Take 5: Jamie Lawson

Jamie Lawson is a well respected singer songwriter. He was the first artist to be signed by Ed Sheeran‘s record label, Gingerbread Man Record. We were privileged to catch up with him when he played at the BST Hyde Park recently.

Welcome it’s great to talk to you.  So the deal is five questions in five minutes. Here goes:

You are here to play BST Hyde Park, tell us what you most looking forward to today

I think once I’ve finished playing, relaxing.  Watching Bryan Ferry, Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand. It’s a slightly surreal day in a way – being on a line up with those guys. Just hanging out, enjoying it. But of course that will all depend on if the show goes well. If it all goes badly I probably won’t want to hang out! I’ll be off, straight to the pub.

How did you go about writing for the new album ‘The Years In Between’ What was the process?

The process was that I knew I wanted to write the record pretty quick. So I figured the best way to do that was by co-writing and I set up a lot of different sessions. So, at the beginning of 2018 I went to Nashville for a couple of weeks. Ten days in fact and wrote nine songs.  I wrote with people like Natalie Henby, Amy Wadge, Joseph Patten – he wrote the title track with me. I had those and a couple of songs couple I’d written myself. Then I went on tour and during that tour I started the process of recording the initial ideas.

After that tour finished did quite a lot more writing in London with people like Matty Benbrook and Turin Brakes, who I’ve got the new single with – ‘Where have all the good vibrations gone’ I set myself a goal of fifty songs and I managed forty six.  That was the idea, knowing I wanted to make a record quickly after supporting Ed (Sheeran) and getting that out as quickly as possible.  It was as soon as we could have done it.

5 things you loved about touring with Ed Sheeran might include

  • Playing to that many people – it was an incredible buzz to do that every night
  • Just seeing some of those stadiums – the Olympic stadium in Berlin, the Stade Du France in Paris. These huge beautiful places. Playing Wembley!
  • Catering is always good. I was well fed and put on about a stone.
  • Just as a trip – three months touring. I don’t think I’d done a tour that long before with the band. That was interesting. It was fun just to hang out and have each other for company.  Good job we all get on pretty well.
  • Also, just starting to record this album. We did that in a few different places on this tour.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after being away?

Crash! Literally. You don’t what to do with yourself. What’s interesting this time was I guess like I don’t feel that I had that stop after the Ed tour.  I went straight into writing and then into recording, so I didn’t really stop. We went straight for it. The first time I’ve stopped was after my tour in May. After that was when I crashed, it was weird. It doesn’t occupy your head in the way that touring or writing does.  It’s all good. That is how it works.

You had your breakthrough with the song ‘Wasn’t expecting that’ please share the story behind that song.

It came out of a conversation in Dublin with friends.  It was said and for whatever reason the phrase stayed in my head as a tag line. I could hear it almost immediately and set to it the next day. I wrote the song in about two hours, starting with the second line.  I had the line of ‘it was only a kiss, anyone could have missed it, wasn’t expecting that.’  I thought that doesn’t come first, something else has to come first. I put the smile line in that led to the kiss.  What leads from the kiss, to what? I realised I could write a life story in 3 minutes and that would be quite cool as I’ve never done that before. 

The only lines I struggled with were the last two lines and wrote them on a train from London to Cornwall. I was sad and thought ‘you can’t do that to people’, I basically killed them off, but, that happens all the time. Everyone knows someone who’s gone through it or is going through it or affected by it and that’s very important. So, it made sense to me that it was there and it took me by surprise. I thought it probably was going to take others by surprise too and it seems to have worked.

Quick fire Questions

Peace or passion – Passion

 Melody or lyrics – Lyrics

Sunset or sunrise – Sunset … don’t like getting up in the morning!

Frazzles or quavers – Frazzles

Jamie Lee Curtis or Jamie Oliver – Jamie Oliver – he can cook and I’m not sure if Jamie Lee Curtis can