If you’re looking for an artist who addresses important issues and evokes profound emotions with his music, look no further than Jamie Mathias. His new single ‘Back To You’ is another gem!
With songs about the dark side of social media and growing up as a child around abuse and addiction, Jamie isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. His candid and heartfelt lyrics certainly have the ability to resonate with people on a truly deep level.
We recently caught up with Jamie Mathias. In our exclusive interview, the talented singer-songwriter spoke about: the inspiration for his latest singles, life in lockdown as an artist, helping charities and fans with his music, filming a new video in Cyprus, his plans for the future and much more.
You can read highlights and hear our full interview with Jamie Mathias below!
So 2020 has obviously been a bit of a crazy year but it’s actually been an amazing one for you musically as you’ve released four incredible singles. How have you found life in lockdown?
“Thank you. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve hit like sort of stifles in creativity but, at the same point, I was quite fortunate in the sense that I already had singles ready to go so it hasn’t prevented me from bringing out new music. And then all of the amazing people that I’ve been working and writing with and stuff; I’ve still been continuing Zoom sessions. We’ve got one of the singles for next year which was made on a Zoom call and it’s probably one of my favourites I’ve ever done. I think everyone has had some testing parts where it’s been kind of a struggle when you’ve been kind of isolated and on your own. As humans, I don’t think we’re wired that way. It’s nice to be social and be out and amongst people. Fingers crossed we don’t have to fully go back down that route again.“
How do you find Zoom sessions in comparison to collaborating in a studio?
“It’s a very different dynamic and it takes a lot longer. When you’re in a studio, you write something and everything can get done and recorded straight away. In Zoom sessions, you’re bouncing ideas off each other and then the producer is gonna have to do some bits to send over then I have to record some bits and send it back. It’s kind of back and forth that way. For some people, I think it’s actually worked better for them. For me, I way prefer being in a studio environment and amongst people. I’m a social creature so I kind of relish being back in. I’ve had a few sessions back now and I’m definitely in the ‘in person’ camp but I know there’s a bit of a divided opinion on that.”
For people who haven’t yet heard your music, how would you describe your style and sound?
“A bit of a mix really. I think this year has massively been about finding my sound which is primarily pop but it’s got kind of an indie element to it. I really like the sort of live music feel with instruments. There’s a little bit of rap but it’s mainly based on pop vocals with a kind of a grisly edge to it. Along the likes of Paolo Nutini, Lewis Capaldi and that kind of vibe. Lewis is a bit more stripped back whereas most of my stuff has a sort of produced band feel to it.“
We’re absolutely loving your new single ‘Back To You’ – what was the inspiration for the song and what do you want people to take from it?
“Thank you very much. It was basically written during a point where I was feeling a bit lost and didn’t really know what was going on. It was about digging below the surface a little bit and finding something that was attributing to the problems. Then that period of self reflection and realising that it’s basically about someone or something that you keep going back to. That was pretty much the inspiration for it. I wrote it with Nick Bradley and Lewis Gardiner who also produced it. Two amazing guys so I’ve written them quite a bit since then as well.”
It’s one of our favourite singles by you and, like with your previous releases, it’s clearly one that’s personal to you. Do you feel it’s important to write from your own experiences?
“100%. Even when I co-write and write with other people, it has to be about things that I have been feeling and I have to get it across in that way. I feel like it doesn’t feel natural to sing on songs that I don’t connect with. I only really connect with songs if they are written about a way that I was feeling in a moment of time. I think it’s also important because then it becomes a period of self reflection. So in a year or two or five years time, I can listen back to that song I wrote and it can be a reminder of where I was then so that you can see your own progression.”
Your new single follows ‘Better Man’ which is a song where you reflect on a troubled childhood and promise not to follow in the same footsteps. Is there anything you’ve learnt this year which makes you feel like a ‘Better Man’?
“I think, again, it’s been a progression of things. If I look at the person that I was when I was 17 to 22 to 25 to now, I can see how I’ve bettered myself from a personal side of things. Obviously what ‘Better Man’ was written about makes it probably my most personal song yet. That came about as a result of me cutting all ties with the person that it’s written about and that’s happened properly within the last 18 months. I would say I’m a complete open book with everybody at the moment so, if anybody wants to talk to me, I will always talk about my own experiences as they were and not shy from that. I think that’s been quite an important thing in order for me to be able to help other people as well. That’s something that is important that people feel when they’re going through stuff themselves that they’re able to open up and talk to me about it if they trust me with that.“
The official video for ‘Better Man’ features your nephews which further strengthens the sentiment of the song – how did you find the video shoot?
“Mate, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve done. If you follow me online, you’ll know how important those two boys are to me. It was amazing having those guys in there and amazing getting to show them it back as well. They’re literally the two most important human beings in the world to me so it was very kind of emotive and personal to have those guys in it. I love it. That’s something that will always be there forever which is going to be wicked.“
You also recently released ‘Turn The Lights Down’ which is a sexy club banger and a bit of a different sound for you – can we expect more tracks like that in the future?
“I don’t know. That track was written quite a long time ago. It’s still kind of an 80s vibe but when I originally wrote it, it had a real Michael Jackson style instrumentation on it. The big heavy snare hits and all off that stuff but then we changed it to suit a more modern style of production. At the moment, I don’t really know because it is very different. I quite like experimenting with styles and genres. I obviously released ‘Love Ourselves’ at the start of the year which had more of a rap feel to it. I love experimenting with genres but at the same point, the further I wade into the industry, the more people want to define what a sound is. I think I’ll always experiment with the music but I think that’ll come as maybe side projects to the main thing. Now it’s about establishing what my sound is; not so all the songs sound the same but so that they all fit under the same kind of mould.“
As you say, you released your charity single ‘Love Ourselves’ at the beginning of the year which helped Samaritans and it went to the top 40 of the main iTunes chart when it was released. The track obviously had an incredible message. How did you find the response to it?
“It was amazing and I think it was kind of testament to people’s feelings towards that kind of subject. In terms of actual response that I’ve had from people, it was definitely the biggest. I think it was the actual content of the track. It had so many parts that are relatable to other people such as: societal pressures, stigmas and trolling online. Basically not wanting to conform to what society’s modern standards of beauties are and not having to change yourself just because you see other people on Instagram who are often portraying a lifestyle that they actually aren’t living themselves. So it was such a positive message and I didn’t want it to come across as preachy. I just wanted it to be like a period of reflection for everybody that the way we’re living our lives is not healthy. I think the more social media becomes prevalent, the more we’re seeing issues with mental health rises. I think that’s a direct correlation. If you look at the rise of social media and the rise of people with mental health issues, it’s not a coincidence.“
The song itself has an important and powerful message but is there anything you would say to someone who is struggling at the moment?
“Absolutely. I mean talk to someone first and foremost. There’s obviously professionals that can help; the Samaritans are an amazing charity and there’s also a number of others that work really hard. I think the first thing is if you can and feel comfortable with it, open up to people that are around you who know you. If you can’t, seek that professional help. I’m actually just about to start a podcast with one of my friends Brad that basically centres around all of these issues. There’s no substitute for professional help if you need professional help but there are definitely factors that you can change and make improvements to that will help you. Things like: exercising, improving your diet, giving yourself some sort of structural routine and taking breaks from social media if that’s what is causing you problems. I think also changing the people that you follow on social media. We’ve got so wrapped up in a world where we follow people who are promoting unhealthy lifestyles. Switch that mentality and start following people that motivate you and inspire you. You’re fine the way you are but there’s always ways of making self improvements. At the moment, I’m trying to get myself into shape and that’s not just for the aesthetic but also about the journey of getting myself into that shape and enjoying feeling healthy. After every workout, I feel so good about it and my brain works. It’s basically making a strive to put your mental and physical well-being first before anything. When all is said is done, all we really have is our health and our family.“
You’ve mentioned you have an EP coming next year and a podcast soon. What does the rest of 2020 and next year have in store for Jamie Mathias?
“That’s pretty much it to be honest man. It’s all geared up to working towards the EP. Actually, I’ve also got a charity single that I’m releasing in October which is for Baby Loss Awareness Week. I wrote it as an acoustic version for a couple that sadly had a stillborn and I wrote a song in memory of Little Finley who was their baby. Then we’ve ended up getting that properly produced and we’re going to be releasing that in October. It’s going to be kind of a soft release with more like an emotive music video to go with it. We’re going to be raising money for charity; half of the proceeds are going to be going to their charity Forever Finley and then we’re just picking the other one at the moment. It’s a very emotive song and a bit of a heartbreaker really. So we’ve got that and then once that’s done, everything is then geared towards the EP. We’ve got the first single off of it and then we’ll be dropping the EP and another couple of singles from there. I’m really excited about it. Then hopefully I’ll be able to gig and then it’s all about working towards the album for next year.”
If you could leave a message for your fans and supporters, what would you say?
“I would just say thank you so much and please do keep supporting. I know it seems really insignificant but every single like and share helps. For everyone that has beared with me over the years, I really appreciate you all being there. Fingers crossed we’ll have an amazing rest of 2020 and 2021. I hope you all get to come out and actually see a show because it’s been a miserable year. Fingers crossed we can hit off next year with something a bit more exciting.“
‘Back To You’ is available here on all digital platforms. The catchy single, which is Jamie’s fourth release this year, follows: ‘Love Ourselves‘, ‘Turn The Lights Down‘ and ‘Better Man‘. Make sure you also check out his incredible debut album ‘The Great Escape‘. Back in 2017, Jamie gave us a unique insight into each track on the record and you can read his in-depth explanations here.
We can’t wait to hear Jamie’s forthcoming EP. From the teasers we’ve heard so far, it’s safe to say that we’re definitely in for a treat. After seeing Jamie support Ben Haenow in Brighton last year, we’d also highly recommend that you see him live if you ever get the chance. Keep Jamie Mathias on your radar by following him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Are you you excited to hear more new music from Jamie Mathias? Which are your favourite songs by him to date? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!