Miami Living Magazine

Alicia Silverstone

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Page 34 of 147

MIAMI LIVING 33 VITAL FACES Miami-based singer/songwriter Jamie Jo Harris is peddling all the crucial components necessary to becoming a sure-fire success in the music industry. Mentored by long-time family friend Bee Gees' Barry Gibb, Jamie Jo's sultry vocals, unbridled drive, and flowing lyrics – have her headed in the right direction. Her single, "U Turn Me On," (featuring Barry Gibb) from her debut album In Violet reached #2 on the dance charts, and if that's not enough, Jamie Jo recently became a Lifetime Member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Jamie Jo's life in music started early. With the guidance of next- door neighbor Barry Gibb, her first song "Superman" ended up in a Burdines commercial. After singing the freshly written song to her parents, they sent her to Barry's house to sing it to him. "I was giddy and laughing… Barry says, 'Ok, darling, sing your song.' I sang it and he's like, 'That's incredible! You have to start working in the studio with my producers,' and so that's what started from there," Jamie Jo recalled. Though she has the look, voice and moves to be the next pop star, Jamie Jo's debut performance at The Beverly Hills Hotel made her realize that she was more of a behind-the-scenes girl. "It was my first and last performance. It was amazing, but I get so nervous. It's not for me. You have to love it like Madonna loves it…," said Jamie Jo. Jamie Jo is currently working with Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriter, Rudy Perez, and is in the midst of signing various contracts with producers and artists. ML: Did you always think you'd be a singer? I did, I did! I always liked to sing. I'd sing "So Long, Farwell" from The Sound of Music. I grew up in that environment, so it seemed real to me. It wasn't something that was far away. ML: You prefer writing songs over performing them — how do you deliver the songs to the artists? It goes through phases before it's presented to the superstar. I send the demo to Rudy. He works on it, makes a demo and puts it into a beautiful package… It's really a tight-knit group of performers who would take the song. I recently worked on a few songs with record producer, Bobby Robinson, who produced songs for J. Lo and Lindsay Lohan. You never know who's going to wind up singing those. ML: Are you going to record anything else? We'll see what happens. Right now, I just can't wait to see the first person sing one of the songs I've worked on. If a song comes along that I like, then I'll sing it. ML: What is the best part about working in the music industry? I like being creative, but I don't think being creative is enough if you don't like the people who surround you. I love music. I think a lot of people have the rock star fantasy. Fortunately, I'm trying to live mine out. ML: When writing songs, which artists do you have in mind to sing them? I write for the artists that are going to be played on the radio like Lady Gaga, Katy Pery, Madonna, Beyoncé… I write a lot of rap songs, that I don't sing to anyone. I actually wrote a song with P. Diddy in mind. ML: Who is the ultimate artist you'd like to write for? Madonna! Madonna is very contemporary and has a lot of atmospheric sound in her songs —and I'm an atmospheric writer. ML: What are you doing when you're not focusing on music? I'm totally relaxing at the beach. I'm a beach girl. I love the water, and I love to swim. ML: You're also involved in charity work… Yes, I am a chairperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the largest charity event in Miami. We have a great group of girls. A lot of people come to the event, especially young people now. ML: And, you have a signature jewelry line that you're about to launch named, Belle Coeur. I'm a co-designer with Rosalina Lydster, who designs custom pieces for celebrities like Elton John. Part of the proceeds goes to charity. It's precious and semi-precious. The line is music-inspired and kind of utility too. For example, there is a guitar pick that will be made for certain guitarists to play with and wear as a necklace. (Fine retailers to be announced.) ML: Where do you see all this going? I hope to help lots of children with my jewelry sales and to have beautiful, famous divas sing my songs. ML Star on the Rise JAMIE JO HARRIS Words by Vanessa Pascale

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