So here we are all gathered here again and it is so awesome to see you all. As a Massachusetts resident I am excited to see if we will legalize marijuana on election day. I bet the tax revenue from weed will be greater than legalizing casinos. Lets check back in 2019. So before we get to the music of Jamie Searle, lets do some music news. American Federation Of Musicians International Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. “Hillary Clinton is our choice for musicians and for all working people,” said AFM International President Ray Hair. “Our values are on the line in this year’s election, and it is up to all of us to choose someone who will unite our country and promote an inclusive vision for the future that honors and respects all Americans.” In other news, Radioplayer Worldwide (RPW), a consortium created to represent Radioplayer internationally, has signed a licensing agreement in South America, Peru, to roll out the technology there. The deal, with GrupoRPP, will introduce the Radioplayer platform to Peru, with 20 radio stations including Studio92, Radio Oxigeno, Radio Carazon and RPP News initially signed up. Peru Radioplayer will launch in the first three months of 2017, with a view to rolling out the technology more widely across commercial and state radio in Peru, once established. So now we have hooked up with the ultra-talented Jamie Searle. We wanted to catch up with him as he preps to put on the massive ‘Beastly Bash’ in Kansas City, MO. Join us this week as we talk about ‘Beastly Bash’, marriage & music, creep clowns, and much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and what are your plans for Halloween?
JS: I’ve lived in Kansas City most of my life. The Midwest, has this general misconception all around it and because your readers span the globe, I’ll clear up a few things. What the media covers here is sensationalism. They want high drama so what everyone perceives in general is the pro-wrestler version of the Midwest. In all reality, most people are kind despite the differences we may have. There’s an almost oppressive force of kindness instilled in most of the people who have been raised here. Even when it may be absolutely called for to tell someone to ‘shut up’ or even to just express feelings of anger or disappointment is more difficult for Midwesterners than many other coastal large cities. I myself have been told of late that I’m “too nice,” but I suppose that being socially sensitive is a preferred innate tool that I will gladly struggle with over being callous and overtly selfish even if it means that it may slow any monetary success.
For instance, I’ve had to deal with a whole lot as of late with this Halloween show I put on. This is a behemoth of an event; a cosplay, live music, dance party freak out. It’s a 3-night event hosted by The Film Fantasy Orchestra & MY BROTHERS & SISTERS with a different guest act per night. We’ve had to do a complete build out of the space in terms of stage, lights, and sound. And in doing all of this there is a constant balance of a giant crew of personalities, money, and art. Believe me when I say, that I constantly make sure the art is on point over the money. When everyone else is trying to make sure and “get theirs,” someone has to get screwed and I refuse to let my crew get screwed.
On one end I completely understand trying to get ahead, but great art is made from a different place and it is the call that I have answered. And I know it’s the right decision because I’m surrounded by kind and extremely talented professionals who choose to work with me time and time again because they love my ideas and have seen me prove that I can make something that seems impossible happen.
And this Halloween is going to be no different. In making all of this happen I get an inside look into all aspects of the entertainment business and I learn fast! I will use all those difficult lessons to make my art and my business that much more amazing. This is my 3rd year in doing a Halloween show. The level of which it has grown is staggering, and it could only grow because I stay faithful to my call and the honor I want my crew to feel.
Stoli: Have you seen any creepy clowns where you live and do you find them scary?
JS: Honestly I feel bad for real clowns. Clowning is an old art that a couple of people ruined because they were sickos. And then Stephen King went and put the final tombstone on the whole thing when he wrote IT. It must be the way dentists must feel. In every profession there’s gonna be some twisted souls so … I don’t know … maybe it’s just the time for clowns to face their own professional demons and get rid of the bad seeds.
Stoli: Growing up how much was music a part of your home and do your family support your musical ambitions?
JS: Music was always playing. It was really diverse. I had no limitations on what I could listen to because I don’t come from a religiously centered family. They’ve always supported me, though, I took an angry & egoistic turn like a lot of artists do in high school, and that reflected in my music. It worried my Mom, but I worked out those deep knots in my psyche and since everyone has been super supportive. It’s hard for parents a lot of the time to understand how their child can succeed in music, especially if there are no positive role models of musical professionalism in their life. I come from rural raised people that made their living by hard labor much of the time, so I know that they were concerned about how I was going to earn my way.
Stoli: How long would you say that it took for you to develop your sound and musical niche?
JS: I think that when I made the decision to follow my physical feelings concerning art, it made the niche game disappear. The niche is a slow death for the artist in my opinion. Trends come and go but technique will always be honored when properly applied. In any way, I think that we feel a disconnect from ourselves and each other because we stop playing with new ideas and aesthetics. We feel we have to box ourselves into a bubble instead of just keep on learning and getting better technique. My sound is a fusion of styles. People are drawn to what I do because they know it’s not happening anywhere else. Not to say that I’ve reached a pinnacle of originality and refute outside influence, but I take great pride in living an extremely original life, so my artistic decisions reflect that. It’s the development that means the most to me and not the final product. There is no final product. Sure, there are completed projects such as albums and videos etc., but I made a promise to myself a long time ago that whatever I work on currently will be the best I’ve ever done. It makes me thrilled everyday … the struggle to make that happen.
Stoli: At what point in your day are you most inspired and creative?
JS: I wouldn’t say that night is the most inspiring time, but I sure have seen a whole lot of nighttime. I’ve made some great stuff in the mornings, but the night is sacred. Maximum focus can be achieved during sleeping hours.
Stoli: You have quite a large catalog of music. What are you currently promoting most?
JS: Right now it’s this Halloween show, The Beastly Bash, and Stephonne Singleton. The Halloween show is just a complete sensory experience. I’ve got it now to where I can make it happen in other cities. We’re talking 1,000 pages of notated scores and parts that my arranging partner, Brittany Slaughter, and me have transcribed by ear. Not to mention all the programming of synths and projections and actors … it’s massive.
Stephonne, who is a total enigmatic vocal powerhouse, and I have been producing his debut record, “Caged Bird Sings Songs About Red Beard,” and I’ve been arranging and rehearsing his live 9-piece band. He’s unbelievable! A genuine poet that people go mad for.
Stoli: Where do you do most of your recording & studio work and do you work with other musicians?
JS: My home studio is where I get all of my pre-production done. I work with various studios and engineers; Joel Nanos of Element, Andy Oxman of Soundwerks, and Rob Rebeck out of Chapman. All of these people have an amazing amount of differing expertise that I utilize per tune. Musicians, yeah … the best of Kansas City is who I work with. From classical to jazz. I make sure I’m constantly working with incredible talent to raise my own game. It’s true what they say about who you should look to work with … anyone better than you. Everyone has holes in their technique or understanding and you only find out what those missing pieces are if you surround yourself with better professionals. It’s not an ego thing. It’s just the way to learn fastest.
Stoli: I am addicted to Spotify, can we hear you there and if so what song should I stream?
JS: Yeah, I’m all over the various platforms. Stream, “Hide & Seek,” from Stephonne Singleton, and “Pillow Bella” from MY BROTHERS & SISTERS.
Stoli: It makes me sad that in such a diverse country as the USA, we must choose between Trump or Clinton. What say you?
JS: Politics, economy, and media are too tied up together. It’s an unfortunate circus. What I will say is this, usually, the bigger the personality, the less substance that is there. Positions of political power are and have always been limited to those that have the ego to pursue them. Unfortunately, egos can be really nasty and very loud. This is represented in every tribe, cult, or family, you will find people who are terrible at empathy and cooperation. The media loves those kind of people. And because we associate faces on the television to success on a subconscious level, we are slowly being taught that acting before thinking and being callous are qualities that bring success. They don’t. It’s an illusion.
America is great because of the diversity, but it is divided because a few people, who are in many cases the self-appointed voice for a demographic, are maniacs. I know that I certainly don’t want to be the voice for anybody else, but consider the personality of someone who does. Further, consider some people who don’t mind being spoken for. It’s a mess, but in my own life, I see people come together from all different types of backgrounds and musical training not to mention conservatives and progressives, and guess what … we like each other. We realize that we make amazing music and art together and see each other not as separate parts of what we like and what we don’t but as people trying to get through life and figure out what makes us stronger and happier. That’s what is possible. That we all rise together because learn together. I’m not discouraged in any way. Humanity will get to a point where our understanding of life and health essentials are so keen that we stop sacrificing our lives so that only certain people can be on top. It’s getting there, it’s just hard and way too slow for people who have already reached that conclusion.
Stoli: I saw you are married on your Facebook page. Does your wife love music too and how do you balance family & music?
JS: Family is music. I met my wife because I needed an alto for MY BROTHERS & SISTERS record Violet Music : Volume I. My wife was introduced to me by Film Fantasy Orchestra co-arranger and friend Brittany Slaughter. My daughter is in the middle of rehearsals and sitting on my lap while I edit or play drums.
In high school I wrote out my perfect day … and I live it now. Undoubtedly, tons of struggle in every department of life, but I’d do it all again in a second if it brought me safely to this moment. Music is my guide and I’ve followed it blindly. Music brought me to my amazing wife and nearly all of my friends. I will always follow it.
Stoli: What is coming up with Jamie Searle and where you @ online?
JS: After Halloween there will of course be the editing and the packaging of the event, but I’m almost done shooting “Pillow Bella,” a surrealistic music video for MY BROTHERS & SISTERS. Stephonne’s record will be printed in early 2017 and will wrap recording in December. I would check out my personal page @ jsearlemusic.com and my facebook page as well. Both of those do the best at compiling the insane amount of music I make.