I am soooo excited to introduce this emerging artist to you, Miss Jamie Jones. You will definitely being hearing more about her in the upcoming months. 20 years young, originally from the furniture capital of the world- High Point, NC, graduated early from high school, living on her own out in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia), this gal is a testament to all things good that are out there in the music world. It’s nice to see positivity insert itself back into the world of R and B and hip hop. For a while now, I’ve been feeling like we forgot that you can bop to music with a hot beat and suggestive not explicit lyrics AND keep your clothes on…all at the same time! I’m not hating on those of you who choose to do what you do, but I’m just saying let’s make room for some of these feel good artists as well.
As I prepped for this feature on my blog, there were moments that I just wanted to insert my podcast so you could hear every word from Jamie’s mouth because she represented herself so well and talked about so many things that young ladies of color (black, mixed, “whatever”) experience from both the black and white community for simply being who they are. You can’t change that! Never black enough for the black folks, not white enough for the white folks. If you’ve ever been guilty of teasing or bullying others or even an observer who sits in silence, just STOP! Read this article, even the parts your soul is wired to skip over and hear Jamie speak to you. You know the lyrics from that children’s tune, “Be kind to your web footed friends, for a duck maybe somebody’s mother”? I remember my own mom playing that for us growing up on that Wee Sing Silly Songs tape, and it’s one of those sayings that has stuck with me over the years.
Moms and dads, get hip to Jamie Jones because she’s a great choice for the ladies young and old in your life. Plus, since she’s new on the scene so you can sound all cool and stuff. As a matter of fact, let me give you Jamie’s myspace page now, so you can stage a public service announcement type moment with your kids (myspace.com/itsjamiejones). Something like this…
“Whatchya doin’, Mom?”
“Oh, I don’t know, just surfing the net and checking out this cool new singer on myspace.”
“Myspace? How do you know about myspace?”
“Oh, your mom’s cooler than you think. Listen, her name’s Jamie Jones. Have you heard of her?”
LOL!!! I just can’t help myself sometimes… 😎
Now focus, Daniel-san…
Thursday, September 11, 2008, the day before Jamie and I spoke, she rocked it on the fourth day of BET‘s 106 & Park– Wild Out Week (WOW). Thursday was the Female R&B All Star Competition in which 3 lady winners from previous shows were brought back to battle it out for the title and the WOW All Star trophy. In my humble opinion, Jamie blew her competition away. If you missed the chance to watch and vote, here is the list of performers in the order that they hit the stage and the songs they performed.
- Rain from Norwalk, Connecticut sang Only Me (myspace.com/iamrain2)
- Young Brittany from Newport News, VA sang Keep Movin’ (
- Jamie Jones from High Point, NC sang Whatever (myspace.com/itsjamiejones)
Jamie was all about business as Rocsi commented “Jamie, honey, you’re not smilin’. You’re not smilin'” but you know how they keep contestants waiting until the last possible second of the show for the results. I don’t know why she was worried because I’m still singing her jam in my head…ok, maybe I’m singing it out loud.
Try to get to know me
Before you talk about me
Don’t underestimate me...
(something, something, something…lol!!)
Is she black is she white
Whatever! Whatever! Whatever!
Of course, my girl (you know I’m lockin’ elbows with everyone once they talk to me…ha-ha) Jamie won, just edging out Young Brittany with 41% of the vote (Young Brittany got 40%, Rain got 19%). Jamie had actually met Young Brittany before on BET’s Blaze the Stage Competition (read more about the competition HERE) who had since kept in touch with Jamie through myspace and had become a fan.
I asked Jamie to tell me about her song “Whatever.”
I wanted the message to be to all the young girls and young kids out there who are being teased or bullied because they’re too thin or they’re too big or too nerdy or just don’t fit in some way. That’s ok, you just be you, whether it’s race or whether it’s whatever. Just be you and don’t worry about what other people have to say. It was really about the message…and I thought it was a good introduction song to me as a new artist.
When’s your album coming out?
She hasn’t been signed by a major label but has the financial backing to produce her album. Jamie did hint, however, that there was some interest from a few major record labels so we’ll just have to sit tight and see which lucky label scoops her up.
I had heard a few of Jamie’s songs prior to our chat so I was wondering which she planned to use as her debut single.
Well, we’re gonna push “Whatever” first. We actually just shot the video not too long ago and it’s going through the editing process now…it’s gonna blow up. “Ayo”…that’s going to be the second single…”Whatever” is a really good introduction song introducing me, Jamie Jones, and try to get to know me before you talk about me. Is she this, is she that? You know, that whole thing.
You have a lot of style and flair to your onstage persona. How would you describe yourself?
It’s so funny, as an artist, I really enjoy wearing the rocker girl stuff and the bright neon stuff. It’s like I’m a completely different person when I’m onstage and when I’m off stage. When I’m off stage, I’m very laid back, I’m just put on my jeans and sweat pants. I don’t wear any wild colors. I put my hair in a bun half the time, and I’m just, I don’t know. I’m just like anyone else out there. I would describe myself as a hard worker, very determined. I’m stubborn at times. I can admit that. Selfish. Loveable. Educated and willing to learn…I’m fun, and a person that girls can look up to. That’s most important, and I try to stay positive.
While talking about staying positive, Jamie explained that it applies to her music videos, too. Sorry, fellas, you will not find zee video vixens in her videos (that’s me inserting a French accent, just work with me).
Amen sista girl! But what about this referring to yourself as a mutt?
I’m like, why do I have to go down the list of what I am, you know? I’m here to sing, and I’m not special just because I’m mixed with all these things…It kind of originated from my mother because she always called herself a mutt, and I think she was insecure about herself. So I really just took that and embraced it so that her and everyone else that is mixed race can know that it’s ok to be mixed. Everyone may not understand it, but that’s when you say “whatever” and move on. We are beautiful people, and um, you know I could go down the list but I’m no better than everyone else, and race does not define Jamie Jones.
Can I get a witness!?! This is pretty much the part I just lifted and put on the page because Jamie represented herself and anyone identifying with her so well.
Growing up I never really knew exactly where I fit in. To the white crowd, I was always too black, and the black crowd, I was always too white. I never could please somebody. So it was kinda like, I just wasn’t tryin’ to impress anybody. I wasn’t tryin’ to fit in, and I was going to be who I was, and whatever crowd I attracted, whatever kind of people I attracted, that’s who I attracted. I was just gonna be Jamie Jones, and that was just the most important thing, being who I was and true to myself.
Here’s my Barbara Walters slash armchair psychiatrist moment as I tried to probe deeper into specifically what Jamie meant by her statements because it seemed to carry so much meaning and passion.
I got teased a couple times, and I don’t think I’m an unattractive person by all means, I definitely love who I am, but a lot of the girls were jealous…and they just tried to find a reason to hate me when there really was no reason.
Do you write your own songs?
I’ve written a lot of songs and I’ve also co-written a lot of songs. I helped write “Ayo” which Swizz produced. Um, another song that Swizz is on is called “You Be The Blame.” I also helped write the majority of that song. A lot of songs on my album actually…I definitely write a lot. It’s a way of expressing myself so I try to write as much as possible.
Who are your musical influences?
Do people ever say you remind them of anyone famous?
So your hometown is High Point, North Carolina. Besides furniture, we have also come to know that town for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Have your paths ever crossed?
How did your career get started?
It was my junior year in high school, I met a teacher who had been hearing a lot about me…so he introduced himself to me and told me about his brother. His brother is now my manager. He said “my brother manages artists” and, ever since then, you know, my parents and I went to…Maryland and met with him. So, through the rest of my high school career, I’ve just been traveling back and forth to record.
Why the DMV as opposed to a traditional hub for performing artists like New York or LA?
I just finished high school. I graduated early. As soon as I graduated from high school…I just moved to Maryland. That’s why I’m in this area…because the studio’s here. My whole life is here basically.
Have you networked with any of the other emerging DC area artists?
Actually, Tabi Bonney. I met Tabi before he [launched his music career and companies]…and Showbiz…a dance group that is in lots of his [Tabi’s] videos…I really wanna meet Raheem [DeVaughn]…he’s doin’ great. He’s a great artist.
Are you single?
Is that your dog on your myspace page?
I’m not going to tell you what her dog is mixed with, even though she did answer that question for me (as she also did regarding her ethnicities). Instead, I’ll let you dog lovers out there wonder and/or ask her yourself. I tried to guess during the interview, and I was all wrong, so it inadvertently reminded me of Jamie’s “whatever” message.
What’s something that you can’t live without?
So do you have a phone that’s all blinged out?
What’s been your most memorable performance?
Since you’re from the south, is there any food that you miss that you can’t have right now?
You mean the kind that you can’t even look at without gaining two pounds? (laughs) …It would have to be macaroni and cheese and lasagna. My mom makes the best lasagna so I miss that….My dad’s birthday is actually the 24th of this month [September] so I’ll be going home soon.
Is anybody else in your family musical?
(The milkman comment was just jokes for you naughty gossip and tabloid whores.)
So there you have it! It’s Jamie Jones y’all (I always want to say “It’s Jamie Jones” because of her myspace id). Check her out and add her on myspace. Show her some love here (and me, too) with your comments, and stay tuned because I have a good feeling about Jamie.
Thanks Dove and Tygereye Entertainment for another great interview hookup. 😉