The Los Angeles music scene received a very rare and special treat Monday night when the immensely talented Jamie Scott popped in at the iconic (and Jukebox Mixtape favorite) Hotel Cafe. The London based singer-songwriter took the stage last night, showcasing songs off his forthcoming EP titled “Hurricane” which is an impressive 6 years in the making. With a full band in tow, Jamie admitted the night marked the live debut of most of the songs off the record. The evening brought out an assortment of industry taste makers, fellow musicians and fans all eager to hear his latest collection of tunes.
Jamie Scott has already achieved major success, writing 9 songs off “Midnight Memories,” the most recent album by megastars One Direction, which includes the chart topping hit “Story of My Live.” He’s also penned hits for countless UK popstars ranging from JLS, The Vamps, Christina Perri, Little Mix and Melanie C to the internationally recognized Enrique Iglesias, Nicole Scherzinger and NKOTB.
But what makes Jamie stand apart from the other gifted songwriters in this industry, is that when he steps onto the stage, his talent as a performer resonates. His performance doesn’t distract you from the music; his subtle charm laces its way through the set as he intros each song, letting you take a glimpse into his curious past. With his lyrical exploration of the ups and downs of life, you find yourself wondering how this stranger has seemingly shared so many life experiences with you that each and every one of his songs pulls at your heart strings. He’s the kind of artist that I selfishly wish would hold onto his songs for himself, rather than dish them out to others, because there’s something about the way his voice hits every note, that leaves you anxiously awaiting for more.
Jamie’s songwriting skills have already shown that he is a force to be reckoned with. He’s undeniable a staple in the UK songwriting community, a hot commodity, if you will. But as a solo artist, it’s clear that he’s got so much more to give. With his casual demeanor, both calm and collected, I tasted a hint of Ryan Adams mixed in with what I can only assume is a heavy James Taylor influence.
The highlight of the evening came for me when Jamie stripped the evening down, performing an acoustic version of “Night’s Gonna Trip Me Again” (Beware: if you’ve ever lost a loved one, this song will reignite the pain you’ve felt while trying to comprehend death) and “Carry On.” With nothing but the piano and his deliciously smooth voice, the latter brought the house to a deafening silence as he proved his skills extend beyond the pen. (Seriously? Guitar, piano AND that soulful voice. Lord help us all.)
His set also included “Hurricane,” an instant favorite “Unbreakable,” (Who doesn’t love a song where someone promises to be your rock and foundation when you don’t have the strength to yourself?), “Ebony Eyes” (a new take on the classic story of an impending breakup) and a borderline Americana-esque tune “Lady West,” which literally got the crowd (and shamelessly, me) moving. The song, with its irresistible electric guitar riff, coincidentally took me back to Nashville, reminding me of a sweaty summer barn house jam session (Like really, can this song be released immediately?). “I might as well call my album ‘The Notebook,'” Jamie joked (no, but really), as he began “Heaven’s Gates,” a haunting exploration of spending your whole life looking for someone, only to lose them to death.
With a little time to spare, Jamie concluded the evening by bringing out fellow songwriter Julian Bunetta, with whom he co-wrote “Story of My Life” with. The crowd responded with a resounding roar of approval, singing along to the chart topping tune as the evening came to a close.
I’m delighted that we were able to experience this rare performance and can honestly say I can’t wait for Jamie’s record to be released. I’m told he’s aiming for a 2014 release, fingers crossed!
In the meantime, you can check out a great video of Jamie performing “Story of My Life” last night I stumbled across on YouTube.