LA serenader jame has a lot to offer on ‘If U Want Me’

“I’m inspired a lot by atmosphere – scenery, colors. Every time I write a song I think of a place,” jame says over the phone on a Wednesday afternoon from the walls of his Los Angeles apartment.

This imagery, inspiring and enveloping, is the fabric of the singer-songwriter’s debut project, Harmless. A delightful 8-track collection dedicated to loss and letting go, it’s a taste of more to come from the mind of a consistently evolving artist.

Born Patrick James Minogue, jame grew up in Perth Amboy in New Jersey. His father is from Kilkenney, Ireland, and his mother is from the Dominican Republic. jame’s interest in music came to him at an early age. Noted by his parents, this penchant was always present to those around him, even when it may not have been to himself.

“My parents say when I was a little kid, I used to get all the pots and pans in the house, pick off tree branches outside and pretend to play drums on them,” he tells me. The subtle makings of a burgeoning producer, these early moments alluded to what would soon encapsulate jame’s life; music.

At 15, he began writing his own music. Inspired by popular punk bands from Green Day to My Chemical Romance, jame utilized his inspirations as entry points for learning instruments. By high school, he started working with other musicians, playing talent shows mostly as a drummer before assuming his role as a lead singer.

The earlier years of his pursuit of the craft were not free of struggle. Growing up in a completely Latinx town, jame’s passions were often met with criticism from those around him.

“My town definitely had those kinds of people who would say things like, ‘You’re Hispanic/Latino. It’s impossible to make it in music, you need a plan b,’” jame explains. These obstacles only fueled the fire, encouraging the artist to move out of his hometown and into somewhere more suitable for his musical growth.

That environment came in the form of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Securing a spot in the prestigious program, Minogue soon joined forces with a few peers to form The Penthouse, an indie pop trio. The group decided to take their act to LA to keep evolving and be closer to the action.

5 months into the coast to coast move, the band broke up.

Now a solo act in a big city, Minogue worked to curate a stage persona that was singular, impassioned, and true to himself. In June 2019, jame was born. The first piece of Harmless came shortly thereafter in the form of standout single “Freefall.”

“‘Freefall’ felt like being in a humid room with a lot of plants and windows, having a fan blow on me the whole time,” jame illustrates in describing the images and colors that inspired the songs on the project. “[When I think ‘Freefall,’] I think about the color blue.”

The remainder of Harmless doubles down on the themes of processing grief – that of relationships, friendships, past selves. Just when that catharsis felt near completion, the ongoing pandemic hit. For many like jame, this newly suffocating reality gave way to struggles in creativity and songwriting.

“I had to learn to go [more deeply] inside myself and write from there,” jame admits. “Halfway through quarantine I taught myself to write music from a different place. I’m at a super creative place now vs the beginning [of the pandemic].”

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“If U Want Me,” jame

This creative place is the incubator for the artist’s latest single, “If U Want Me.”

A bit of a departure from his earlier work, the new single grows from the narrative of Harmless, providing the lens for a new chapter – one filled with closure and moving forward. It deals with the all too heavy reality of love in the digital age, even more overwhelmingly pressurized by the Covid-induced digital dystopia many find themselves trapped in today.

“In this new stage, I’ve let go of everything,” jame expresses in describing the wake of Harmless. “[If U Want Me] is a lot more upbeat – it sounds a lot more positive. The song focuses on online dating and how our form of communication has changed from in person to online.”

From a supplement to a driving force, online dating has evolved into a now integral aspect of modern relationships. Through “If U Want Me,” jame captures this development.

Earthy and summer ready, the mid tempo jam is, for better or worse, one of the most relatable tracks to come out of quarantining as a twenty-something. jame beautifully captures the collective unease of being a young adult pursuing romance today.

What’s next?

Time will tell, but if “If U Want Me” is any sign of what’s coming from those apartment walls, listeners are in for a treat.


Feature: Ambitious pop act Tamara is cookin in quarantine

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From Fairfield, Connecticut, emerging talent Tamara has worked tirelessly to grow as an artist in today’s pop music landscape. The confident creator was brought up largely in New York City where she attended high school.

During her later years in school, Tamara’s passion became clear. Recording, writing, and collaborating with producers around the city, Tamara landed a spot in the coveted Bandier Program within the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Now a junior, Tamara continues to grow her sound and her network.

With dreams of continuing to master her sound and dip her toes in the production space, Tamara works to get to the next level after she finishes her degree next year. I had a chance to chat with the ever-evolving artist. We talked inspirations, goals, and what it means to be an artist in today’s industry.


UNSOLICITED: How has isolation been going for you so far?

Tamara: Worst question of the summer (laughs)! I just came back from a trip to Vermont about three days ago. My life was significantly different before I left. I had this online class I hadn’t started yet and when I came back things started picking up, but its a good thing.

U: How has the songwriting/recording process been throughout quarantine? 

T: Whether it’s in this time period or not, my creativity comes in waves. Obviously before COVID it was a lot easier to have access to recording, but I mostly write songs late at night during sad boy hours. What I write isn’t necessarily in that space, but when my night owl instincts come in I just go.

I record all my singles with my producer, Joey Auch, who lives in Brooklyn Heights, but I can’t see him right now. I have another friend, Lucas Dell’Abate, in Greenwich who has equipment – we go to my pool house and record from there. If you’re passionate about something, you make it work.

U: Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?

T: Personally, I’m geared for pop music. The reason I’ve done some EDM and electropop is because I have a lot of friends in that space who I’ve been able to collaborate with.

In terms of inspirations, I love Charli XCX – how i’m feeling now has been on repeat. Another artist I’ve been inspired by is TS Graye. She’s inspired my sound through nostalgia. I exist in a space that’s half nostalgia, half bad bitch. I’m feeling nostalgic, but I’m not to be fucked with (laughs).

U: When did you first start to think about forming a career in music?

T: Junior year of high school. I had a huge epiphany during my sophomore year when I realized it would be really tough, but it was what I was supposed to do. I decided I couldn’t live my life going through a 9-5 and hating my life. From that moment forward I started working on technique to the point where I felt comfortable enough to go to my producer the next year.

I started working with my producer, and he’s kind of evolved with me. Whenever I have an idea but can’t articulate it, he catches my vibe and helps me continue to find my sound. Every time we go in and finish a session, I come back out more fulfilled.

U: What do you see as the pros and cons of the current music industry?

T: With this virus, the live music scene is definitely missed. The touring industry makes up so much of the revenue of this industry. There’s a lot of streaming happening, but there’s a difference from an audience’s perspective of going to a show vs streaming.

Overall, one great thing about the industry right now is the diversity of producers, more women behind the soundboard and seated at the table. We’re starting to tap into that network more. Another great thing is that artists have more time to be consistent. Normally everything is so on the go that now is a good time to step back and plan out music releases.

U: Where do you want your music to go, sonically and in audience growth?

T: Sonically, I work with my sound song by song. Every artist wants their numbers and audience to increase. Obviously my music connects to me because I’m the one writing it. I can’t sit down and force it to connect with somebody else.

The great thing about music is that there’s more than one aspect to listen to. If you don’t like the lyrics, maybe you’ll like the melody; if you don’t like the melody, maybe you’ll like the beat behind it. There are different aspects of a song that people can connect to.

Personally, I just want people to find one of these things to connect to in my songs. I don’t need you to relate to me. If you do, that’s great and I’m genuinely happy; but, my purpose on this Earth was not to people please. I just want my music to be out there in a way where people appreciate it and love it for what it is.

U: When you’re recording a song, do you think about what will resonate with a bigger audience? Are you surprised by what sticks vs. what doesn’t?

T: When I’m recording I don’t think about anyone else’s take. When I’m in the studio, I’m paying attention to how it sounds to me. I start to think in that space moreso after the song has been released.

I know, sonically, what’s more popular; but, that’s not always the take that I go for and I’m fine with that. I take a lot of pride in who I am as a person and my individuality. When I’m in the studio I don’t think about Top 40. I just go in there and its me. Sometimes it ends up sounding like Top 40, and sometimes it sounds like something different.

I’ve come a long way and I’m grateful for the people who have helped me and the program I’m in, but I still have a very long way to go. I credit my knowledge and my willingness to move forward to myself and to my program.