British blues singer/songwriter Jamie N Commons recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Commons discussed the message he wants to communicate with his audience, what inspires his music and his attempt to create a news blues sound with GRAMMY-nominated producer Alex Da Kid on his new EP, Rumble And Sway EP, among other topics.
"[Rumble And Sway EP] is mine and Alex Da Kid's first effort with our new partnership at Interscope Records," said Commons. "It's kind [of a] collection of our experiments on this new genre we're trying to push, which is basically updating the blues sound into using modern production techniques."
Born in Bristol, England, Commons relocated to Chicago with his family at age 6 and quickly immersed himself in the rich traditional blues culture of the city. Leaving Chicago with a strong blues and Southern rock influence, Commons returned to England at age 16. He studied music and guitar at Goldsmiths, University of London and emerged in his 20s with a raspy, gravel-laced voice that has been compared to the likes of GRAMMY winners Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
In 2011 Commons released his debut EP, The Baron EP, and caught the attention of producer Alex Da Kid (Skyler Grey, Rihanna), who subsequently signed Commons to his KIDinaKORNER label under the Interscope Records umbrella. Released in March, Rumble And Sway EP reached No. 21 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. The six-track EP was executive produced by Alex Da Kid. Also in 2013, Commons' bluesy track "Lead Me Home" was released on the soundtrack for the TV series "The Walking Dead," cracking the Top 40 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart.