Published on November 28th, 2017 | by Jae Monique0
Jamie Sparks on his single “Wake Up Call”
Singer/Songwriter/Producer Jamie Sparks has music that has been heard on Fox Network shows such as “24”, “Cuts” on UPN, “Wildcard”, “Da Kink In My Hair” on Global and “The Life” on ESPN. He has shared the stage with music industry icons such as Akon, Rihanna, Shaggy, & 112. He also wrote music for the soundtrack to the new Spike Lee movie “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You.”
He is the recipient of many music awards including the Montreal’s Jazz Festival’s Award of Excellence, the Professional Publishers and Songwriter Award, two African Nova Scotian Music Awards, a Juno Nomination, as well as WBLK 93.7FM Unsigned Hype International Artist of the Year Nomination.
Along with his music, Jamie is also President of Operations for Kicksta Music Group/Kicksta Muzik Publishing which he operates alongside CEO Randy Powell. Kicksta is home to a small roster of talented artists, songwriters and producers from around the world. Kicksta also licenses its music to Film/TV productions, record labels, companies that provide music in stores, malls, and various other musical outlets.
Check out the interview with Jamie Sparks.
Tell me about your “Wake Up Call” single.
Jamie Sparks: I wrote this song for a few reasons. Wake Up Call was written in response to the violence that claimed the life of my son Josiah Sparks. I had always known about the “black on black” crime that happens in our neighborhoods. I grew up in that situation, but I moved away later in life for work, and it was not an everyday experience for me anymore. Once he was murdered, I began to see all of this darkness again very clearly. Not just the violence, but other problems of our society, poverty, greed, corruption, etc. It had never gone away, it was just hidden from me…or more accurately, I was ignoring it.
The 2nd reason I released this song was in his memory. So often these young dudes kill another young dude with no respect for life. I wanted to show how such a killing affects so much more than just one person. So we decided to add the gravesite shot with members of my family. We’ve all been in such terrible pain since we heard the news.
The 3rd reason is because he wanted me to! Well, he obviously didn’t know I’d be writing this song, but we would talk about how he was trying to find his place in this world. He pointed out that I knew what I was supposed to be doing – music. And I wasn’t doing it. I hadn’t had a release in years, so this was a wakeup call for me to release new music.
Who are your musical influences?
Sparks: Old school fellas like Teddy Riley, R. Kelly, Dr. Dre, James Brown and D’Angelo to name a few.
When did music start for you?
Sparks: In church. My father was a deacon at the Cherry Brook United Baptist Church. So, staying at home on Sundays was not an option. My brothers were musicians also and played in the choirs, so it was natural for me to join in. We also had a family choir headed by my mother Evelyn Sparks. Boys played the instruments and the girls sang. I have 7 siblings.
Has singing always been your dream?
Sparks: No. Being a singer was never my dream. First, I wanted to be an electrical engineer. I couldn’t figure out how to make that work, so then I wanted to just be a bass player. That’s my main instrument. I always loved playing bass. I did that for a while, but decided on producing & writing music, which I also love. I used to just make instrumentals, but people would always ask “when do the lyrics start”. So, I started singing only to bring attention to the music. People liked the music, but they were more interested in the singing. So, I kept singing.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in your music career?
Sparks: I don’t know. I honestly thought my days of making albums was over years ago. I hadn’t written more than two or three songs in the last few years. Since the funeral in September until November, I think I wrote 10. So, I will be releasing a new album in January. That’s as far as I can predict right now.
What are your plans for next year?
Sparks: Just to get the album done and out and wait to see what plans God has in store for me!
Wake Up Call: https://youtu.be/UxrO1m6orro
Kicksta presents R&B Vol.1 Hear Kicksta Presents R&B Fire Vol.1 https://soundcloud.com/kickstamuzikpublishing/sets/kicksta-presents-r-b-fire-vol, a playlist on #SoundCloud.