Singer-songwriter Jamie Hart has recently released the music video for her single, “Get Closer,” with the video released in late October, and the single of the same name released in September. Hart has been a member of the voice faculty at Berklee College of Music since 2012, and she has been classically trained and focuses her music efforts in the genres of rock, pop and blues. Hart almost quit music altogether in 2017, and took a two-year break. During that time away from music, Hart focused her efforts on receiving certifications as a spiritual life coach and yoga instructor.
With “Get Closer,” Hart used “contact improv,” where dancers immerse in the experience and respond to each other. “It’s a mindfulness practice because you have to focus so much and tune in to each other’s energy to move through the song.” Hart explains that “it’s a mindfulness practice because you have to focus so much and tune in to each other’s energy to move through the song.” Hart and her co-star James Novakowski were directed in “Get Closer” by Jay Golde, and is an excellent portrayal of Hart’s new sound. Hart talks with us about her musical journey, from almost quitting, then returning, using “contact improv” in the music video for “Get Closer,” how and why filming the video was a “Synesthesia experience” for her, collaborating music and lyrics with her guitarist, producer and drummer, and what she’s looking forward to most in 2020.
You almost quit music altogether beginning in 2017, and having taken a two-year hiatus have come back with more depth to your lyrics and creation of your music overall. Please share some of this journey with our readers.
Jamie Hart: Being an independent artist is hard. Sometimes it feels like I’m pushing a large boulder up a mountain. I burnt out and needed to step back. That led me to delve deep into the big questions regarding my true desires and intentions around doing it, and trying to understand what part of it would give me joy again. I decided to switch gears to healing my past and grappling with some intense emotions. Healing is like peeling an onion , and once I worked through a layer, there was always clarity and immense relief. This became the most important endeavor in my life and is now entirely informing the way I create my music.
How have your lyrics and music evolved with your own personal growth?
Jamie: The songwriting now revolves around this process and the awakenings that ensue from deep healing and spiritual work. It’s all I want to talk about and write about now. The real s***. The deep things that can keep us from our joy and keep us stuck in old patterning and pain.
You used “contact improv” with the music video for your single “Get Closer,” which is a mindfulness practice. What was that experience like for you and the other members of the music video?
Jamie: Luckily, James and I have practiced this a few times before for fun, so we got to know each other’s movement style slowly over time. There is bound to be awkwardness and “mistakes” when you’re improvising and that’s also part of the experience–to get really vulnerable and present in the experience. The video only shows the pretty parts ha!
The creative and inspiration process for the video was “a Synesthesia experience” for you. Can you explain what that’s like for you?
Jamie: It was an effortless process for us because I could close my eyes when I listened to the song and see it. The movement and expressive pieces are very easy for me, but I had to work with the Sure Fire team to determine if the colors, lighting, and dreamy vibes I saw in my mind were possible. And as you can see from the video, it was, and Jay Golde surpassed my expectations.
You have a collection of songs that you wrote with guitarist Jason Jagentenfl and producer/drummer Shaq Duryan. What is your writing and recording process like?
Jamie: I write the melody and lyrics by myself. Sometimes while taking walks, sometimes in the car, sometimes in the bath (smiles). If I’m not in the mood to sit at a piano and plunk out chords, I call on Jason to collaborate with harmonic ideas. He and I work really fast and it’s a blessing to have talented and creative people on my team! Then we take the basic structure to Shaq and he works some mystery magic to create the whole production aesthetic. He adds, takes away, stretches my mind and really helps me expand my vision
What’s next for you and your music throughout 2019 and into 2020?
Jamie: 2020 hopefully brings clarity for me and my musical mission. Trying to find the right flow for me to make the process enjoyable and intentional. We plan on releasing an EP which will be a collection of songs about this awakening journey of mine which will hopefully serve as an inspiration to other people on this wild ride of life.
Who was your first concert, and who has been your favorite so far?
Jamie: New Kids on The Block! I think I was 6 (smiles). One of the best shows I’ve been to has been Kimbra. That woman knows how to entertain.
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
Jamie: I think it was Whitney Houston’s first tape!
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
Fiona Apple – Tidal
Sade – Lover’s Rock
Beatles – (all of them)
Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul
Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?
Jamie: I don’t want to be guilty about my pleasure (smiles). But some of Celine Dion’s older music is a little cheesy and I just love every second! She is the queen.