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Jamie N Commons: The Blues Are the Source of All Music.

April 11, 2013

JaimeNCommons03Jamie N Commons has the voice of a hardened American blues man but he hails from the UK and he’s in his early 20s.

Though he’s just at the beginning of his musical journey, Commons has all ready received industry recognition. He signed with Alex Da Kid, a Grammy-winning producer who has worked with Eminem and Rihanna. He achieved the dream of many musicians of playing at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival. Recently, Commons appeared on the Conan O’Brien show. His debut EP, Desperation Blues, was released in March. He’s now on tour with Brit sensation Lianne La Havas

Despite the seemingly overnight success, Commons is extremely humble. He kept fixing his black fedora hat before posing for pictures with concert-goers. When our reporter, Jumah Chaguan, approached him for an interview after his recent show at World Cafe Live, he apologized for not dressing better.

JaimeNCommons01What are you listening to right now?

Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Spruce Springsteen. That influences me on how to play the show. Beyond that, Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.

When I see you on stage I don’t see a Londoner. I see an American.

I lived here for seven years, in Chicago. Seven to fourteen (years of age). I can’t remember the exact dates but I guess those are the formative years. You are trying to figure out who you are. I guess it formed me in that way. But at the same time, music is my main love and the music I listen to is American. You just try to get a vibe of that, to copy these people. When you get it wrong and you come up with something new that’s kind of the product, that’s the sound we have at the moment. It’s me trying emulate these people, like Ray Charles.

But you are not getting it wrong.

I’m getting it wrong but in a good way. For me, that’s the history of popular music. Everyone starts learning by doing covers and hopefully they sound like someone new. That’s how we got the sound we got right now.

Tell me about sacrifice. What’s it like for you?

We are about five and bit weeks deep in this tour. It’s been a hard road. We are excited to support Lianne La Havas and to book the tour. We’ve had three days off in almost two months. But you can hear it in the band. We are not broken down yet.

I overheard a concert-goer say that you had a lot of energy.

The reason I got energy is because I got seven hours of sleep last night. That was a rare occurrence (he says with a laugh). The whole mission statement of the band is to bring the blues man and blues music back. It’s kind of our job at the moment. You got the Black Keys, Alabama Shakes doing it. That’s the whole reason I’m doing it, to get blues back. Blues is kind of a dirty word for kids at the moment. They need to realize that it’s the source for all the music they listen to in the first place.

One Comment
  1. April 19, 2013 3:33 pm

    love jamie n commons he is awesome

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