Artist: Jaime Wyatt
Hometown: Fox Island/Gig Harbor, Washington
Latest Album: Neon Cross
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): My family and close friends call me James
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Gram Parsons is one of the most influential artists for my life and creativity. I identify deeply with Gram: He was a hippie who was obsessed with country as well as soul and his original music was a perfect blend of genres, incorporating vintage and modern influences. I try not to make a perfectly vintage sounding country song, as I feel like I’d rather listen to the classics than listen to a straight reproduction.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
I toured with Wheeler Walker Jr. as support and during a set in Los Angeles, a man screamed, “Jaime, I wanna have your baby!”
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
For both pre-show and pre-recording sessions, I do yoga, meditate, go for a jog and do some mat exercises, vocal warm-ups and then crack a Coca-Cola and smoke a cigarette and pace until I hit the stage, or pick up a guitar and pace around with the guitar.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
Many many times for many many songs. For me, following the melody is very important and it should lead the lyrics. I write mostly in my head then bring to an instrument, so a lot of songs come to me while I’m sleeping, driving, meditating or walking outside.
“Just a Woman” almost didn’t make the record, because I did not want to risk comprising the potential of that song. I felt I was representing women with that one, which might be a total lie, but I did not want to fail all of womankind, by making the lyrics cheesy. I finished the bridge right before we tracked the song with the band. I heard a major/minor Beatles thing when I woke up that morning and was blessed enough for that melody to return to me while I was outside pacing in the courtyard. Then I finished the second verse maybe one hour before the final recording session.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
I’d say 50 to 60 percent of the time. I’ve done this to hide that I’m gay or that I don’t want anyone I know to know how I feel and I’ve done it to give a wider demographic of people the opportunity to connect to a song.
Photo credit: Magdalena Wosinska