Four Questions for Jaymay
In a music industry laced with meat dresses, auto-tune, and nip-slips, Jaymay – the performance name of singer-songwriter Jamie Seerman – produces tracks that connect listeners to what music is fundamentally about: words and sounds. Deceptively simple yet profound in its effect, her approach to folk assembles thoughtful, fun, and clever lyrics with equally well-constructed melodies. Jaymay has released five studio albums to date and her music has appeared in films and on television.
She talked to Thought Out Loud about the creative process, her favourite artists, and using music to stick it to certain somebodies.
Thought Out Loud: You’ve enjoyed some success with your music in film and television. When writing songs, do you ever think about where those songs might end up being featured?
Jaymay: Nope, not even once. However, I did write songs specifically for the film HappyThankYouMorePlease such as “Never Be Daunted” and “Rock, Scissors, Paper (RSP).”
TOL: One of the Thought Out Loud editors – who shall remain nameless – gets his creative inspiration sometimes from bad television shows and country western music. Do you have any bizarre or unlikely sources of inspiration?
JM: I don’t own a TV, but I do eavesdrop and I’ve definitely stolen snippets from conversations I hear on the train or in the park. I draw a lot of my inspiration from literature, actually. For instance, “Long Walk To Never” is an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Long Walk To Forever” and my song “Lamb” is based on Roald Dahl’s short story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” “Never Be Daunted” is a Hemingway quote and I’ve also quoted Holden Caulfield. Pinocchio and Galway Kinnell’s The Book Of Nightmares have totally influenced my writing.
TOL: Your songs often include references to love and loss. Is there a cathartic element to your song writing? Have you ever been tempted to write a song as a giant “screw you” to somebody.
JM: The cathartic moment comes from knowing when a song is finally realized/complete. My song “You’d Rather Run” is a giant screw you to certain somebodies… even to myself in some way.
TOL: Tell us the truth: Who’s the one artist you listen to that we’d never expect? Is it Bieber? It’s okay if it is!
JM: I listen to Chet Baker and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons all the time. Also, The Strokes are awesome.