Revenge 25: Interview With Joniece Jamison

The Ultimate Eurythmics Website

Presents

An Interview With

 

Miss Joniece Jamison

UE : Joniece, thank you so much for taking the time in answering some questions for us, as you know, Revenge is 25 at the end of June. Could you tell us how you first got introduced to Dave and Annie?

 

JJ: Well I live in France, just outside of Paris, and I was called to come to the studio to audition for a group. At the time I was one of the leading backing vocalists in France and felt that I really did not need to audition for anyone so i said no. They asked a sound technician named Fred if he knew someone and he told them about me. Now let me clear about this… When i got the call to audition for a group… The person who called was French, so when he said the name of the group with his French accent, i did not have a clue as to whom he was referring. He kept saying you know… The group who did Sweet Dreams…. Well then i said you mean EURYTHMICS??? I am on my way! I will be there in 30 minutes!

 

UE: So what happened when you arrived?

 

JJ: So I get there, and Dave walks up and hands me a cookie and introduces himself, I was a nervous wreck and then I met Annie and thought I was going to pass out right there. I broke out into a cold sweat. I thought that this was truly a cruel joke that someone was playing on me. I got myself together after a few minutes and realised that this was the real deal. So Dave said sing me a song… I could only think of summertime. I sang summertime and he said you are hired… We recorded two or three tracks that same day. I thought I would literally die of excitement. Also this opportunity came at a time when I was having personal problems. It was a god send. And the rest is history andIi spent four glorious years with them. Et voila!!!

 

 

UE: How much influence did you have on the vocal arrangements on the Revenge Tour and the album?

JJ: On the album I pretty much did what I was asked to do. I did a bit of improvisation. On the tour I was let loose. I did the essential backing, but was also allowed to add a few things that I felt added to the songs.

 

UE: How many of the members of the Revenge Band do you still keep in contact with and is there anyone who in the future you would do a musical project with?

JJ: For about five or six years after the 1990 tour and the breakup, I kept in contact with Pat Seymour. I was close with Pat, like a brother. We worked on a few projects; he helped produce one of my albums and also wrote a few songs on a second album. I just adored him. I was also crazy about Jimmy Z and Chucho and am really sorry that we did not stay in contact. I do have contact with the Z from time to time via MySpace. I would love to do a project with all three. They were the best group of musicians and loads of fun.

 

UE: Is there any particular Eurythmics track you enjoyed performing live on the gigs?

JJ: The tracks I had a blast on were Missionary Man, Thorn In My Side, Here Comes The Rain Again, Sweet Dreams. They were such great songs to perform live. Annie and I had a lot of fun on stage.

 

 

UE: What is your fondest memory of touring and working with Annie and Dave?

 

JJ: Wow! There are so many. I think that the whole experience is just one huge fond memory. They really made you feel as if you really mattered and that you were a real member of the group. A lot of unity was felt.

 

UE: Do you listen to Annie or Dave’s music today?

 

JJ: I love Annie’s Songs Of Mass Destruction, I love it. I love the messages and love her concern for humanity. There’s a great brain going on there.

 

UE: Would you consider teaming up with Annie again if she asked you to be her backing vocalist again?

 

JJ: Well, the old gal ain’t what she used to be, meaning myself of course. But if they ever did a reunion type of thing. I would hobble over on my cane and sing a few bars.

 

UE: On the Revival Tour you sang with Charlie Wilson for the first part of the tour on shared backing vocals, was there any friction between you both?

 

JJ: Charlie was a party boy and a lot of fun. He has a tremendous talent and it was an experience working with him. I think he was too big for Eurythmics… Meaning that he was not a backing type of guy…. He was truly Mr Dynamite and really made for the forefront.

 

 

UE: After the success of the work with Eurythmics what came next for you?

 

JJ: After the split, I toured a lot with French artist, did some solo work did a few plays got married a few times had two kids and sang and sang some more and am still singing.

 

 

UE: We notice you did studio sessions with Shakespears Sister, how did those sessions come about?

 

JJ: My sessions with Shakespears Sisters were great fun came about purely through association.

Since i was touring with Dave and at one point going to be produced by Dave, it was proposed that I did their session and it was great. I loved what they did.

 

 

UE: With the advent of MySpace and other social media avenues, do you feel there is now a better platform for people to access your music, compared to say 15 years ago?

 

JJ: I think that it is an enormous vehicle and quite useful. Great things have happened thanks to MySpace. Just the fact that it puts you in contact with long lost friends is extremely positive . I think it is fantastic to have so much new music at your fingertips.

UE: What are your musical influences?

 

JJ: I love music. I can listen to callas, Celine, Beyoncé, Annie, Aretha, Barbara, Kanye West, Luther Vandro

ss, Harry Connick Jr. Ella and many within the same hour. I love it all. Right now i have more of a tendency to listen to loads of classical music when i am home alone.

 

UE: What are your views on the state of the current music industry, how much do you think live music has moved on ?

 

JJ: I am old school. I like music that takes me back to how I felt when I was young. I love Alicia Keyes for that because her music is so greatly influenced by the old sounds and harmonies of the 70’s when I was a young girl.

 

I do a lot of work in France and I find that the tendency in the studios is getting back to real music…less sampling and more real instruments. I love live shows when it is live. Here in France live is mostly playback.

 

UE: Your work isn’t always that accessible of which we have spoken about before, is that due to the current music climate in France?

 

JJ: Let us just say that the companies here are in a world of their own. They really need to be headed by Americans or Englishmen.

 

UE: So finally Joniece what have you been doing with yourself over the years, we know you’ve had a number of solo albums and you still perform live?

 

JJ: God! Where do I begin.. I have recorded a few albums which had media success but not so much in sales. I have had a few single hits with a French singer. I do a lot of movie music here in France and commercials and lots of gospel concerts. I have continued to perform with loads of people. And I have two sons 14 and 17 that keep me going and very busy. Life has been good. I am very happy and blessed.

 

 

 

UE: What does the future hold for Joniece Jamison? Are there any new projects with the gospel or dance/house music?

 

JJ: I tour a lot with many different gospel groups and am always working on new projects.

 

UE: We read somewhere that you were involved in some acting a few years ago, tell us more?

 

JJ: I did a few musicals and some TV movie work. In fact I’ve also done a lot of music for movies as well.

 

UE: It has been a pleasure talking with you Joniece, and a huge thank you from us at Ultimate Eurythmics for taking part in our Revenge 25 Celebrations.

 

JJ: That was great, hope it was OK, and you are welcome. Big Kiss.

 

 

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