Enchanting his audience for many years now, charismatic musician Jamal Lamont has previously shared the stage with stars such as Dave Chappelle, Mali Music, MAJOR, Musiq Soulchild, Avery Wilson, Faith Evans and John B. He has also been a guest on The Tammi Mac Show (FOXSOUL) and appeared in an episode of CBS’ The Neighborhood, as well as Janelle Monáe’s Turntables and Cocoa Sarai’s Big Dummy music videos.
Now, Jamal has unveiled the eagerly awaited”Sirens” EP, which looks to allure listeners’ attention with a variety of musically engaging moments.
Born in the chaotic sea of the pandemic, the “Sirens” EP emerged following numerous weekly sessions with his long-term collaborator Mental Kryptonite, with whom he worked before as part of the popular LA collective AfroHaus and scoring a residency at The W Hollywood. Together, they crafted a 3-piece project that will lure you into an ocean of mesmerizing melodies skillfully dancing over floating soundscapes, all oozing with admiration, sex, sensuality and obsession.
Jamal has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the creative process behind the “Sirens” EP, the release of the “Want You Around” official video, & getting to know more from the artist behind the music. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Jamal, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?
Jamal: I like to make a point that I was born and raised in Maryland. I’ve left almost 9 years ago. Knowing where I come from keeps me grounded in where I’m going. I’m also a big foodie, I don’t leave the house without my headphones, & music is second nature to me, but I considered a career in linguistics and the culinary arts.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Jamal: I was in the seventh grade. I’ve always had a natural ability to sing and harmonize, and watching my dad sing solos in church was the type of attention I aspired to get, but it wasn’t until I sang my first solo at my middle school’s talent show and received such a great reaction. I was incredibly nervous, but I loved the rush. From that, I literally knew that I wanted to sing.
Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?
Jamal: Before singing the solo in the talent show, I thought I was going to be the next Bill Gates or something haha. As a kid, I was fascinated with computers and technology. Any computer I had, I would break down and rebuild. I would also experiment with the software. I’m still good with computers and sometimes I still think about pursuing the technology industry.
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Jamal: I describe my style or genre as ‘eclectic soul’. I like to think that my style is a mix of all my influences (R&B, Gospel, Pop, Jazz, Electronic, Classical, etc.). My music always has an element of soul in it.
On October 17th, you released the debut EP “Sirens”. How did the idea for the EP come together?
Jamal: While everything was shut down during the pandemic, my producer (Mental Kryptonite) and I took the time to often create. We started off by making music geared towards our live shows but decided to work towards a project, agreeing to make music that was abstract and authentic to us. After making the song “Magic” and “Want You Around” our music director Allison A. Waite pitched the Sirens concept. I thought it was brilliant and decided to call the EP “Sirens” as well.
What are some of the creative influences behind the songs featured on the EP?
Jamal: To be honest, the initial influence came from my wanting to bring myself joy at a time when there wasn’t much human interaction. The world seems so uncertain. After we made the song “Magic” I knew that we made a sound that was unique to us and wanted to build on that. For all the songs on the EP, we used the keycard called Roland XP-80.
There weren’t any music influences other than what we wanted to create from our minds.
If listeners could take anything away from the EP, what would you like it to be?
Jamal: I just wanted to make something that sounded good, felt good, was abstract, something you could vibe to, and music that would assist your sensual and sexual sides.
What does this EP personally mean to you?
Jamal: This EP was such a task to complete. For me, the EP and music video represents an accomplishment being that it was my very first EP. I had failed attempts at others, and I was so determined to make this a finished product. To me, it represents persistence, tenacity, audacity, and relief.
How do you feel the official video for “Want You Around” reflects the song itself?
Jamal: A siren is a mythological creature that was alluring, beautiful, and desirable. This mermaid’s or merman’s singing was so hypnotizing that it would lure its victims to their death. There is no way to escape it. Our video director described me as being a siren and wanted to make it come to life. I loved that it was abstract, that in a way it described me, and most importantly it conceptualized and described the music for the EP.
I indirectly wrote “Want You Around” about a person that you may love who is irresistible, whether they are good or bad for you. The concept of Sirens not only fits this song but embodies the content of the whole EP.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Jamal: This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Be willing to make mistakes. Grow some tough skin. Be open for change and criticism but always have your grounding. Make your intentions clear and find out what others are around you. Invest in yourself. Learn how and when to work hard and/or smart. Learn, learn, and keep learning. Apply your learning. It’s ok to feel like the asshole about what you want, but still try to be fair. This is not an easy industry to give yourself grace and find your peace.
Also, don’t be afraid to help someone along the way. There’s enough space for you and everyone else to succeed.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Jamal: One of my favourite lyrics from any song ever is from Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia” and she says, “People will tell you where they’ve gone, people will tell you where to go, but until you get there yourself, you’ll never really know.” My message and testimony are to follow your heart and mind because this unique journey in life will give you so much strength and pride. It may also inspire someone else. ALSO, just offer a little more compassion to others.
I’ve dedicated my life to the stage and finding my artistry. Please take to time to dive into my work. Thank you for reading and thank you Jess/Fierce & Fabulous Revolution!
You can check out the official video for “Want You Around” below & can find the full EP by clicking here.