Check out a snapshot interview I conducted with the beautiful Jamie Bendell (a singer/songwriter based here in New York) after the jump!
ROB BRAYL: If you could create a storyboard of all the things that inspire you musically, what would we see tacked onto the board?
JAMIE BENDELL: Images of myself looking pensive and quite probably, worried; I don’t mean it in a depressing, sad way, but anxiety plays a huge hand in inspiring my lyrics. I think constantly and I worry constantly and a lot of my inspiration comes from situations in which I feel that someone took advantage of me or acted out of line, or if someone wrongs someone else. There would also be images of me at a regular open mic I attend at Caffe Vivaldi. There would probably be a couple of book covers tacked up, including Cradle to Cradle (by McDonough and Braungart), and a plot summary of the movie He’s Just Not That Into You.
RB: I understand the track ‘Chocolate Milk’ was created after a bad clubbing experience?
JB: ‘Chocolate Milk’ came about after spending a night out at a club with my friends. We were pretty close to my apartment and I was trying to make the best out of the situation, but I just couldn’t handle it. I like talking and listening, and although dancing is definitely fun once in a while, I just get so tired of what I perceive as a “let’s just drink and get wasted, don’t care to hear myself think or anyone else speak” mentality. I was actually standing by the bar, trying to put down a couple of lyrics in my phone to express the way I was feeling, but it wasn’t coming out. I left by myself to walk home, and stopped in CVS on the way. I picked up a bottle of chocolate milk, and when I got home and sat down at my computer, the song just came out.
RB: What’s your goal/vision for your music?
JB: I hope people find my music easy to relate to. I want them to hear my songs, and attribute their own meanings to the words. I’m always happy to share my inspirations for the music, but I don’t want people to lose sight of what the words mean to them. If the words even do evoke meaning. That would be a huge achievement; to make listeners feel something or relate to an idea that I put out as a song. I’m sure many artists say the same thing, but as a songwriter, I especially hope that happens.
RB: You have a super sweet innocence about your image and music. Has this always been the case? In terms of writing about the notion of love, etc?
JB: I think it’s fair to say that the innocent image and musical style has been present for most of my life. I never really had nicknames but the only one that I could say stuck somewhat was the nickname “Pure”. My best girl friends called and sometimes still call me that. I don’t even know why, and I don’t even know if they know why.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in love and I’m almost positive that my music and lyrics reflect that. I think there’s a naivete to what I write, and sometimes I get embarrassed that my writing doesn’t have all of the emotion of someone who has been through heartbreak, but I don’t want to rush anything.
RB: What’s the most repeated song right now on your iPod?
JB: I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so probably ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ by James Taylor, the One Man Band version. It’s on repeat when I can’t sleep. That, or ‘King of Anything’ off Sara Bareilles’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’. I think it’s a tie.
Learn more about Jamie Bendell by clicking here.
Listen to an acoustic number by Bendell below.