Jamie Woon is known for the incredible energy he puts into his live shows of super-charged soul. This was exactly the case at Budapest’s A38 Ship club when Jamie played there last weekend with the crowd at the sold out gig listening rapt to his deep, beautiful melodies, whispering the lyrics or screaming out as he played Lady Luck. Before the show we caught up with Jamie to talk about what he learned from Burial, new electronic instruments and emo moments.
In the early part of your career you met Burial and also supported Amy Winehouse at a live show. How did his come about?
It’s probably because we are all from London, from the same kind of area. With Burial that was really just [that] I sent him a message and he was up for the remix. With Amy I did one show in New York, so it wasn’t like a tour. That had nothing to do with the fact that we had been to school together. It was like a one of British music showcase and they needed someone to open up the show and who is cheap.
Did this show helped you to build your name?
That show was really isolated…
Did you do any promotion?
Not really. At that time I used to play anywhere. I guess I have a reputation for being ‘the man who did that show’. Then I released one song, the ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, and some people were kind of taking up on it. So yeah, it was like “Do you wanna go playing in New York?” and me “yeah for sure”. Nothing really much came off the back of it. I wanted to have a couple of meeting with record labels out there and stuff but I was quite naive to the business. You know I think I could have gone to that on a very different route. But I always wanted to have control on my own records.
This is how you found your label?
Well I was already making my record around that time. Universal may have helped me finishing it. I was really just down to meet a person who signed me. I felt like he believed in me and understood what I wanted to do.
Back to Burial, can you remember what was his most remarkable thing which he have taught you?
He makes a good cup of tea. I got really into tea drinking. (laughs)
So was it easy for you to let him into your musical world?
I was a massive fan of his first record. We got on well; we have a lot in common. I’ve never met someone who takes a lot of caring details, and his attention on details is very inspiring.
Because of him people stick the label dubstep on your music? What do you think about that?
Yeah, I mean that’s an interesting one, because I really don’t see that way. I’m definitely inspired by dubstep and borrowed from especially the more atmospheric side of it. And I know Burial has been a part of that, and influenced my record, but I think my record is more… you know I can’t play my songs in a club. It is very much R&B, a pop record, I’m singing songs on it. So I mean I’ve been being lost about dubstep for years just kind of feel like I’m not the guy to ask. I definitely when I heard it, I was inspired by the rhythm of the sound, the kind of melancholy. I used to love trip-hop music; Radiohead was one of my favorite bands. I kind of see what this music is related. It comes from the feeling, this BPM, this synth sounds and this bass noise. The energy of this music is I was inspired by.
Maybe that’s why people always compare you with James Blake. Maybe the same post-dubstep related approach?
I think the difference between me and James is that he is also a DJ and he makes tunes for the clubs as well.
But you make remixes, to?
Yeah, remixes, but I still don’t feel like them as club remixes. I love going to clubs, I love dancing, I love hearing new music. But I never had that mindset of a DJ, of being a collector of music, and knowing all the DJs and all the tunes, and where to drop out. That takes a specific mindset.
Now maybe you are using more electronic instruments, so you’re getting more into it, through remixes for example?
Yeah, that’s true. Now I’m working with Logic. My studio is in my house in the basement. I started collecting a couple of synths, but I love using my MPC as well. I find that a really organic way of making grooves. Generally I love sampling, I love just taking fragments of things.
Can you imagine making a completely instrumental full length?
Maybe one day. I mean my first record is very much a song record. I don’t know.. Like I’m saying I’m not sure whether I could make some club bangers. I do love instrumental music, I make instrumental music, but not many people heard of it I guess.
Do you already have any plans for collaboration for the next album?
I’m opening the door. I’ve got some collaboration on the way, but nothing is finished enough to talk about.
Are you going to choose such as renowned producer as Burial again?
I’d love to make more music with him. I think for my next solo record I probably write all of the songs first and then record them with a really good band in a fast way. Because I think I just want the process to be different.
Your music is always deeply soulful. Do you consider yourself as an emotional guy?
I guess I’m pretty angsty, I get pretty emo sometimes…(laughs) My music means a quite lot to me.
Have you every cried while listening a song?
Yeah, several times… You know I like romantic music, when it has that quality and everything match together.
Published December 23, 2011.