Get To Know Jame Minogue [Interview]

Ian Hansen

The genre-bending Dominican-Irish Jame Minogue is continuing to innovate his sound with his most recent release, “Hate Being In Love,” with soothing vocals, dreamy production, and catchy melodies. Get to know more about Jame below:

You have “Hate Being in Love” out now, take me through the influence of the track and the direction you wanted to take with it?

I really wanted to explore the duality you get with new relationships. Movies highlight the fairytale aspect of it. I said, "screw that." I wanted to make it this anti-love thing that kind of caters to the side of the not so good things in a new relationship. I thought it could be something relatable for anybody who just got out of a break up and needs a reminder it’s okay.

How therapeutic is it being able to have that kind of expression and have an audience that will relate to what you write and what you bring out in your music?

It’s really therapeutic. It’s a feedback loop for me because I write really honest and from experience so I don’t feel alone. In turn, my goal is to help others not feel alone. It’s a circle of wanting to help and being helped by that at the same time.

How would you say your background really influences your sound?

A lot. When I was younger, I was pretty shy about my background and culture because I used to watch MTV and wanted to fit in so bad with pop culture. As I got older, I stopped caring and wanted to be me and embrace my culture. Because of this, I enter the studio now with no boundaries. I work with great people and do whatever we want. It feels good and honest. It has gotten a lot of great feedback from people back at home. It’s a nice way to highlight where I’m from.

People where you’re from didn’t quite get the notion of pursuing music as a living. What experiences did you have growing up with music and how people adapted to it?

It was crazy growing up. It was almost this war defending music and the arts. Our whole town was Hispanic with a lot of immigrants. Our school had an arts program, but every year they would cut the budget more and more. The people in charge didn’t see the benefit in the art programs. There was this assumption that immigrants couldn’t make use of things like art programs. When I was a young teenager, I was a rebellion. We would get so mad that we would lose resources. We did this thing where whenever there was a school event, we would show up with our instruments and try to put shows on and security would kick us out. Despite our limitations, we still rocked out and would sometimes win and convince the school to let us put shows on. It felt like this dramatic thing as a kid, but it shaped who I am now.

At the very beginning, what made you want to pursue music?

I’ve just always had a feeling and connected with music deeply. I remember it clicked when I was six years old in New York City. I was at a subway station with my mom. There were these street performers who were drummers. I was memorized. I went home and picked two tree branches and used them as drum sticks on the table. My parents didn’t know what to do with that. I always begged for a drum kit. They didn’t know if I was serious so they weren’t cracking yet. What I did was I signed up for the elementary school talent show then went home and told my dad I was playing drums for it, but I didn't have a drum set. I didn’t get them, but I got these electric drum pads. One of my best friend’s mom’s bosses got rid of a drum set and asked if I wanted it. I asked my parents if I could have it and they first said no, but I convinced them. Over a course of months, I kept getting pieces of the drum set from them, and my parents realized I was serious. Ever since them, they’ve been so supportive.

How important is it as an artist do everything such as playing multiple instruments?

It depends how you started. I’m a huge believer that you can’t do any of this alone. You can’t be the do-it-all person. I believe everyone needs a team and more than one brain. Because of my background, I had to teach myself a lot. I wanted to learn everything myself. That’s how I ended up knowing multiple instruments. It’s for sure not a requirement though. There are so many genius artists that knows one or even no instruments. It does help. It’s helped me a lot.

Who inspired your song coming up and who inspires you now?

I look up to a lot of older artists like Queen, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, and Elton John. I grew up with a lot of old music. It’s all inspiration. I’m for sure loving artists right now like Kali Uchis. Bad Bunny is awesome. There is so much out there.

Earlier in the year you dropped “Hear Me Out.” What does that song mean to you?

That was a fun one to make. I collaborated with KORDELYA on that one. I sent her a DM, and we got to know each other. I made this little beat I thought was average, and I sent it to her team and the rough idea. I heard back, and she loved it. I was like, ‘Really? Are you sure?’ Sometimes I make stuff I’m not a huge fan of, but everyone else really likes. That’s another weird part about being an artist. The song evolved to this whole new level. It wasn’t until the song came together to its final form where I realized it isn’t bad. This beat I thought was maybe trash wasn’t that trash after all. She called me and said her management wanted it to be the focus track of her album. It had a great release, and recently, we had a sync placement with it.

In 2021, you were really consistent. How would you say you’ve leveled up in the last year?

I feel like with every release, I enter my element more. This project for me is new in my eyes. Before this, I was just in bands a lot. This is such a whole new direction. Right around, “Santiago,” I felt really in my element. It has been a huge self-discovery process, and with the project I’m working on now, I’ve arrived at the sonic point I have wanted to be at.

What can fans expect in the near future?

I think people can guess an album is coming. I’ll say that now. An album is coming. I haven’t formally announced it, but it is what is going down this summer probably. They can expect this huge sonic world that represents where I come from and an introduction of who I am as a person.

What do you like to do outside of music? What do you do to escape?

I love cooking. Whenever I can, I try to cook something new. I grew up with so much food around me. I am Dominican, and Dominican’s be cooking. I had a lot of contrasting foods growing up. I’ve recently got into cooking during the pandemic. Beside that, I have enjoyed helping my girlfriend on set with film. My interest in film will keep going.

What are your favorite things to cook?

I’m trying to crack the code in pizza. Im trying to get scientific with the pizza. I’ve been into Mediterranean food lately. Every now and then, I’ll cook Dominican food.

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