'Joss is a legend, I'd love to work with her again': Jamie Hartman reveals why singing with Stone helped him overcome hurdles in the industry
He may have written songs for the likes of Will Young and The Goo Goo Dolls, and performed on some of the biggest shows on U.S. television but in some ways Jamie Hartman’s journey is just beginning.
The British singer, whose new album III is released on March 19, has had somewhat of an interesting journey within the music industry which has included being dropped by record labels and recording with Joss Stone.
But more recently, Jamie has enjoyed success with two of his singles, Happy New Year and Girlwise, being crowned Record of the Week on BBC Radio 2, and is hoping to follow up the release of his album with a UK tour.
'Everything happens for a reason': Jamie Hartman doesn't regret what has happened throughout his career and is looking forward to the future
'Legend': Jamie recorded a single with Joss Stone which he later performed in the U.S. with her
Jamie’s highs and lows of his career so far have certainly fuelled his determination to continue working in such a tough industry.
‘Being dropped by a major label is the worst feeling in the world,’ Jamie said. ‘But when I was writing Happy New Year I drew on that experience and so many great things came out of it.
‘Everything happens for a reason and I've never been more determined than I am now.’
Jamie first released his music under the name of Ben’s Brother with his first album Beta Male Fairytales reaching number 14 in the UK charts back in 2007, and his follow-up, Battling Giants, also being a success in 2009.
Jamie’s duet with Grammy-award winning singer Joss, entitled Stalemate, was due to take pride place on his second album, but due to her relationship with her record label at the time, Jamie was refused permission to use her vocals on his record.
Joss’ vocals were later replaced by pop singer Anastasia, and Jamie still managed to include the track on his album, but his journey with Joss wasn’t over.
The You Had Me singer was so frustrated with her record label that she made a point of including her and Jamie’s original recording on her own album Colour Me Free in 2010 and then released it as a single.
Joss took Jamie to the U.S. with her, where they promoted the single on shows such as Jay Leno’s Tonight Show and the CBS Morning Show.
Jamie admitted the whole experience felt unreal but is so thankful for the effort that Joss made to ensure that the song was heard.
‘Suddenly I was performing on all of the biggest shows on American television singing a duet with one of the greatest female vocalists of our time,’ Jamie recalled.
‘Joss is a legend and I’d love nothing more than to work with her again. She’s an amazing girl.’
Jamie’s experience with Joss led him to become one of the UK’s top songwriters, and may also be the reason he moved to the U.S.
The father-of-one admits that living in the remote setting of the national park of Topanga Canyon certainly helped to inspire him when writing III.
‘One minute I was living in West London and the next I was chopping firewood to heat a little cabin in the woods in Topanga Canyon, sharing it with a hormonal pregnant wife, lots of hairy spiders and plenty of coyotes howling outside every night,’ he recalled.
‘No curtains, no mobile phone service and very remote, but you couldn’t ask for more inspiration than that.’
Inspired: Jamie wrote and recorded his album III after moving to Topanga Canyon in California
Jamie is releasing his album through his own independent record label, Flat Cap Records, but he doesn’t regret not going it alone earlier.
‘I’ve had the most incredible journey with music,’ he said. ‘From busking in Notting Hill for money to buy food, to playing festivals in front of 35,000 people – I have no regrets.
‘Starting Flat Cap Records makes me feel proud. But I’d never have done it myself if I hadn’t been dropped by the labels.’
Jamie was dropped by EMI a few years ago as part of the cull that saw hundreds of artists axed from the label’s roster.
‘It was hard to take,’ Jamie added. ‘We had a hit record in the UK, we were selling records in America and they dropped us.’
But this time around, Jamie has a feeling that luck is on his side, especially as he used Adele’s ‘lucky piano’ to record his latest album, but does he think it could be a good omen due to the success that she has achieved recently
‘I bloody hope so!’ he laughed. ‘Adele is a bit of a legend so I feel lucky to have played that piano.
‘It is beautiful sounding, and I used it for the whole record. They had to kick me out of the recording studio most nights because they wanted to go home.’
Feeling lucky: Jamie used the same piano as Adele to record his latest album
Despite working with some huge names including Justin Bieber and former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta, Jamie revealed that it’s someone much closer to home that he’d like to sing with.
‘As far as dream artists to collaborate with go, it’s got to be Chris Martin from Coldplay all the way,’ he admitted.
Since becoming a father, Jamie’s life has certainly changed and his drive to succeed is even more evident.
‘I’m more driven since I’ve realised how expensive it is,’ he laughed. ‘All the kids in Los Angeles are zipping around in Lamborghinis by their 16th birthdays.
‘That’s a lot of pressure on Daddy, but my daughter will definitely inspire me – she already has.’
So as he eagerly awaits the response to his single Girlwise – which is released next week – and his album the week after, Jamie is simply hoping that ‘everything goes amazingly.’
‘Nobody knows for sure how it's going to pan out when you put a record out,’ he said.
‘You just have to make the best, most honest piece of work you can and hope that others feel it too.’
‘Self-belief will take you a long way in this industry and talent will do the rest. My advice to musicians trying to make it would be: If you can imagine yourself doing something else, then do so, as music is a calling – not a job.’
III is available to pre-order on Amazon now