Jamie Lonsdale has just released his album 'Footprints'. As a relative newcomer to the world of music, Louder Than The Music decided to find out more about Jamie, and so we asked him a few questions, and found out how, by his own admission, he came to music quite late in life, but has quickly made a name for himself. His gentle humour and sense of fun shines out in this fascinating interview.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
Hi, I’m Jamie Lonsdale, a singer/songwriter, although I feel unqualified! That’s a fairly recent label! Originally in the Royal Navy, then in the property world, I didn’t start singing until I was 38, initially in the Wantage Choral Society, and then for opera companies including Opera Anywhere who gave me my first role. In 2012 I was offered the role in a famous musical as Captain von Trapp, at which point I decided to cross-over and start singing songs from the shows.
Tell us about your new album 'Footprints' and what the inspiration behind it was?
Five years ago, I was just shaving and my very first song came to me; they keep coming, I have no idea where they come from! Sometimes, I can be crossing the road, or in the back of a taxi.
I’m a very romantic soul who enjoys performing; I love to sing about love, heartbreak, a little jazz, and maybe a little humour (which always gets me into trouble!)
Which is your favourite track on the album and why?
Now that is a very difficult question to answer! It’s like asking me to choose between my four children…… but I’ll try! Here is my dilemma: Set yourself free, because it’s cinematic, it’s big sound, and the lyrics communicate much of the lessons that I have learnt in life. It seems to be the most popular song with all ages. Alleluia, because I think it is pure and beautiful; there’s only one word, so I can’t forget my lines! Time, because it’s so sad, and yet it is filled with such hope of meeting on the other side. Life, the simplicity of the music, and the comfort that just one friend can bring. Reputation, cos it brings out my love of dancing late at night. Not over you, the broken heart…. I shall never reveal the girl’s name! And Agnus Dei, for spiritual regeneration.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
That it is never too late to follow your passion, to be true to your feelings, to be open, and to not be scared of what others might think. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to want it the most!
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
My music, I like to think, crosses many boundaries. Originally I was inspired by choral works, musical theatre, cabaret, operas, and La Traviata in particular.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would have liked to work with Queen because their creativity was totally off the page… and it still appeals to all ages. Their music will never die.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I believe that an artist’s success should be measured by being true to themselves and their own art. The more authentic, the more unique. Artists have to be brave and show their vulnerabilities, that’s what makes audiences connect to them. Success cannot here be measured in financial terms, that just one dimensional.
What is your favourite album of all time?
My friend Joanna Strand’s album called Fly Transatlantic a journey. I can’t stop listening to it; she has a beautiful voice, we first sang together in 2005, in South Pacific at Grange Park Opera. Her cabarets are the best, how to visit Paris (whilst in London) without the need to travel.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
The Lord’s Prayer song from my debut album, A Journey... I wrote it in an hour in the English Church in Florence after praying for creativity... I think it’s my best song, and it would remove all anxiety from me after being marooned on the island... it would fill me with hope and inspiration. And having prayed that it was a Duracell battery, I would just have enough for one more song: Wanted, by Julie Mae Hales.
What does the next year hold for you?
Who knows what the future with Covid will bring? One thing is for sure, I want people to hear my music, I want to perform at my three favourite venues of Mountview, the Pheasantry, and the Other Palace theatre; and with the unexpected success of Footprints in Buffalo, USA and Frankfurt, Germany I would love to go in search of my audience. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to do another concert in Florence and Hong Kong, but this time include Sydney and the Philippines! Oh yes……and to keep creating …. And to help provide proper homes for the homeless before next winter arrives.
Jamie's new album 'Footprints' is out now - visit jamie-lonsdale.com for more info.