We have a special today with our Spotlight – Jamie Fine. We caught up with Jamie to talk about her journey in music today and her new single Sell Out which is now available. Jamie is from our hometown of Ottawa so I wanted to bring a special guest on board to help ask some questions. Local radio DJ Ilon is a good friend of mine and knows Jamie as well so I thought it would be fun to get some help on this one.
Music has been always in your life, since your childhood, tell us a little about your musical journey?
I grew up in a fairly musical family – at least on my dads’ side! There were a few cousins who sang beautifully and my Zaide as well. My dad is an incredible pianist, so I grew up with a lot of the classics like ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’ etc. I didn’t realize I could sing until I was about 12/13, in grade 7. When I did, I started writing my own music right away (it wasn’t good, I promise you – hah). My dad would take me out almost every weekend to a friend’s home studio to record covers and it’s a huge part of why I’m so comfortable being the recording part of a recording artist. It was kind of training me without me knowing!
Culinary arts is your true passion, tell us about it!
I wouldn’t say it’s my TRUE passion but it’s definitely up there. I’ve always loved cooking – especially the science behind it; why things react the way they do to heat, how things grow, etc. When it came time to picking between Social Work at University or Culinary School at Algonquin, I went with my gut and pursued cooking. It was probably one of the best decisions I had ever made because it allowed me to pursue both things that I was passionate about simultaneously.
Do you wish to expand and explore your culinary arts? How would you do it?
Cooking will definitely always be a huge part of my life. I have big goals to open a few restaurants. Some of my best friends are people I went to culinary school with so I’m still always surrounded by the industry and continuously learning from them.
You can cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? You may also dine with said person!
I’d probably say Freddie Mercury – mostly for the dining experience, though.
You supported a lot of local businesses this summer – what does it mean for you to be active in the community? Ottawa is home to lots of international talent and celebrity, many of whom are never seen on our streets. Tell us about your love for the city.
I think most artists love the idea of ‘putting their city on the map’. Ottawa’s a really special city, in my opinion. It has a lot to offer with its ‘small town yet big enough city’ vibes. There’s great talent, really kind people, an expanding culinary scene and tones to see. I’ve had some pretty big city artists come out here from LA, or New York, or even Toronto, and they all say the same thing – they could see themselves living here. Admittedly when I was a kid, I didn’t like living here, but as a grew up and travelled all around the world, whenever I came home it felt incredible. I’m definitely extremely proud to be from here and I’m excited to show it off to as many people as I can.
How did Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine come to be?
We met at Algonquin College while I was working in the culinary department and he was in the Music Industry Arts Program. He had heard my voice from one of my buddies and asked me to join him in a studio session that weekend. The vibes were great, and we loved the music we were making so kept writing together!
You’re embarking on a bit of a separate path, tell us about that if you can.
There was a point that I got to where I felt really lost. I was waking up unhappy, I couldn’t shake my anxiety – I basically just needed to take a step back from everything and everyone. I needed a break. And at the end of that break I decided to go down a different path which, at the time, wasn’t necessarily going solo. I wasn’t ready for that until very recently. It was more just me needing to re-evaluate what I needed to make sure I was taking steps towards being happy again – loving what I do again, because I lost that for a long time.
Your musical tastes are very elaborate, what’s one genre that many would never expect you to be into? Do you see yourself creating music in that genre?
I’m lowkey obsessed with like 2000’s punk rock. Good Charlotte, Blink 182, All-American Rejects – my god, we don’t make music like that anymore. If you actually listen back, the melodies were brilliant and the storytelling was incredible. I would love to make music in that genre, but I don’t think my voice suits it – haha. Maybe one day for the My Chemical Romance come-back!
A lot of your music is about extraordinary romantic situations. Would you date you? Why or why not?
Holy – great question. I think admittedly I’m tough to be with haha. I’m definitely attracted to someone who is kind of the opposite of me. Not in terms of values or problem solving, but in terms of being more laid back than I am or calmer. I need that balance because I’m very emotional. Sooooo, no, I probably wouldn’t date me lol.
If you found yourself as a character in a TV show, who and which show would it be?
Probably Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy – she’s crazy and sassy.
Your newest single Sell Out, sounds like something really from the heart, from your soul. Who was in the room when you wrote this song?
That one was just me and Elijah. We had a really tough conversation and we were really frustrated; I think at each other just as much as everyone else. We just kind of let everything out in that song and I think related it to different things while writing it.
This was written in LA back in 2019. This song is very important for you and it represents a reality for many musicians, producers, writers. Tell us more about it?
It’s definitely an industry song first that represents the ongoing struggle of I think most people in this industry. There are addicting highs and devastating lows and I think most of us struggle with balancing them or at least normalizing them. This song was me being really, really pissed off. I was sick of everyone telling me that I was great but feeling like I wasn’t reaching my goals. I was exhausted with feeling like I was heading down the wrong path but being too afraid to do anything about it. What I’ve realized since writing the song is that it’s taught me a lot. It was important to get out that emotion, put everything on the table and then sort through it and start dealing with the issues.
The cool thing about this track is that I’ve noticed it relates to lots of people outside of the music industry. Lots of people struggle, lots of people feel unaccomplished in their jobs or careers. Everyone has their off day and it’s important to confront things that make you unhappy. Whether you’re a chef, a bus driver, a business person, a lawyer or a singer.
What is your process like when putting together some a new song?
It really depends. Sometimes someone sends me a track and I’ll write to it. Lately I’ve been putting down piano myself and writing something to an acoustic track. If I’m in a really emotional mood, not necessarily sad but any emotion, I prefer to write it pretty raw so that it can be as authentic as possible. Then I’ll work on it with a producer who I think fits the sound the best.
Do you find that the recent evolution on how people consume music, going from a traditional CD purchase to streaming
It’s changed it in really positive ways and some minor negative ways, but I think the positive far outweighs the negative. It’s allowing a lot more artists to get their music out there a little bit easier. Music is just sooooo accessible in a way it never has been. I’d love to see songwriters get paid more in streaming – stuff like that if we’re really getting into politics but for the most part I think streaming has changed the music industry in a really cool way.
This maybe low key but you’re a big mental health advocate. Tell us more about your beliefs and something our readers can take away in this time of uncertainty?
I’m definitely a huge advocate for mental health. There are a few things I guess. Your mental health is priority number 1…always. I’ve learned the hard way that there are no exceptions to that. If your mental health isn’t taken care of, you can’t function probably. I also think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Whether it’s to perform well, to keep busy, to stay well rounded, so on and so on, there’s just so much self-inflicted pressure that I find can actually add too much constraint. We’re human: sometimes we’re unmotivated, sometimes we’re sad, sometimes we find ourselves in a little rut. What’s most important, at least in my opinion, is dealing with things to tangibly work through them. Solving issues, not just telling yourself something that’s going to get you through the day.
What would you like to tell your fans and readers?
Honestly, right now I just want to say thank you. Part of the process for entering this new chapter was taking a step back and looking at the things I was thankful for and a large part of that was the fans. It’s crazy to think people are waiting, listening, engaging because they’re a fan of YOU, as a human being too – it’s kind of beautiful and I lost sight of it a bit.
Spotlight – Jamie Fine is a wrap. Big thanks to Jamie for taking the time to chat with us. A special thanks to Dj Ilon for the helping hand.
Check out Sell Out now!
Keep up with all things Jamie here
If you are an artist you should want your own Spotlight Interview