Jamison Murphy: I didn't care about anything else, music is what I wanted to do
Photo by Afton Art
Jamison Murphy doesn't want you to judge him by his looks; he'd rather you judge him by his music. About two years ago, Murphy was given the opportunity to record with world-renowned producer Warren Huart in Los Angeles, but Jamison was a little low on funds at the time of the offer. Since then, the Lakeville musician has been busting his butt waiting tables and working at Caribou Coffee to pay for studio time -- even taking a year off to make money modeling when that opportunity came knocking. Despite all the hard work and saving, the young musician foresaw how broke he would be after his L.A. trip, so he put together a fundraiser to help alleviate his debt.
With the fundraiser nearing the end, Jamison spoke with Gimme Noise about what drives him to make music and why this upcoming album is so important to him.
Reluctant to answer when the subject of modeling comes up, Jamison shares that he was scouted from one of his YouTube videos that he posted. Initially he wasn't interested and left for school at St. John's University. The scout kept in touch over the years, and when Murphy was looking for a job after graduating, he debated over modeling or taking a full-time job, but the idea of being mobile was more appealing. He says, "I didn't really have anything keeping me here, and the opportunity to model came up and the money talk was thrown around. I figured I might as well see it through."
Although his modeling has paved the way for his music, Murphy doesn't want his looks to be the focal point of his career. "It does concern me when you go on my YouTube videos and nine out of ten comments are about my looks and one is on my music. I would like the focus to be on my music, but I'm not going to complain. I'm just going to try and stay humble and let things be how they are."
Even if he didn't have his looks, Jamison has a work ethic that is deeply instilled in him. Self-proclaimed DIY, the 24-year-old lives and breathes that proclamation by taking on booking, publicity, and managing everything himself. He shares, "My parents were worried, because they saw all of the 'no's I got over the years. Modeling helped me out a lot with music, actually; it helped me get used to a lot of rejection." Not letting the brush-offs stop him, he worked even harder for his dream. "When I was in school, instead of going out and partying, I would come home and work on music and send out emails. I didn't really care about anything else. I knew this was what I wanted to do."
Jamison has developed a big following by doing covers of famous pop songs, but is finally ready to record some of his originals that he has been writing. So what is his music like, and why has it taken him so long to put out new stuff? "You can compare my solo stuff to Augustana and OneRepublic; it has that alternative-pop feel. I have waited to release my music, because I want it to be unique. I've been writing as much as possible and trying to become a better artist; I don't think I have the greatest voice, so I'm learning to become a better singer. When the time came up to make a record, I didn't want it to be with just anyone. I wanted someone who was legit, and I knew Warren [Huart] had a solid work background. There is no other option for me but to work with him."
With the Twin Cities being so immersed in indie-rock, Murphy may have his work cut out for him with his pop music sensibilities, but that doesn't concern him too much. He shares, "I understand what's going on, but I think it's possible to find the right market for my music. I also would have to say that Minnesotans have a lot of pride, and if there's someone doing something big, I might be able to make my way into the scene."
Jamison Murphy's Indiegogo campaign ends August 11, 2013. To contribute, click here.
Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week
SoulPancake releases Zach Sobiech documentary
Jake Bugg at Fine Line Music Cafe, 8/5/13
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.