Jamie Kent & The Options

A fresh, young 23-year-old singer-songwriter with big dreams and an ever-expanding fanbase, local artist Jamie Kent’s future as a performer looks quite promising. Drawing on influences from modern artists like Jack Johnson and Jamie Cullum, as well as paying tribute to classic greats Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra, Kent’s perfectly mellifluous tunes are roll-the-windows-down, soak-up-some-sun kind of good.

Neoteny is Jamie Kent’s debut album and is a true reflection of his personality, song writing, talent, and aspirations. The album takes listeners on a journey through the depths of Kent’s mind, touching on experiences in his life that we all can relate to and introducing us to characters that have emerged through Kent’s playful nature and heartfelt imagination .

Beyond the music, Kent is a passionate environmentalist, playful cynic, and a carefully planned mischief maker. He loves comfortable clothing, high fives, cool hats, good beer, good people, and is terribly addicted to fantasy baseball. He has been writing music for about six years, and studying voice for about the same. He has proudly played in a Mariachi band, performed in an a capella group, and crooned for a sixteen-piece big band. He’s pretty sure that he is a better singer than guitarist. He is an only child. And last but not least, Kent possesses a legendary patch of hair on his back known as “The Man Patch.”   He occasionally discloses too much information about himself as well.

Reviews of Kent’s music have stated that he “possesses a great voice and a fearlessness to be admired as he drifts through glimpses of blues, jazz, and rock notes that suggest Steely Dan influences without being derivative.” He has been called a troubadour, entrepreneur, and vocal sensation. “With an authentic voice that often evokes the moaning grooveness of Chicago’s Bobby Lamm, he’s got tremendous range, a unique playfullness, and a certain fearlessness. But he’s got that other intangible, too; that thing makes you addicted to his live shows.” said another review.

Recently, Kent launched The Collective, a new model aiming to support himself as an independent musician. In essence, The Collective is a community of his most loyal fans, friends, and advisors who support his career from day one, and reap the greatest returns from its growth. “Partners” in The Collective provide financial support and creative consultation in return for free access to exclusive cuts of his music, live performances, the coolest merchandise, and a voice in the major decisions he must make throughout his career. Already The Collective has supported Kent in the early months of his career and has already voted on and determined the album art and album order of Neoteny.

How do you describe your music to people?
If Jack Johnson and Frank Sinatra had a love child, my music would likely be it.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Well I entered the world of music through theater actually. I was involved in a ton of musical productions throughout high school (West Side Story=so damn good), and I studied vocals on the side. It didn't take long for me to pick up the guitar, and from there, the songwriting really became my focus.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Start things. There's no feeling quite like creating something innovative that people want to be a part of.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Not being fully consumed by it 24 hours a day! Because I'm pursuing music full time, and do most of my work from home, it's usually hard to find the off switch. In fact, I often find myself sending out booking emails at 2am on a Thursday, and have to say to myself, "alright Jamie, time for a beer."

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist! I've always loved the water, and it's generally where I'm happiest. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be able to combine it with music.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Well I grew up in Northampton MA, which is an amazing little place. It has one of the best music scenes of any small town I've ever come across. Growing up, there wasn't much to do except go see live music, or maybe go to the movies. So for most of my life I spent all of my money on live music. Beyond that, the people within the community have been tremendously supportive of my career from day one. In fact, many are part of "The Collective" I started that raised close to $10,000 to get my music off the ground.

What other artists out there do you love?
Amos Lee, Martin Sexton, Jack Johnson, Tom Waits, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, Old Crow Medicine Show, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, etc...

What does your future hold?
Only the magic 8 ball knows the answer to that.