Jamie McDell – Ask Me Anything
A child of the ocean and a phenomenal singer songwriter talent, Jamie McDell is set to see her star shine even brighter with the release of her keenly awaited sophomore album Ask Me Anything.
Bursting onto the scene in 2012 with You’ll Never Take That Away and Rewind, which both topped the NZ Singles Chart, her straight forward, unaffected, sunny sound proved be an instant hit, finding favour from Cape Reinga to the Bluff and beyond. Barely out of her teens, and signed to a development deal while she was still at High School, the prospect of following up such an impressive introduction could have been overwhelming. However Jamie has been writing songs since the age of 7, and she had more than substantial resources to draw upon for her debut album.
Released in November 2012 Six Strings And A Sailboat shot into the Top 10 of the NZ Album Charts, earning Jamie the Tui for Best Pop Album at the 2013 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
There is no complicated science or marketing magic behind her success, just good old fashioned talent and dedication, alongside that rare ability to tell a story in an honest, direct way that cuts through all of the unnecessary ephemera of modern life.
Raised in surf-centric Mangawhai, and spending several years of her youth living on a sailboat travelling around the Mediterranean with her family, the pull of the ocean is deep and profound for Jamie, colouring her lyrics, life and outlook. Though she is well travelled and cosmopolitan, it is her innate Kiwi-ness and down to earth nature that shines through most affectingly in her music. Selected as a very ‘hands on’ Official Ambassador for Surf Life Saving New Zealand, and with a raft of charitable works under her belt, Jamie is anything but your usual cut and dried pop star.
Raised on a solid musical diet centred on narrative based, singer songwriters like James Taylor, John Denver and Jimmy Buffet it isn’t hard to see where her original inspiration comes from. Equally important to her musical make up, is a knowledge and appreciation of the finer points of contemporary pop. That was evident from early out, when Jamie’s covers of tracks from artists like Six60, The Black Keys and U2 caused mass excitement, attracting international attention and building a formidable profile for her YouTube channel and social media sites.
Second time around with Ask Me Anything, she has pushed her metaphorical boat out further and broadened her musical horizons just a little, adding new layers of depth and colour to her palette. Produced by Stuart Crichton who has worked with Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden, in Jamie’s own words the album is ‘an eclectic mix of songs representing my country upbringing with a pop sensibility’. As the singles Crash and Back Of My Mind effortlessly demonstrate, she hasn’t forsaken any of the principles or foundations of her songcraft in the transition to a slightly more wide screen sound. With a proven international hit maker at the helm, Jamie’s songs and stories have truly blossomed, and the raw talent and passionate drive that has fuelled her incredible journey to this point has become a sophisticated instrument all of its own.