Hey girl, what ya up to?
I’m currently sitting topless under an umbrella on the beach of Australia, drinking coffee, eating an acai bowl, chilling out by the pacific ocean and very happy it's a new year!
Who are you not on the internet?
My birth name and artist name is Jamie-Lee Dimes (sometimes I regret using my real name for music but it's too late now. lol) I am a musician, artist, songwriter, desert dweller, prophet ? I live between places, and hemispheres. I like to do what isn’t expected and what is expected I like to not do. Essentially I grew up in the Florida of Australia where drinking kool aid is an everyday part of life. Lately I question why everyone rug sweeps and closet keeps, and doesn’t just say shit how it is. Most of the time around my nearest and dearest I'll just be acting out characters and putting on accents and being theatrical, or i’m purging emotions making music somewhere alone.
Why do you move around and travel so much?
I’ve lived between countries my whole life, it feels normal to me to move around and uproot my life. I’m sure it affects me in other ways but it’s what I know and how I deal. I moved countries as a kid and then as an adult several times. Then I essentially lived between my car and the motel my parents managed when I was a teeenager because I hated being home, so I guess it just feels normal. A song I am releasing soon is called Find a Home. I think it resonates with this lifetime living between countries and not feeling home anywhere and not feeling home within my skin, so I've been working on that alot the last few months.
What's your everyday vibe?
I wear a lot of ripped mens clothes, vintage from the desert, no make up and naturally dried hair, and always red lipstick!
I hear you’re outspoken sometimes. A little bit too much so, tell us where this comes from. Why are you so opinionated?
I think from a covid year of therapy sessions I would say I love speaking up so much in my adulthood and in music, because well I had a childhood of being told to shut up, you know how it is all the things like smile more, be quiet, stop being so sensitive, really a lot of dismissive and condescending down talking, racism, and sexism, so yeah I guess after one too many times feeling like i'm being boxed in I started speaking out. Music and touring helped me find my voice.
What Is the most important thing to you?
My forthcoming debut album, essentially it's why I get out of bed.
What music releases can we stream for free soon?
I'm about to drop a trilogy of songs from my album, a single and b side of some more introverted self reflective songs I wrote, and another when i was stuck in the usa in quarantine lock downs, stay tuned!
What is your favourite song on your debut album and why?
Track three, a song called “Sierra” I love the lyrics, I love the music, I love the tempo, and it feels really good to play with a band or just acoustically! There are so many layers of instrumentation that speaks volumes and I’m really proud of it. It started driving down this really steep mountain to get to a turquoise blue mineral hot spring in the middle of Mexico on a ten hour drive to a small town called Sierra. I was like “if we don't die doing this I'm writing a song called Sierra.” It ended on a mountain above the clouds. I just remember having a really shit day, where nothing made sense, and I was so far away literally in the middle of Mexico, on a mountain above the clouds, did not speak the language, everything around me was ending, and I had this profound vivid dream about needing to be more kind to myself.
After this one particular night I just wanted it to be morning so bad, and I didn't really sleep but as soon as the sun came up i got up and went and sat on this mountain alone, looking at the cows and clouds and village houses, and the book cover of women who run with the wolves, and i was so low emotionally, i just closed my eyes and had a voice come over me that said “just focus on music and go and finish this album” and i knew then I had to just move hell and heaven to pursue everything I wanted. I just knew it was going to be really messy and hard and challenging and its been fucking crazy couple of years but now im getting ready to release it all and so im grateful for that day. Some of my worst days are where the clarity comes through ya know. It gives you strength and perseverance.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt?
A lot but mostly that not many people care about how you are when you can’t afford a burrito and you’re stuck in the middle of the desert, writing an album going through personal hell, but people want to know how you are when you are living a good life in Los Angeles and releasing the music! Essentially you want to surround yourself with the people who will catch the bus with you and guide you towards the right path when you are going through hell in life, they are your real friends.
What is disturbing you the most?
Australian culture, being categorized as a “colored artist” and having people emphasize my indiginous heritage. While studying sociology it feels to me, a bit like modern segregation, and still repeating the cycle of superior / inferior. I mean if there is no category for white artists then there shouldn't be a category for artists who aren't white. I get told I'm too serious for mentioning this, but that's been disturbing my peace a lot, it really just makes me feel like my safe space of music is now being tainted. I grew up with a lot of racism in Australia and that's why I even started playing music, to not feel like an outsider. You grow up with people emphasising your differences and appearance and treating you like you are below them your whole life and then you have people tell you to your face, “Jamie, indigenous is trending right now, own it'' it's just so inappropriate. The industry says it's “inclusive” but to me it feels like tokenism.
If you could get on a plane and go anywhere, where would it be?
Morocco. I was supposed to be in Spain, Italy and Paris in September and I was going to Morocco after, but with the borders closed it's hard to know!