Jo Hamilton sits down with The Music Fix to talk about about suggestive microphone playing, landscapes and harmonised car singing.
Here at The Music Fix, we always like to give new artists a platform on which to announce themselves to the world. The latest artist to get this chance is Jo Hamilton, the latest female singer-songwriter to try to shine in what is becoming an increasingly over-crowded genre.
However, Jo seems to have the calibre to achieve this having already toured with Damien Rice and, with her debut album receiving 4 star reviews in both MOJO and The Independent, the future seems bright. The aforementioned debut album, Gown, is released this Monday (21st) and is followed up by an album launch gig at The Tabernacle on Tuesday (22nd).
As well as writing and recording the album, Jo also worked with her producer Jon Cotton to create a film about the making of the album. This eventually became her Electronic Press Kit and can be viewed on YouTube.
Jo took some time out of her busy schedule promoting the album to give The Music Fix a glimpse into her world.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Hmm. A toss up between Charlie Pride, Caribbean records, my Mum singing to us, or us all singing together on car journeys.
If you could hold a recording session with any five artists, who would you choose?
I’d love to get tangled up with Imogen Heap and Bjork each for a day. It would be interesting to see what came out. I’m more interested in the creative process than actually performing with people. Perhaps David Bowie – I like his lateral thinking. John Cage I wouldn’t mind having a scrape with… And possibly Elgar.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
I tend to instead tell a little descriptive story about a landscape with shadows, light, distance, nearness, vastness, tininess. It means something slightly different to each person, like the music.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
I wouldn’t take anything. I enjoy seeing and hearing what’s around me at that moment. I’m not very good at favourites. Even my “favourite colour” I just copied from my brother when I was about six as it was easier…and have stuck with it ever since.
Everyone has a defining music moment, one that lives on in the memory, what is yours?
I was working at a museum and a thought suddenly went ‘blop’: “you can sing!”
What is the best gig you’ve ever been to and why?
Imogen Heap recently. I was mesmerised by the way she held herself and did everything herself, but also her humour – she stopped everything at one point as she had a bit of hair stuck to her lipgloss – that was great. Another gig which wasn’t the best, but was very memorable, was on the beach in Dubai. Black Box were playing, I’d heard of them but didn’t know them. She was singing accompanied by 2 dancers, and was being increasingly suggestive with her microphone. All of a sudden the music stopped (she kept on going…) and then they were ushered off stage. It turned out the chief of police had cut the power.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we’d find?
Oh gosh all of them! Actually, I’ve just upgraded my programme so there’s none on there at the moment…
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I just see myself writing.
How would you describe your current single, Pick Me Up, to us?
Lyrically it’s about shaking off the dead wood. It’s quite energised with a good bass line!
What’s next for Jo Hamilton?
The Tabernacle! Please come along and experience some Hibiscus Fizz! Details are on johamilton.com. We also have just finished another film about the album Gown, which is up there too – lots going on!