JACKAMAN is the new project of rock and soul singer Lynne Jackaman. George R Vaughan caught up with this inspired artist ahead of her latest gig at the Camden Barfly to discover more about her latest career move and found out a few surprises along the way.
you always want to pursue a career in music?
Music started out as an instinctive passion for me. It later became a career when I started to take it very seriously and think about what I wanted to do with my life. I knew from as young as 10yrs old that I loved to sing but never dreamed I would still be doing it now and releasing my own music. Like anything that evolves and builds I have taken it one day at a time and made the best choices I could at the time. Those days became weeks, then years and now I feel like all the dedication and sacrifice is paying off. It’s a wonderful feeling and it really is only the beginning. I live by the saying ‘Music isn’t what I do, it’s who I am’.
kind of music influenced you as you were growing up?
I love most genres of music, as long as it gives me ‘that feeling’. I grew up hanging out with musicians and artists who were a lot older than me. They would share their vinyl collections with me and play new music to me that has influenced them. I listened to everything from folk to Opera to Jazz fusion. It all became part of me and now reveals itself in the music I create. When I was 15 yrs old I joined a Stax, soul covers band. I performed so many songs that I love and have consequently become part of me. Ranging from Sam & Dave to Etta James, Bobby Bland, Ann Peebles, Tina Turner and many more. Just like a person has many moods, music has many faces and I embrace them all but my heart definitely resides in Soul, blues and funk.
your parents supportive of your decision to make career in music?
I think at first it was an unknown world and a scary concept for them. Like any parent you’re going to be very protective over your child. However, they soon realised that I was very passionate about singing and that it was what I wanted to pursue in my life. I can remember when I was 14 years old, arriving at a show in Greenwich to be welcomed by my very own microphone and stand waiting for me on the stage. My parents just looked at me and said ‘They are yours’ it was a gift and a show of their acceptance and support for the path I had chosen. From this point onwards, they have always been very supportive! Hey, you may even see my mum at one of my shows!
difficult was it to get into the music business for you?
It was a gradual thing. I started out by playing in bands with friends and people I trusted, so it was always a lot of fun and gave the illusion of being shielded from the industry side of music. I would be lying if I said that the music industry isn't a wild beast to tame but for me it’s the magic of music and how being part of it’s creation makes me feel, that keeps me going. If you don’t whole heartedly love what you do and believe in yourself then it really will be a lot harder.
you enjoy the writing process?
I love it! For me every song is an opportunity to express, learn and improve. Imagine putting your diary to music. I write about my own experiences and feelings. For me it is my therapy. It’s the main way I express myself. The fact that you start with nothing and end up with a song fascinates me. It also motivates me. There is no such thing as a good or bad idea. Nothing created is ever wasted. At worst, if you don’t record and release your creation, at least you learned which direction you won't embark upon again. Writing is a skill. Squeezing complex, personal stories and emotions into verses and chorus's is an art. Every word has to count and draw the listener a little closer into your story. I know I have succeeded at writing when my fans write to me and express how personal my lyrics felt to them and how the emotion in my voice made them feel something! I've always had a firm belief that I have yet to write my greatest song. This pushes me fwd. The biggest person I ever feel in competition with is myself. I strive to be a better performer and writer, constantly.
would you classify your music?
I have so many influences and possess such a eclectic range of music which reflects in my own music. Take my EP, for example - NO HALO - it embraces many genres such as Soul, Funk, Blues, Rock and Jazz. My songs can move from the heart of a strong, independent woman to reflective melancholy. When I perform I love to both hit hard with a full on electric band and also strip it right back and sing accompanied only by a piano or guitar. I have always seen my voice as an instrument, so I use and respect it that way. So, if I had to classify my music i would simply say ‘me’.
you enjoy touring?
Touring and recording are seasonal to me. Once I have toured a lot I then like to head into the studio and create in a more intimate way. Touring is very powerful as it’s allows me the opportunity to get out and meet my fans. I am a strong believer that without fans the artist is nothing. Our art is a magical gift to connect with others and say ‘Hey, I feel the same as you do’. Performing enables me to be in the same room, in the same moment with my fans and for it to all be about the music. Which is essentially what it is all about for me. I love performing live and feel most at home when I am on the stage and the music is playing!
Do you have any tours or gigs lined up in the UK?
Watch this space………..or check out my website...jackaman1.com
important is social media to your project?
Social media is a vital part of what I do. It’s a magnificent way to reach out to people and share, not only my music but my views and plans. I believe it is only part of the picture, though. As stated earlier, I don’t feel you can beat the true connection to fans other than through performing. People can’t download or stream an experience and that essentially is what we remember most and crave most. No matter how far technology comes, I believe we won’t ever truly lose the desire for real connection and human interaction. To feel part of something. Getting out and involved and supporting artists live satiates this craving.
there any artist you would like to perform or write with at the moment?
Wow, yes. Loads. Haha. I would love to collaborate with Jack White. I think he is so unique and talented. I think we would create some very dynamic music together! Beck is another artist I highly admire and would love to work with for similar reasons. Who knows!
are your main interests outside of music?
I have always been interested in how we become a product of our environment and ‘are what we do’. Feeling connected with my body through Yoga and running, for example. Paying attention. I have also had experience as a nutritionist and loved how what you eat and when truly does effect your quality of life, health and self esteem. So, I guess you could say I am a bit of a hippie at heart!
is your pet hate?
Rudeness. There’s no need for it. Living in London my whole life I have experienced a lot of it. It can be so unnecessarily draining. I dislike the way that someone thinks it’s ok to make their bad mood and attitude everyone else's problem. I know most times it’s a cry for help but it makes me so angry in the moment!
your favourite film?
I am a massive film lover! Truth be told I love all the old movies. I love The Lady Killers, Casablanca and get soppy everytime I watch Brief Encounter. Recently I saw one of my all time favourites films at The beautiful BFI in London - Blade Runner. What a timeless, incredible work of art. Never tire of it.
your star sign?
I am an Aries, through and through!
you have a favourite food?
I am lucky in so far as I love healthy food! I love the taste of it and not just because I know it’s good for me. I’ve been that way for most of my life. I love sushi, avocados, Indian food and love any kind of fruit, especially tropical!
George R Vaughan