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Interview: 2020 Must-Know - Jimi Somewhere

Interview: 2020 Must-Know - Jimi Somewhere

This time last year, Jimi Somewhere (real name Benjamin Schandy) had just shared his 'Ponyboy' EP, a six-track release which takes its name from the 1983 film 'The Outsiders' - which went on to be streamed over a million times, seeing the Norwegian artist's coming-of-age vision shared throughout the world.

One year on, he's gearing up to release his debut album, a project three years in the making which he remains tight-lipped about, sharing, "I don't want to give anything else away because I think presentation is so important so I'm trying to present it all in a way that feels the most exciting to my audience."

Having shared 'Selfish' as the final release before the full album is unveiled (a song about "that weird period of time where you're ending things with a person"), Jimi Somewhere just hopes his music exists as a "soundtrack for the moments in your life that feels like a movie."

MUST-LISTEN: 'Benton Way', 'Selfish', 'Backseat', 'Blue Skies'.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Kevin Abstract, Lontalius, Harry Teardrop, EDEN, Gus Dapperton… and hosting a wholesome picnic with pals.

COUP DE MAIN: You're very honest in 'Benton Way' when you sing, "But I am my own problems / So I'll be my own shrink." Have you found songwriting for your album a good way to work through your problems and emotions?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: Yeah. It's how I deal with everything. Whatever I’m going through, whatever I'm feeling, I write about. It's my favourite thing about being an artist. No emotion, good or bad, ever goes to waste. You turn it into something beautiful that again can be used to help others.

CDM: You reminisce a lot on 'Backseat', and sing, "Don't mean it to be difficult / I'm just young and fucking up." Why do you think that everyone's youth is such a period of self-growth and figuring things out?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: Maybe because our brains aren’t developed fully yet? Haha, I don’t know. You learn from your mistakes though, so to know how to navigate certain things you have to make those mistakes first. The longer you do something, the better you get at it. I guess that applies to life too!

CDM: What made you want to release 'Benton Way' and 'Backseat' as a double-release?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: We made those songs in the same period of time and they felt kind of connected. I had also just released a stand-alone single not too long ago so I wanted to give a little more than just one song so I made it into a lil' package.

CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I don't think I really have a process. It always changes. Sometimes my producer Milo will bring me an idea or some chords and I'll sit down and write the first verse and then I'll have an idea for a hook and then Milo will produce out the hook and I'll write over that and we will ping pong it back and forth. Other times I sit down with my guitar or a piano. Sometimes I don't even have an instrumental, some lines will just pop into my head. It's always different and I think it's important that it is because different writing processes allows for the songs to come out different too.

CDM: I like the line in 'Dusk' when you sing, "Life isn't easy but at least I'm not stuck." Do you think that humans have a fear of being stuck in a certain existence?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I do, at least. I think most people do. Some people are just comfortable though. Which I envy at times because it seems a lot easier to not always be chasing something ‘better’. There's been these periods of time where I feel like I'm either not progressing in my craft or career and that causes for a lot of frustration and anger that doesn’t feel good. But that's life. You’ll get stuck at times. Just gotta keep moving forward, keep working, and eventually you’ll see results!

CDM: Do you write your lyrics specifically for the songs, or do you write poems or prose and then evolve them into song-form?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I have written poems, but I mostly just write songs. That's my preferred outlet. I'd love to write a movie one day though. I remember Frank [Ocean] tweeted this ‘note to self’ thing that said: "If you're a writer you can write anything... prose, songs, raps, novels, plays, films, laws..." So one day, I'll try branch out more. For now, just music!

CDM: What can you tell us about your upcoming album?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: It's three years in the making! Been working on it since high school. So far there are two guest vocals… trying to get one more. Mostly produced by Milo who I've been best friends with since eighth grade so being able to create this body of work with him has been really special. There's some co-production from various friends though. I don't want to give anything else away because I think presentation is so important so I'm trying to present it all in a way that feels the most exciting to my audience.

CDM: 'Ponyboy' was inspired by 'The Outsiders' - were there any particular films that inspired this new album?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: A couple but I don't want to give too much away here either. You’ll see when the tracklist comes out. I'm so inspired by movies and always try to make my music and universe as cinematic as possible, so that's gonna follow into this album and most likely my next projects too.

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I think 'Bleed'! It's very personal and I think I managed to capture exactly what I was trying to capture. Which is rare, but special when it happens. It's also one of those songs that just fell out me, and those songs you don’t really have to ‘try’ on always come out better for some reason.

CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: That's tough. I think its a lot to do with personal experience. A song always hits harder when you can relate to what the artist is talking about. I also value honesty, transparency, and personality a lot. So I think those songs or albums where you feel like you're getting to know someone by listening to it is the best.

CDM: What are some of your earliest musical memories?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I remember my sister showing me Green Day very well. Hearing pop-punk for the first time filled me with this joy and excitement I hadn’t felt listening to music before. A very important moment in my childhood.

CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: Haha, I wrote my first song when I was nine/ten. I wrote it with my best friend at the time and I remember it being inspired by 'Thriller'. It was called 'You Are In Danger', if I remember correctly, and it was about this town filled with zombies and ghost. So funny looking back on it.

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I just really want people to make memories to it. Sounds so cliché but I want to be the soundtrack for the moments in your life that feel like a movie. All my favourite songs are attached to these special moments I've shared with people, or I've had alone, that feel bigger than life in some way. So I'd love to be able to create that for someone else.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

from los angeles by @aada3m

A post shared by jimi somewhere (@jimisomewhere) on

CDM: If J.I.M.I. S.O.M.E.W.H.E.R.E. were an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
JIMI SOMEWHERE:

Just
Imagine
Me
In

Some
Overalls
Made
Exclusively
With
Hearts
Embroidered
Round
Everywhere

I don't know, Jimi Somewhere is a long-ass name.

CDM: What’s on your bucket-list?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I have a lot of stuff I'd love to do, but the first thing that comes to mind is that I really want to design my own house and I really want to swim with dolphins.

CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: Maybe Kanye's hard disks because I'd love to hear the alternative version of 'Yeezus' and whatever demos he has laying around from 2003-2012.

CDM: If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: 'Ribs' by Lorde. Or maybe 'Writer In The Dark', but 'Ribs' is more ‘anthem-y’. Either that or 'This Is Heaven And I'd Die for It' by American Pleasure Club.

CDM: What are your top five necessities for isolation/quarantine/lockdown?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I need my two flatmates; Milo (who is also my producer, so two birds) and Anders (my other BFF and right-hand guy), a guitar, internet connection, and my balcony. My balcony has come in very handy in this period of staying inside because getting sun is so important!

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2020… who are yours?
JIMI SOMEWHERE: I think everyone should pay attention to Jean Dawson. His album ‘Bad Sports’ was one of my favourites last year, and from the singles he has released this year I think his upcoming album is gonna be even crazier. Also Dreamer Boy. Got to know him and his whole crew during my LA trip this year and they’re the best people making incredible and genuine music and art. Special gang. His album is coming this year too and it's so good. Look out for that. Lastly, I'm gonna say Kacy Hill! Her voice is out of this world and her writing always gets me too.

Watch the 'Selfish' visualiser below...

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