Interview: Jamie Carol
Jamie Carol has released a single and video titled 'We The People'. Louder Than The Music chatted with Jamie to hear all about how he started out as an opera singer, but that his passion lies with country music. Read on for the story of his music, and what inspires him.
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?
I began my musical career as a classically trained tenor, singing operatic roles across the United States and even abroad. But even before that, in my teens, I began writing music, primarily for musical theatre projects. I never went to school to study music, but rather just learned by doing. I was very fortunate to have a mentor, a college music professor, who took me under his wing and taught me all the basics of music theory and composition.
But despite the opera and musical theatre music, I continued to listen to country music. There’s a solid bedrock of truth and honesty that just isn’t as consistently a part of any other musical genre.
Tell us about your song 'We the People' and what the inspiration behind it was?
We’ve been pretty divided as a nation, especially over the last few years, and my heart just ached over those divisions. I actually wrote ‘We the People’ as a way of processing the sadness I was feeling about what was happening. My hope was that, if the song ever become a bit hit, it might help comfort others the way it helped to comfort me.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
I am currently in the studio, recording several new songs that will be a part of a complete album. It will be scheduled for release in the late summer or early fall, sometime in August or September. And then I’ll have an original Christmas single that will be out in early to mid-November.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
My hope is that people will see the openness and simple, raw honesty that I try to infuse into my music. Every single one of us on this planet wants and needs the same things: we all want to love and be loved and needed, and we all worry about the same basic things like family, friends, career, money, and especially our own mortality. And it’s that shared humanity that I try to tap into with each song I write. These are things that we can all relate to.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Well, first and foremost, I have a passion for a strong and powerful melody, something that I think is sorely lacking in much of today’s popular music. I also strive for a very real and authentic sound, meaning I prefer to have everything recorded by live musicians instead of using prepackaged beats or computerized effects. Maybe that’s just the classical training in me. In my songs, if you hear an instrument playing, you can bet it was played by a living breathing person.
Staying with that same principle, my musical influences are many of the classic country artists, such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. I am also a huge Elvis fan. While he wasn’t really a song writer, his musical influence cannot be denied. These artists have created music that has stood the test of time with their simple honesty and authenticity.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
There are so many outstanding songwriters, it’s hard to choose just one. But if I had to make a choice, it would probably be Kris Kristofferson. The main reason is because of his extraordinary ability to write a lyric. He has been considered, by many, to be the Shakespeare of songwriting.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
While making a living with music is always a great goal, the primary mark of success, for me, is to know that my music has entertained, moved, and inspired people. I would like for my legacy to be that of a storyteller. If I can accomplish this, I know I will have succeeded
What is your favorite album of all time?
I’m not sure I can choose just one. There’s just too much spectacular music to listen to make that specific of a choice. But, if I had to choose just one, I think it would be Elvis Presley’s 1967 Gospel album, “How Great Thou Art.”
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?
Does “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” count? Ha ha! Just kidding! But seriously, I think I would have to listen to Elvis and his song, “If I Can Dream.” It’s a perfect blend of country, rock and roll, and Gospel.
What does the next year hold for you?
In addition to continuing to write and record, I’ll be getting back into doing live performances again, after a more than two year hiatus. Performing live is always the best way to make that powerful musical and emotional connection with people.