Jemima- London Turning Point For Career
Jemima is a new face on the Newcastle music scene, but she is quickly making a name for herself. Fresh from releasing her debut single, Jemima speaks to Creative Collections about life as a musician and spending time in the UK.
It might be unusual to find a 10 year-old kid nowadays who will willingly listen to Elvis, but 13 years ago Jemima Webber was obsessed. She says that growing up around music really inspired her to become a musician. “I was interested in most genres as a kid- rock n roll, country, pop and folk to name a few".
Now as a 23 year-old, Jemima’s musical influences come from all different genres in the same way they did when she was a child. “I think it’s important to like a bit of everything. My favourite artists are The Beatles, Lana Del Rey, Corey Kilgannon and the list goes on,” she says. Jemima’s writing style is particularly influenced by Emmylou Harris, Maisie Peters, Taylor Swift and Joni Mitchell. It’s no surprise, then, that Jemima has chosen to head down the road of acoustic pop music, with elements of folk and a large focus on storytelling.
For Jemima, it was a passion for song writing that sparked her passion, even though she couldn’t play an instrument at the time. The first song Jemima recalls writing at the age of seven was named My Hero which was about her dog. “There was no instrumental accompaniment and it started off with ‘Hello, my name is Jemima’. So , you know, it was pretty serious stuff!”
At the age of 14, she began to learn guitar. “My drive came out of a desire to write songs; not necessarily because I was so fascinated by the instrument, but because I wanted to tell stories,” she says. She learned the most basic of chords which would be enough for her to put words to. Quickly, those few chords became a little boring to play so she began to expand her ability. The first song she ever wrote after learning guitar made her fall in love with the artform.
“My songs are very autobiographical,” she says. While she mostly writes about her own life, she will at times write about those around her including friends, characters in books and things she might have read about. “I’m very drawn to emotion and details. I like telling stories that make people feel something”.
Jemima’s songwriting process is spontaneous. It might begin with a feeling or emotion that she wants to capture, a phrase she likes the sound of, or a situation she wants to make sense of. “I normally write the music and lyrics at the same time. Some people write lyrics first then add music and vice versa but I struggle to do that. It’s usually one big mess that kind of falls together after a while,” Jemima says.
She has recently learned the piano and is currently learning the banjo and drums. “It’s cool to see how each instrument brings something different to the process of writing a song. I only learned piano in London but I definitely prefer writing on that, even though I’ve played guitar much longer”.
Jemima Moves to London
When Jemima decided to move to London a few years ago, she hoped that it would create a musical journey for her. She was accepted into the British and Irish Modern Music Institute where she studied songwriting for the best part of two years. “Being surrounded by talent, passionate people- all of whom have something different and wonderful to offer- is inspiring in itself,” she says.
Jemima's time spent in London made her realise the direction she wanted her music to head toward and the style of music she wanted to play. She adds that it was probably the best decision she's ever made, career-wise.
He'll Never Be You
Since moving back from London, Jemima released her debut single He’ll Never Be You. It was recorded at Sawtooth studios with sound engineer Simon Clendinning and featured Fraser Marshall on the drums and Jack Smith on the electric guitar and bass.
“The song is about trying to move forward from someone who you know is wrong for you. Even when you have somebody new in your life, part of you can’t help but miss what you had,” she explains.
Writing the song was an interesting process for Jemima. It was the first time she had stitched together multiple songs to create something new. “I used a chord progression from one song and a melody line from another. There’s lyrics of a song from 2015 in there”.
The song had over 1,000 streams in its debut week which is more than Jemima could have hoped for. It peaked at number 4 on My Country Australia’s Top 15 chart and sits at number 11 currently. The track has also had regular airplay across the country.
Earlier in the year, not long after her return from London, Jemima had the opportunity to be one of the opening acts for Georgina Grimshaw’s Old Friend single launch. “It was so much fun. Georgina has such a bright spirit and a mesmerizing tone of voice.” The other support act of the night was Trinity Woodhouse whom Jemima says has amazing potential. “I was sitting in the front row when I wasn’t playing fangirling over both of them!”
So far, 2019 has been a big year for Jemima. Aside from moving back to Newcastle and releasing new music, she has been fortunate enough to play many gigs. “For the future, I’d like to focus on writing and recording for a bit. I’ll still play some gigs, but I’d like to release another track in the next few months, I just need to decide which one it will be!” She hopes that an EP will follow soon after.
To keep up-to-date with Jemima’s music, follow her on Facebook
He’ll Never Be You is available to stream and download now.