Don't let the polka dots, bright red lipstick, and affinity for little puppies fool you.
Jayme Dee's music is as sassy as it is sunny. Whether it's a witty remark or an irresistible hook, the Southern California singer and songwriter has more than a few surprises up her sleeve on her debut for Universal Republic Records. You'll enjoy them though. We promise…
Music has always surrounded Jayme. Growing up in Redondo Beach, her mom worked as a professional vocal coach and violin teacher, while her father was a pastor at a local church. Not only did she have the chance to perform every Sunday in front of a crowd, she also gained classical training on piano—all by middle school mind you. Simultaneously, she fell under the spell of Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, and Lilly Allen. However, this story really starts during her freshmen year of high school when she made a crucial discovery while rummaging around the family's garage.
"I found a guitar, and I started dabbling," she recalls. "I never looked back. That's when I started writing songs and making music. The guitar became my best friend."
With her best friend in hand and webcam turned on, she recorded acoustic covers of popular songs by Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. After uploading them to YouTube, she began to amass some serious numbers. Jayme separated herself from the digital pack by posting original tracks too. To date, her channel has almost 13 million views and 100k subscribers. While she was buzzing online, she enrolled in school at USC for vocal performance.
"I decided it wasn't for me because I wanted to be immersed in the music industry and not reading books about it," she goes on. "I kept writing music though."
Within two months of leaving USC, her original track "Love Whiplash" caught the attention of Universal Republic Records. She showcased for the label and was signed shortly after in early 2011. About the song, she laughs, "I was driving to church, and I wrote the chorus. I actually recorded it with the janky voice memo recorder on my iPhone. I was pissed at a guy. I thought, 'You suck! I'm going to write a song about you.' All of my ideas come to me when I'm driving in the car. I'm going to crash one day trying to press record."
Luckily, she's recording in big studios now. Nevertheless, "Love Whiplash" is emblematic of her spunky and smart approach to pop. She's got a soulful croon that echoes over piano and acoustic guitar, echoing with energetic theatricality. However, she can also belt out vulnerable folk, as evinced by the elegantly ethereal "Rules", her contribution to the chart-dominating soundtrack, The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond.
With a national tour alongside Owl City and her debut for the label on the horizon, Jayme Dee is ready for anything. "This is me," she concludes. "My music is definitely autobiographical. I write about things a 20-year-old girl will go through. I hope it's empowering, and I hope it's upbeat. At the same time, I hope people have fun when they listen to it. Is that too corny or too much to ask?"