30 Seconds: Jamie Parisio

Jamie Parisio is a singer/songwriter who has drawn comparisons with the likes of Nick Drake, Ray LaMontagne, Iron & Wine and Jeff Buckley.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 13 Jun 2012
  • min read
Jamie Parisio is a singer/songwriter who has drawn comparisons with the likes of Nick Drake, Ray LaMontagne, Iron & Wine and Jeff Buckley. He taught himself to play the guitar aged 14 and fronted hard-rock band Fluid before embarking on a solo career.

His first EP, You Promised Me The Sea, attracted instant attention from Xfm with DJ Mary Anne Hobbs making it her Game Changer (Record of the Week) and lead track Tangles Never Tire reached number 1 in the Music Response Chart.

How long have you been making music?
I’ve been singing since I can remember (my mother tells me I would recite Beatles songs word for word from a very early age!) but in terms of songwriting I penned my first original tune when I was fifteen. I was a big fan of Kurt Cobain growing up so the formula was angsty and loud! Having said that I still listen to Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation at least once a month…

What inspired your latest album?
My debut E.P. You Promised Me The Sea draws very much from my surroundings and experiences over the past few years. I also spent a lot time out on the Pacific West Coast recently which was of course very inspiring. I suppose I’ve always had a fascination with the sea and its vastness so I suppose conceptually that ties the songs together.

What process do you go through to create your music?
I am very much a lone songwriter, I work best when I’m holed up in the studio with nothing more than a guitar, a mic and a pen & paper. My main focus is always melody and so the songs are mostly structured around these hooks with the lyrics coming in at the end of the process. Often melodies and progressions will fall into my head so my iPhone has a vast collection of song snippets on it!

How would you describe your sound?
I listen to a lot of folk, country and blues music on a day to day basis but the way my influences manifest themselves into my own music can be very different to these genres. It’s essentially storytelling in the Dylan, Waits, Beatnik guise but having strong ties to melody, hook and harmonies like Crosby, Stills & Nash and Fleet Foxes and it’s these influences that  I think give it a pop sensibility.

What would your dream collaboration be?
That’s an easy one,  James Mercer from the Shins. His first two albums are among my most treasured, an amazing poet and a great songwriter.

Where can we catch you performing next?
I have a host of shows coming up, you can find them all on my website, www.jamieparisio.com. Short term we’re at the Water Rats in Kings Cross on 19 June, the Folk On The Water festival on 1 July and The Boogaloo Bar in Highgate on 8 July.