The business side of the music business nearly drew Jamie Hart from doing what she loves – singing. She a hiatus and is back more enthused than ever with her new single “Get Closer.” So, let’s get a little closer to Hart’s heart by asking her a few questions.
Q. Your video for “Get Closer” features dancers. Was that to illustrate how couples get closest together (outside the bedroom, of course)? What was your vision for this visual?
A. Well it’s mostly a movement representation of the push and pull of this particular relationship dynamic where one person is wanting more than the other person is ready to give back. You can tell by our movements that there’s this coming together then falling apart.
Q. You’re a classically trained vocalist, so how has that training best helped you when singing more pop-oriented material?
A. To be honest, when someone says, “If you sing classical, you can sing anything”, they are lying :) The techniques are so vastly different that learning contemporary belt singing requires an entirely different approach. But I will say the focus and attention on breath and support has been very helpful. I’d say classical training taught me discipline and has made me a great teacher.
Q. You almost quit music in 2017? Why? Why was it necessary to take that two-year hiatus?
A. Performing wasn’t making me happy anymore. And I don’t love the business side and the work involved in promoting myself. I felt like I was spinning my wheels and not making any progress in my career. I had put so much emphasis on my music career being the source of my success and happiness. and there is nothing sustainable about when putting your happiness in the future or in something external. I focused on solely pursuing things that were lighting me up and prayed that I would find clarity around the music in time.
It was the most necessary move I could have made, despite the fear of stopping and how that would affect my reputation. I learned (and continue to learn) how to listen to the soul and not the ego.
Q. While on hiatus, how did you scratch that creative itch, so to speak?
A. Well, I had a blog for a while that talked about my spiritual pursuits, so that kept me busy for a while. (It’s no longer active). I have a side business making yoga jewelry using crystals and stones which is a great outlet. I also became a certified yoga teacher so there’s room for being creative in sequencing classes. but there’s really nothing like finishing a song and feeling that deep sense of satisfaction in creating something from nothing :)
Q. During this hiatus, you say you had a kind of spiritual awakening. Can you be a little more specific about how that awakening occurred?
A. To be honest, it’s a story I will tell one day in a longer format. I am curious why I hesitate to talk about it publicly, but I think it’s because it’s such a personal and special part of my life that there’s a part of me that wants to hold it close to my heart. For those interested, I’d say to Google or YouTube “spontaneous kundalini awakening” and get a glimpse of how the last 5 years have
Q. How did you find the dance partner used for your video?
A. James! We met in yoga teacher training and he was always spinning around and practicing something called “contact improv” which gave me the idea for the video. dancing is a spiritual practice for him and has helped him a lot in his life.
Q. Do you have any dance training? If not, would you describe yourself as a natural?
A. Ha! thanks! I have no training. I just kinda wiggle around and have fun :)
Q. You’ve described your new sound as more indie pop. Can you share some of the musical influences that have led you in this direction?
A. Genre classifications are always so tough for me. It’s indie pop because it’s not your typical radio pop and there’s a little more going on lyrically and harmonically. I am into discovering indie music with unique electronic production that really captures a mood. I adore writers that have depth but also very catchy melodies and production elements like Emily King, Beck, Yebba, Maggie Rogers, Muna. So many!
Q. I love how you asked yourself, ‘What would you do if you only had a month to live?’ Why do you think more of artists don’t approach their art with that same intensity, and how has it transformed your art?
A. I’m into practicing the art of taking life less seriously. (It’s hard). part of spiritual awakening is looking deeply into your shadow and fear and unearthing the reasons why you feel stuck. I think a majority of artists deal with fear and so much of our success is dependent on what people think of us, and that can be soul sucking. sometimes it’s easier to just stay home or get a conventional job, but you have to keep asking yourself “what would I regret if I were on my deathbed?” I don’t want to have regrets.
Q. Do all your songs inspire mental visuals, or was this song in any way unusual or special?
A. “Get Closer” was the first video that I experienced that so specifically. I did a lot of stage acting and have extensive opera training, so artistic and emotional expression is huge for me. I can easily picture music videos after I finish a song. I am already daydreaming of how I want to cast my 3rd video (and the 2nd isn’t even finished yet).