out combining writing, poetry and music at the age of five, Amie Jay has finely tuned her sound to focus on conveying feeling and intention through her musical stories. She draws inspiration from Alanis Morissette, Dermot Kennedy, Valley, Kllo and Lana Del Rey

Her raw and honest ability to deeply connect with her listeners is through the emotional intensity she pours into her music. The use of emotional topics and themes is expressed within her lyrics to convey authentic feelings we can all relate to. Having recently teamed up with Marble Empire to experiment with different genres, she is moving away from her sentimental acoustic style work. Her new single is taken from her forthcoming EP (in summer 2022) and I’ve been given the opportunity to interview Amie Jay to chat about her career since lockdown and what the future holds for her.  

 

 

'Sweet Nostalgia' is an infectious track fused with elements of funk, indie pop and nostalgic 80s synth. I was wondering if you could give us some context surrounding its creation. How did the song come about and was there any significant sources of inspiration for the track?  

  

The song has always been floating about in my head, but it took a while to vocalise what it was I was really trying to say. I’ve always been a super sentimental and nostalgic person, and it wasn’t until lockdown and starting therapy that I realised how much, and how detrimental it was sometimes. When you’re left with nothing but your own thoughts and memories of happier times, it quickly becomes pretty unhealthy, and I wanted to acknowledge that and work through it. 

  

Musically, the process was very direct. It’s one of the few songs where I knew exactly what I wanted sonically, straight away. Once I identified that it should be a funky retro indie-pop sound to match the idea of nostalgia, I started drawing inspiration from various places. I made a playlist of everything that had something the song needed, from 80s music to new wave tunes to fresh indie artists like Valley, Chloe Lilac, Gatlin, Babygirl etc.   

  

You’ve recently teamed up with production duo Marble Empire, could you tell us a little bit about what that creative process was like and what kind of impact that’s had on your new single?  

  

The process was that I began as I always do, which is writing the song acoustically on my guitar and getting the lyrics, melody and chords sorted. Then, I gathered some influences (particularly for the drums and guitar/bass patterns) and headed to the studio. Marble Empire immediately knew exactly the vibe I had in mind, and we started with drums and guitar to get the essence I could hear in my head right first. After the first session, the song was exactly what I wanted and we were all obsessed!  

  

Where would you like to be musically in five years?  

  

In 5 years time, I’d love to be more stable in my music - for example, I’d love to stick with a producer or production team and really merge together creatively. Ideally, I’d have a lot more bandwidth creatively and be doing some more wide ranging things. I’d want to be working on albums, music videos, getting back into performing and really honing my sound and what makes my music my music. I’d like to land on my sound and have people say “oh, that’s an Amie Jay song!”  

  

You are set to release your EP in Summer 2022, what can fans expect in terms of style, sound and lyricism?  

  

Style-wise, it really is different for each song. I wanted to explore a range of styles and genres, tying it all together with my usual honest lyrics and vulnerability. If you heard my previous release ‘Unashamed’ and compare it to ‘Sweet Nostalgia’, you can tell there’s going to be some real range in the EP. I won’t say too much but each song explores a different element from a bigger idea / concept, so they all need to be different!  

  

Now, it’d be silly for me not to ask but how has the pandemic impacted your work in terms of the creative process?  

  

In quite a few ways. Firstly, like a lot of creatives, it left me feeling super unmotivated. I always thought that if I had all the time in the world, I would get more done - but it was completely the opposite. It has allowed me to figure out more of who I am as an artist, take more time when writing songs and find new collaborators and people in the industry to connect with - so I guess it has done me a favour!  

  

If you could do a collaboration with anyone today or in history, who would it be?  

  

Alanis Morissette. She’s one of my favourite artists ever and I think our styles would merge together well. Imagine the intensity of the lyrics with us two combined!  

  

How do you think your passion for poetry, dancing and storytelling has impacted your musical style?  

  

For me, it’s all about making people feel something. I’m a writer through and through, and so storytelling and lyrics are my favourite things ever. Whether it’s in a movie, at the theatre, through dance or any other artistic medium, I’m fascinated by how people tell stories. I think being involved in a lot of creative things throughout my life so far has helped me to find different ways to approach things, different ways to look at situations and different ways of connecting with audiences through my music, so I think it’s contributed a lot to who I am as a songwriter.  

  

Is there a deeper meaning behind this new single?  

  

I feel like as always, it’s quite in your face with this track. It’s more upbeat than usual, so maybe the message won’t hit as hard - but that’s kind of the point. ‘Sweet Nostalgia’ perfectly represents the feeling I’m trying to express. Nostalgia makes me happy. It’s comforting, it’s fun and it’s great - but if you look too closely, it’s quite sad. And that’s exactly how I feel about the song!  

  

  

You began playing music at a young age; what drew you to music?  

  

How honest you can be, how you can paint a picture in somebody’s mind with lyrics and melodies and every tiny choice you make musically in a track. It’s amazing to think of all the songs that would feature in the soundtrack of your life. Your first night out, what your parents used to play, what makes you, you - and to be the soundtrack to a memory for somebody else would be so overwhelmingly awesome! Oh, and I was a very dramatic and showy child, so there’s that, too…  

 

Ciara Fearn  

Image: Amie Jay Facebook Page

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