PRESENTED BY LAYLA ANNA-LEE
So why give your time and attention to Jamie? Its not as if theres any obvious shortage of young singer/songwriters right now. Far from it. But even in a crowded marketplace there will always be room for an artist who has what it takes to be better than the rest. And if you love music and have a heart and a pair of ears, youll recognise within the space of just one song that here is exactly that sort of someone. A musician and lyricist of uncommon and mature gift, and one blessed with a gloriously fluid and expressive voice, he is as the title of his introductory single suggests, the Real Thing.
The back story? Jamie was born and raised in Plymouth in what was he says a resolutely non-musical household. No-one sang or played anything. We didnt have any records. Then the elder of his two brothers hit adolescence and things began to change: He got me into The Smiths, The Housemartins, the Jackson 5 ...
Aged eight, he asked for and received his first guitar. Early on in secondary school, he was invited to join his first band. He was writing material of his own too, all of it terrible to start with, of course. Id be 17 at least before I came up with anything good.
When he did properly uncover it, his voice proved to be something very special indeed. No one who has heard him sing live would disagree (and in addition to his own regular schedule of gigging, he has played with artists including The Frames, Martha Wainwright and Damien Rice, as well as having been chosen as opening act for outdoor gigs by both Van Morrison and Katie Melua).
There was a brief and half-hearted attempt at following a different career path. But unhappy and unfulfilled in his earliest weeks at Art College, Jamie sought the advice of a counsellor who then asked him, So what do you want to do with your life? And when I said that I wanted to be a singer she told me, Then go and do it! which totally surprised me but which was absolutely the right thing to say. I met that woman just once and for five minutes. I dont even know her name. But she showed me what I had to do.
His single, the taster for an album now nearing completion and due for release later this year, shows exactly how good he is at doing just that. To repeat, it is - and he is - the Real Thing.
Tune in again tomorrow!