British singer/songwriter Jamie Scott found musical magic when he teamed up with songwriting producer Tommy D to form Graffiti6. Although Jamie Scott previously worked with members of Jamiroquai and toured with the likes of Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson, it was his musical meeting with writer/producer Tommy D that laid the foundation for the debut of Graffiti6. To date, Graffiti6 has had their music featured in such shows as One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, Covert Affairs, Suits, The Secret Circle, and CSI: NY along with the video game FIFA 2012.
Making their full-length album debut on January 24 with Colours, a creatively edgy pop record rooted in psychedelic soul, Graffiti6 is easily one of the best collaborations on the music scene today. After listening to Colours, you’ll quickly realize that Jamie Scott and Tommy D as Graffiti6 are destined for greatness.
Ahead of the Graffiti6 album debut of Colours on January 24, The Deadbolt went one-on-one with singer Jamie Scott to learn more about the history of Graffiti6, how they created the unique psychedelic sound of the album, the inspiration behind some of the songs, Scott’s roots in soul, and what Graffiti6 has planned following their debut album.
THE DEADBOLT: First of all, how did you and Tommy D start working together?
JAMIE SCOTT: We met back in the U.K. through my old A&R guy who knew Tommy and thought we’d get along really well. I went to Tommy’s house and we went from there. We wrote a song together, because we wanted to see what happened. We did some other stuff and just went from there.
THE DEADBOLT: What types of goals did you guys have for where things would go musically with Graffiti6?
SCOTT: We had none at the beginning, to be quite honest. That was part of the idea why it flowed so nicely. We didn’t really put any pressure on anything. I went through a bit of a tough time before I had met Tommy and wrote a lot of music about it. I was feeling a lot better about things when I met him. So it kind of coincided with me seeing the positive in it. We only really became a collaboration and a project that we both thought we’d finish an album on probably after four or five songs.
THE DEADBOLT: With the sound of Colours, what is it about psychedelic soul that you connect with?
SCOTT: You know, I suppose the psychedelic thing is from the fact that we didn’t want to do something down the line. We wanted to put an edge on something. The psychedelic thing, I listened to a lot of Lewis Taylor when I was younger. He was a big hero of mine and he was doing this kind of psychedelia. I used to be into a lot of acid-jazz and Jamiroquai, so that influences some of it.
The soul I see as a nice compliment. I love when people describe the music as that. Growing up as a kid, I listened to a lot of Motown and Stax Records. So it’s kind of an honor to have someone say that about the music.
THE DEADBOLT: A lot of the lyrics on Colours seem to come from a painful place yet the songs feel so hopeful. Where does that come from inside of you?
SCOTT: I don’t know. I suppose the positivity when I met Tommy and the fact that I was still writing about ideas that hurt me but was feeling good about. So I guess that reflected itself in the music.
THE DEADBOLT: “Stare Into the Sun” has a really cool Sixties vibe. Can you talk about some of the inspiration behind the song?
SCOTT: It was really the moment I was in about five or six months before I met Tommy. The whole point of it was the type of message you’re telling yourself, “I know I’m going through some shit, but it will be okay. I’m feeling better at the moment, but I know it’s actually going to be a positive thing because it will make me more wise and stronger for the next time.”
It’s an amazing, euphoric feeling when you finally get to a place – it can be about everything, love, whatever, anything you like – where everything you’ve been going through is over. You start to see a bit of light and you’re like, it’s going to be okay. It’s such an amazing thing. It’s almost something I think people should go through just so they have that feeling afterward. It just makes you a stronger and deeper person. It’s the one thing I wanted to reflect on the album.
THE DEADBOLT: The song “Colours” is so warm. How do you think it represents the album as a whole?
SCOTT: It’s like you said, we thought the album was quite psychedelic. We just thought it was colourful music. We thought the graphic along with the music was really quite foreign. Everything about it just made sense. When we wrote that song, it had nothing to do with wanting it to be the album title. It was the one that really struck a chord with the two of us while recording it.
THE DEADBOLT: Since you previously worked with Toby Smith [of Jamiroquai] before Graffiti6, what type of impact did he have on you in terms of relating to a new, contemporary soul?
SCOTT: He was probably the biggest influence I had ever working with. I was so young when I worked with Toby that I really didn’t know anything. I mean, I knew how to play the guitar, piano, and sing, but I didn’t know much about musicology and musicianship on tracks. He really taught me everything in terms of that. I worked with him for three years at his house. It’s one of those things that you know how much it means when you look back and you’re older. I didn’t quite realize the impact it was having on me at the time.
THE DEADBOLT: So what’s next for Graffiti6 in the short term? What do you guys have lined up?
SCOTT: Well, we’re going a few really big TV appearances. We’re going on tour with Augustana, so that’s exciting for us. We’ve got a month with them and just a lot of touring.