If you’ve not heard of Jamie McAulay yet — make a note, because you will.
This young singer/songwriter from Glasgow, Scotland, rockets out of the starting gate with his debut EP, “Me, Myself & I,” filled with four quality tracks.
The first single, “Strange Love,” comes on strong with a bit of paranoia and a deep bass line and throbbing guitars. “Beauty Queen” has good hooks and is fast and rugged. “Let Me Go” is very strong, with hard-driving guitars and a dirty bass line near the end. “My Dear Friend,” the fourth track, is a ballad.
So, after heard Jamie was working on this EP, I sent him some questions and he happily agreed to answer them. Here’s what he had to say about his influences, the EP and the future:
Question: So, we’ll start from the beginning … When did you start playing and singing and writing songs?
I started singing when I was little. I love singing. My grandfather is a great soul singer (he says he’s not but I can assure you he is great). He used to play all these great blues and soul artists from the late 60s early 70s and I just fell in love with their voices. It was magical.
Then I found the guitar and well … that’s when things got really interesting, haha! I started when I was 8 and I’ve been playing ever since. I used to just play metal.
I am a huge diehard Metallica fan. James Hetfield is my hero, but when I was 15 I started to experiment with other styles like blues, acoustic and even pop.
Another one of my influences on guitar is Eric Clapton. He’s just the king.
Question: Who are your influences and why?
I’ve got a lot of influences. The major ones are Metallica, Nickelback, Oasis, Queen and very early Robbie Williams, the Temptations, Elvis — all of these people have had a huge influence on me and still do.
Question: Are you still in school? If so, does it limit what you can do, performance-wise, right now?
Not really. I always manage to fit in my gigs and recording around my college work. It all goes really well actually. I always have time to practice. That’s all I do at home is rehearse.
Question: Tell me about the EP. How many songs? How long did it take to make?
It is four songs and the writing of the songs took about a month and that was really fun because I would wake up and instantly start writing, then go to college, then come back and start writing again. It was really fun.
The recording took four days and it was such an amazing experience. It really made me realize that music is the right path for me.
Chris, the producer, is a genius and his friend Andrew, who is a training engineer, sat in for the sessions and helped a lot with tracking. They both give me great ideas for overdubs for the songs.
Question: Any videos planned?
Yeah I’m currently throwing ideas around for “Strange Love,” the single off of the EP. I can’t give too much away but it’s gonna be really awesome!
Question: The first single, “Strange Love” … you played all the instruments?
Yeah, everything apart from the drums. I wrote the drum music and put it through drum software, and me Chris and Andrew all sat for at least four hours trying to nail them. Eventually we got the right sound and instantly started tracking … and the rest is history pretty much.
Question: Are you looking for a band to play with you or are you playing just acoustic for shows?
I love doing both. Some gigs I like doing acoustic, but other times I wish I had a session band behind me. I suppose just getting to play my songs live is the best thing, regardless of who is behind you.
Question: Do you visualize your songs as just you or for a full band?
I do both because I can play them acoustically the same way and still deliver the same results.
Question: “Strange Love” has a very hard rock feel to it. Do the other songs go the same way or are they different?
There are a few songs that are “in your face” on the album and then there is the song “My Dear Friend” on the EP, it is the most personal track on the album and it’s acoustic driven with a string section behind it. It’s awesome.
Question: What’s the best part of performing for you?
I am a huge believer in crowed participation. I like my shows to connect with the audience. I have certain sections of my set where I rely on the fans to sing along and become another instrument. I just love playing live. There’s no better feeling, if I’m honest.
Question: Where do you hope your music takes you, both personally and geographically?
Music is my therapy so the more songs I write the less stressed or upset I am, so it really helps me personally. Geographically, I just hope it puts me on the map as an established artist.
Question: Any big musical dreams?
A headlining tour and a No. 1 album … but, baby steps!
Question: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten so far from other musicians?
The best advice … hmmm … I’d say it’s “Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with.”
Follow Jamie on Twitter at @JamieMcAulay12 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Jamiemcaulaymusic/timeline.