Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 12 July 2020

Passing Of Jamiroquai’s Toby Smith Inspires Sometime Rag 'N' Bone Man Writer To Pen Heartfelt New Album

Jamie Scott has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Be it as a writer, producer, and often both, he has made a name for himself as the 'hitmaker' who has penned songs for those including Sussex-based Rag 'N' Bone Man. 

Jamie taught himself the guitar at the age of seven and the piano at twelve. 

His parents introduced him to Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and he entrenched himself in singer-songwriters such as Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Carol King, and Joni Mitchell. 

At the end of 2019, having spent over ten years in the studio writing for other people, Jamie decided to take stock of where he was personally. 

The death of a dear friend and mentor, Jamiroqua's Toby Smith, had a profound effect on him, having been one of the first people to show him the real process of music production. 

Revisiting songs that he had written over the last few years, he cleared his schedule and started recording.  

Locked away in his home studio, he recorded most of the instrumentation himself and, without really intending to, finished an entire album's worth of music in just five weeks.

Jamie said: "I always seem to be able to write better about the idea of loss rather than love. I think the feeling of 'want' is better than 'have' when writing songs. 

"And so when looking at the songs on 'How still the river' the whole body of work is really a tribute to my old dear friend Toby Smith who died recently. 

"He was single-handedly the most important person in my learning and discovery of music."

In a slight move away from the bluesy, soul-inspired style that he is known for, How Still The River is more gentle, a little more folksy with elements of pop, rock and even country. 

Jamie has often spoken about feeling an attachment to certain songs and wondering about their fate. 

A song can sit on the shelf for several years before it is taken by an artist or label. 

It is also at this point that a song can be changed quite considerably from the original demo, in order to fit a certain sound or market. 

Strikingly emotive, and paying tribute to the great writers of the sixties and seventies, How Still The River (released on 7th August 2020) is a delicate blend of influences, brought together through his rich vocal delivery and musical detail. Raw and honest, Jamie Scott has truly found his voice.

by: Mike Cobley


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