Interview | FFS 5 with Jamie Alimorad

They say to never meet your heroes, but Jamie Alimorad’s This is Tomorrow Calling is the result of having done just that. It was while touring for his previous album, Words Left Unsaid, that he crossed paths with Gino Vannelli and was chosen for the ‘I Just Wanna Stop’ singer’s Art of Voice Master Class. Five years, lots of elbow grease in the production room, and one big move from New York City to Los Angeles later, and Alimorad is basking in the release of an empowering, brilliantly composed slice of top-notch AC performances with his latest.

Through this last release cycle, Alimorad has achieved a bevy of firsts. He’s collaborated with Vannelli on-stage for the first time. He’s launched a national campaign for suicide awareness alongside the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He’s developed an album that feels truly timeless, at once reaching back into the musical era that Vannelli himself dominated alongside some smart contemporary moves to keep things fresh.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

My name is Jamie Alimorad, and I’m a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist originally from Harrison, NY, and now residing in Los Angeles, CA. I was born into a musical family, and some of my earliest memories are as a three year old singing “Tomorrow” from Annie at the top of my lungs. I started piano lessons at seven, musical theater my freshman year of high school, and have a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology from Northeastern University.

I would say there are three defining moments that have shaped who I am as an artist. I took a stroll down memory lane, and was watching my freshman year production of Little Shop of Horrors a few weeks ago. I owe a lot to that musical. Though I formed my first garage band in middle school, and we were playing school dances and town functions, I hadn’t really had to command an audience before until Little Shop. All my favorite frontmen are incredible performers. Playing Seymour Krelbourn, I had my first taste of not only being in character, but grasping an audience.

The second defining moment was my first show at the Whisky A Go-Go. That venue has hosted all of my idols, and it seemed like a dream to one day perform on that stage. A year out of college, and there I was, name in lights on the marquee. What made it so special was not just performing, but I was faced with a lot of adversity going into that performance, and had to scramble last minute to make necessary changes. The show went off better than I could have imagined, and it prepared me for how crazy the music business can be.

The third defining moment was when my all-time favorite singer, Gino Vannelli, asked to produce my album. We developed a teacher/student relationship, and working with him was the ultimate artistic experience. Those sessions were the best schooling I ever had in so many ways.

As an artist, how do you define success?

That’s an interesting question, and one that has evolved in recent time. In school I was brash and defined success as being at the top of the charts, and not being able to walk the street without being recognized. I realize now how naive that is. To me, success is satisfaction with your work, and the ability to have a sustainable career with longevity.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

My biggest frustration is that the people who control the industry are not musicians. They don’t understand anything but the bottom line. Gino has told me so many stories about his years with A&M Records, and how Herb Alpert created this artistic haven where it was a family. The quality of the music from that golden era is, what I believe, to be the pinnacle of great songwriting.

Today you have the inmates running the asylum. They’re not listening to the quality, they’re looking at the quantity of followers, likes, streams. I can eat a 4×4 at In-N-Out, that doesn’t mean it’s good for me.

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?

I read Steve Lukather’s memoir, The Gospel According To Luke, and he talked about a conversation with his father. His father told him there’s a one in a million chance to make it in this industry, and Luke said he’d be that one. That’s how I’ve always felt. I know I can achieve the chart success I aim for, and the sustainable career to go around the world, play to an audience, and make it a party.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

I’m very into history, and philosophy. I’m also an avid people watcher. You take that trinity and it helps create some very interesting stories. I’m a huge Red Sox fan, and have always found baseball to be living poetry. There’s beauty in everything, you just have to be open to it.