By Michael Andronico
California-raised singer/songwriter Jayme Dee is equal parts soul and summery fun. The young singer’s voice holds the maturity of Norah Jones and the late Amy Winehouse, while her music has the playful radio-friendliness of Lily Allen and Katy Perry. Jayme is currently on her first-ever tour with Owl City, spreading her infectious sound across the country. We spoke with the rising singer while she stopped in New York about growing up in a musical family, her musical idols, and who she would take on her dream tour.
YRB: How do you like New York?
Jayme: I love New York. I grew up in California, so it feels great to be on the east coast. I’ve been here before but, its just my favorite city.
YRB: How did growing up in California shape your sound?
Jayme: I grew up in a musical household, so that influenced me more than anything. There was always music going around in the house, so that definitely helped.
YRB: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Jayme: Yea (laughs). I actually wrote it with my best friend freshman year of high school, it was fun.
YRB: Who are some artists that really shape your sound?
Jayme: My idol is Amy Winehouse. She’s my favorite artist ever. I was so sad when she died. I’m a big John Mayer fan. I love Frank Sinatra, and Etta James and the classics like that.
YRB: If you could bring Amy back for a duet, what would you two sing?
Jayme: “Tears Dry On Their Own.” I love that song.
YRB: When did you decide to take your music career more seriously?
Jayme: About 2 years ago when I was just about to graduate high school, I decided that I wanted to do this full time and make a career out of what I love instead of going to college for four years (laughs). It’s started to take off, luckily.
YRB: You’re on tour currently?
Jayme: Yea, I’m with Owl City. We just had our second show here in New York and we’re off to Chicago tomorrow.
YRB: How has the reception been at the shows?
Jayme: It’s been awesome. Owl City fans have been so inviting to my music, its been alot of fun. It’s my first tour, so its getting my feet wet and everything, but it’s fun.
YRB: How are you getting along with the other bands on the tour?
Jayme: Oh yeah, I love them. They’re all so nice.
YRB: After this tour, what do you have planned?
Jayme: My album. It’s almost done, but there’s still some work to do. I need to get back to LA and finish it up hopefully it will be out by the fall.
YRB: How would you describe your sound for people that never heard you?
Jayme: I would say Amy Winehouse meets Katy Perry. It’s a fun pop-retro sound.
YRB: What’s your favorite song you’ve written?
Jayme: Well my upcoming single “Tip-Toe” is super fun and dancey and I awkwardly dance to it all the time (laughs). I think that’s my favorite at the moment because it’s summer and I want to get up and dance awkwardly.
YRB: If you could put together a dream tour, who would be on it?
Jayme: Do they have to be alive? I’d wanna open for Frank Sinatra (laughs)