There really is no stopping Jamie Jones
Jamie, with now with an amazing 1,000,000 Facebook followers, is still considered the most influential and important live DJ / producer working in the world today.
And believe me, he deserves it – I should know.
And guess who showed and played Jamie basic harmony, chord voicings as well as some structural songwriting techniques? Over a very intensive 18 months?
Following our first session, I could tell he had an exceptional talent for melody, writing riffs on the fly, arrangement skills for building texture. This despite the fact that his keyboard technique was at a very rudimentary level.
I have long wanted dance music, or EDM as it is now known, to adopt a more musical, melodic and interesting harmonic structure rather than the robotic grooves that so often dominate. I poured this aspiration into our sessions.
It was an intensive learning curve for Jamie I’m sure. More techniques than I’ve ever crammed into regular hour long sessions. And no doubt an eye-opening cornucopia of creative possibilites was opening up for Jamie as he’s since let me know.
Essentially it was a crash course in music theory and music making; based around keyboard and synths but covering arrangement, harmonic progression, riff-making, bassline construction etc.
Following this, we had intermittent sessions as Jamie was abroad touring, such was his draw. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that house and techno HAVE become more musical in recent years. And all critics praise Jamie’s melodic and harmonic invention.
During all of our sessions, he was like a sponge, soaking up ideas. Better still, he had a receptive, modest and mature attitude. This, despite the fact that he was already enjoying major success even before our sessions.
That is VERY unusual, as in most cases, success goes to artists’ heads and they behave in an arrogant, ‘know-it-all’ manner.
This all started in September 2009.
Its now the tail end of Summer 2015.
Jamie and I are still in touch and text occasionally. These days he’s based between Ibiza and LA, and has told me he misses London.
He told me recently that if he comes round, he’d like another session or two.
Do you think maybe we could again nudge EDM into becoming that bit more musical? Or at least get the music critics to notice it again?
Jamie is regularly voted and widely considered the top house and techno DJ in the world today. In fact, he was voted as such on Resident Advisor in 2012.
He is certainly in my opinion the most innovative. And listening to his music, I know I have played some part in that. Quite how much is debatable, but ultimately doesn’t really matter.
Dance music has been nudged forward both more melodically and harmonically. And that’s all that matters. Not who was most responsible for the development in the genre’s evolution.
Helping him has led to much other work. Here he is live, doing what he does best. Overlaying parts, synth and drum. And slowly working his savvy crowd up, taking them to whatever place the music dictates.
Is he content with being considered so influential, or having a staggering one million Facebook followers?
Jamie’s compadres Lee Foss and Richy Ahmed both later contacted me for keyboard/harmony/session help à la Jamie, before being waylaid by a blizzard of international festival and Ibiza club offers. They are all now at the top of the global dance music production tree. And there are connections there with Scarlett Etienne, with whom I’ve now worked on and off for over seven years.
They are all part of ‘Hot Creations‘, the label that Jamie started, which has set the standard for the modern Superstar DJ brand. The label is an enormous success now. Jamie’s weekly event in Ibiza, ‘Paradise’ is a go-to event in the dance music world.
And Jamie still tops the bill, see below, even a full six years on from his initial breakthrough.
Boy, is it a lucrative business.
Without doubt, the money to be made in the music biz these days is certainly in the dance music production festival and elite club circuit (and not in the pop or rock star realm, which may surprise many).
But my-oh-my is it competitive…