Jamie Summerfield, 46, has been working in journalism and communications for 20 years and been an independent PR practitioner for five years. Music is Jamie’s passion and he’s been writing about it and creating his own since he was a teenager. Now – better late than never – he’s started to release some of his own songs. ‘Ordinary People’ was released in June 2020, and in September comes the ‘Heading for the Light’ EP.
Here in Jamie’s Guest Blog he gives us an insight into how he “took his music out of the darkness and into the light”….
Jamie Summerfield – It took me 30 years to release my first song…I’d better explain…
I bought my first guitar when I was 17 from a music shop in Hope Street, in Hanley, stoke-on-Trent using all of my birthday money to buy a cheap Les Paul copy. I had the fashionably long, early-90s fringe firmly in place. The attitude? Likewise. So I set about learning to play and write some songs. And I’ve pretty much been at it ever since.
Terribly at first. Obviously. Terribly even much later, if I’m honest. And – until very recently –all behind closed doors. The thought of playing in front of someone else was just ridiculous. And singing one of my songs in front of someone? Forget it.
I’d play and write most days – for decades. Hundreds of songs. Probably thousands more fragments and ideas. But I never imagined that I’d want to take my music out of the darkness and into the light. About five years ago, though, something changed.
Perhaps it was after turning 40? I was feeling more comfortable with myself? I was happier with the songs I was writing? I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I suddenly developed the urge to play at the open mic night at Granville’s in Stone.
It didn’t happen (at least not for a while). There were so many times that I’d packed my guitar into its case, put my shoes on, and…. just couldn’t do it.
Eventually, in May 2019, I finally did. I was almost dragged there by two musicians who have encouraged me so much over the last couple of years, Kris Grainger and Tony Hollinshead. And then I played some more open mic nights. And I played at Stone Music Festival. I then started to record some of my music and I started to feel confident enough to get it out into the open.
In June, my first single – Ordinary People – was released into the wild! Just like the feeling when I played my first open mic night at Granville’s, it felt like a big barrier had come crashing down, a psychological brick wall that was holding me back in so many ways.
My music is so important to me, and increasingly so. It’s vital to have passions, projects, away from the day job. Burnout is real. My music is the most calming, meditative thing I do. I am a writer, a creative PR professional, but nothing challenges me more, or gets the creative juices flowing, like writing a song.
And I love learning new things. Cracking Spotify for Artists, learning about direct-to-fan marketing, how the music industry works in 2020. All good for the brain. I’m working on lots of other songs and I cannot wait to start playing live again!
I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Thank you for reading my blog on Baba Baboon!
Take care & speak soon,
**Main image Jamie (L) and Kris Grainger at Stone Music Festival 2019.