Jamie Lawson certainly wasn’t expecting that. After being in the business almost a decade and enjoying moderate success, his career suddenly took off last year when he became the first artiste to sign on to Ed Sheeran’s record label, Gingerbread Man Records.
All of a sudden, everyone knew Lawson’s name; his fourth, self-titled album debut at No. 1 on the British album charts, his song Wasn’t Expecting That became a huge hit and he was opening shows for the likes of Sheeran and One Direction.
Prior to Jamie Lawson, the singer had released three albums – 2006’s Last Night Stars, 2010’s The Pull Of The Moon, and Wasn’t Expecting That in 2011.
The title track from that third album was already a hit before he re-released it last year after signing to Gingerbread Man Records, but only in Ireland, strangely enough.
The 40-year-old English singer-songwriter was in Singapore recently to promote the new album, and took time off his busy schedule for a phone interview with Star2.
“I had no idea my music was being listened to over here. It’s crazy, really. It’s heartwarming to know that my music has reached so far from where it was originally from,” Lawson said.
1. You were the first artiste to be signed by Ed Sheeran. How did that change your life and career?
Everything changed … dramatically! Almost overnight, I was suddenly very busy, and I went from singing for myself to singing at big shows, opening for One Direction and Ed Sheeran. It’s been pretty amazing so far.
When someone as big as Ed decides to put a record out, it gets a lot of attention. It was a massive compliment that he thought my songs were good enough to withstand all that attention. It means that everything I had been doing was working towards this moment.
I’m glad I kept going – it’s so easy to give up at times. I guess I just needed that big break … I just didn’t know it would come through a global superstar!
2. What do you think Sheeran saw in you?
He had known about me for years, and told me that he did not understand why no one had done it. He was almost forced to sign me! (laughs)
I guess Ed had a similar background in traditional and folk songs, and he liked what I had, and thought it should be out there.
3. Before joining Gingerbread Records, what was the biggest challenge in terms of developing your career?
It was a real challenge. On the road to making this record, I had all these songs, but I still had to find someone who would put money into it, and that’s a real challenge when you don’t have a label.
4. Did he have any advice or tips on what you needed to do to be successful?
He just told me to do what I was already doing, and that it was going to work. We just had to get it out to other people.
That was a real confidence booster – it showed that I was already doing the right thing, and all I needed was for my music to reach people.
5. What was the inspiration for your songs?
Inspiration for me comes from anywhere. It could be from a conversation I had, or overheard while walking down the street. The Only Conclusion came from an episode of The Big Bang Theory!
Wasn’t Expecting That was from a conversation I heard and I immediately thought it would be a great title for a song. I got the tempo of the song straight away and wrote it the next day.