Not Another Sellout: Jamie Fine

Photo from Universal Music Group.

If there’s one name you should remember going into 2021, it’s Jamie Fine. The Canadian native is breaking out into a solo career after several years as one-half of the iHeart Radio award-winning pop duo Elijah Woods X Jamie Fine. Her debut single, “Sellout” is available across all streaming platforms, and is a must-listen this fall.

A Fresh Start

After several years as part of a duo, Jamie Fine is starting fresh as a solo act. After making music that just did not feel like an accurate reflection of who Jamie and Eljiah are, Jamie is ready to make music that feels more like her. She is releasing herself from “this bubble of trying to write a TikTok hit,” and allowing her music to become her journal again.

Jamie said that while she was proud of everything she had accomplished thus far with Elijah Wood, she was unhappy where she was. As an individual who prioritizes mental health over everything else, this was simply unacceptable to Jamie. The music they had been making was not an accurate reflection of who she is and it led to a lot of frustration.

There is a stigma for artists and celebrities’ behavior online, whether or not we are aware of it. We expect our favorite singers, actors, and influencers to be positive every time they post, which is completely unattainable. Jamie felt like this same stigma was pushing a false narrative about herself. She wasn’t really happy and didn’t want to pretend to be. She was angry, and this is how “Sellout” was born.

Photo from Universal Music Group.

“Sellout”, which debuted October 16 of this year, is a major shift from her normal sound but doesn’t represent the sound and the music she’s going to make going forward.

” ‘Sellout’ was this last bubblegum-y pop record that I wanted to put out. It was my promise to myself, and to my family, fans, and my friends that I will never again be not authentic to me,” Jamie says.

This single is what Jamie considers her “last hoorah” in bubblegum pop, and it was her poking out of the bubble she felt like she was in.

” ‘Sellout’ is essentially about what we (she and Elijah) and I were becoming behind the scenes,” Jamie says about the frustration and anger she and Elijah both felt.

“Sellout” is a very blunt, honest record about struggling within yourself and where you’re at. Jamie described it as a way of making fun of both herself and the music industry, which she says can be very risky. This was the first time in a while that, for Jamie, making music was about her.

Writing “Sellout” was a way for Jamie to get back to the craft of making music and a way of healing. While she doesn’t believe that this song is “selling out,” she knows some people will, but knows that not everyone’s opinion matters. “Sellout” wasn’t for anyone but herself.

Roots and Inspiration

Jamie’s background lies in jazz and R ‘n B music, and she loves to sing music like Amy Winehouse’s. This suits Jamie perfectly, as her voice is completely different from anything on the pop charts right now. Jamie’s voice is laced with grit, soul, and something almost unheard of in the music industry today: Honesty.

Jamie lists artists like J. Cole and Steven Tyler as her musical inspirations; J. Cole for his storytelling abilities, and Steven Tyler for the way he broke boundaries in the music industry. She says artists like Cher and again, J. Cole (“If I could be his best friend that’d be great, could you just send this whole thing to him?”) are who she would consider some of her dream collaborations. Jamie says, though, that her favorite people to make music with are the ones she really connects with and can vibe with, and a lot of those people are usually still underground or have no interest in being mainstream artists.

Photo from Universal Music Group.

While she certainly has musical and lyrical inspirations, there are other artists she looks to for inspiration. Jamie says she admires the work ethics of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, and for their ability to “not take sh*t.”

“It’s my belief that if you don’t have anything you ever wanted it’s because you’re not working hard enough, and they are two people that will work for it. As far as work ethic goes in this industry, they are the front-runners for it,” says Jamie.

Going Forward

“We live in a singles world,” Jamie says when asked about any upcoming music. She believes that most people would be happy if their favorite artists just put out new singles on a regular basis, but we all know that isn’t how the music industry works, and that’s not how she wants it to work, either.

Right now, Jamie’s writing music simply to write music. While there aren’t plans for an album or EP yet, Jamie says as she writes songs she feels are ready to be heard, they’ll be released. She’s working on falling back in love with writing and developing a sound.

“My music is my journal, and it always will be because I’m an emotional writer,” she says. Writing “Sellout” was a way to get back to herself, and Jamie plans to keep it that way as she continues to fall back in love with writing again.

Photo from Universal Music Group.

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