Versatile Jamie Scott breaks into soul with Graffiti6 

click to enlarge New music: Jamie Scott’s latest venture is Graffiti6, a pop-soul duo he formed with producer TommyD.New music: Jamie Scott’s latest venture is Graffiti6, a pop-soul duo he formed with producer TommyD. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • New music: Jamie Scott’s latest venture is Graffiti6, a pop-soul duo he formed with producer TommyD.New music: Jamie Scott’s latest venture is Graffiti6, a pop-soul duo he formed with producer TommyD.

Jamie Scott is only 27. But on “Colours” — the upcoming debut of Graffiti6, his duo with producer TommyD — the Brit has the poise, vocal delivery and soul-steeped songwriting skills of an older, wiser artist. Yet tracks such as “Free,” “Stare Into the Sun” and “Annie You Save Me” sound mature because Scott, a showbiz vet, recorded his first solo CD, “Soul Searching,” at age 20. Two albums later, Graffiti6 is not his first rodeo, Scott admits. “I’ve done this a few times before. But this one feels good, feels different than the rest of them.”

You started out submitting your songs to publishing companies. You never really wanted to sing, right? I’d grown up listening to these amazing soul singers, because my dad was a big soul fan — Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Steve Winwood. But I really didn’t see myself singing music that would be considered soul. It was something I just didn’t think I could conjure up. So I got more comfortable singing in a folk way, like the Joni Mitchell and Neil Young records that my mom listened to. But when I wrote a song for someone else that was in more of a soul vein, my publishing company heard it and said, “We think you should be performing this.”

What lessons have you learned over the years? Well, I’m quite a trusting person. But I’ve learned how to judge people early on. The music industry is a business, and a lot of people are out for themselves, and you can be dropped as quickly as you were picked up. One day you’re a priority on a major label and you’re on tour playing for loads of people, and the next day you’re trying to convince them that you should still be doing that. That’s why we signed Graffiti6 to our own label and finished the record ourselves — the two of us wanted to make a record together in the studio, just writing songs, producing them, and seeing what we ended up with.

Do you still compose for other artists, like Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger? Yes. I wrote a lot of the new One Direction album, which is Simon Cowell’s new boy band in the U.K. — I’m one of the main writers for his Syco Entertainment acts overseas. I’ve also just signed a guy called Nick Hartman to my label, and I’ll be doing the next Enrique record in a few months. But at the moment, Graffiti6 is taking up all my time.  

IF YOU GO

Graffiti6

Opening for Augustana

Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco

When: 9 p.m. Jan. 19

Tickets: $16

Contact: (415) 885-0750; www.gamhtickets.com

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Tom Lanham

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