Jamie Scott grew up enthralled with soul and folk music, thanks to his father’s love for Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and Marvin Gaye, and his mother’s predilection toward James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell. Upon hearing Mitchell’s Blue at the age of seven, Scott picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. “At school, friends would be talking about bands like Bon Jovi and I didn’t have a clue who they were talking about as I didn’t start to listen to pop radio till I was 15,” Scott says. He began writing songs, and, by 17, had left school to focus on a career as a musician. After signing with Polydor in 2006, Scott released his solo debut album, Park Bench Theories, under the name Jamie Scott and the Town. Scott was considering working with new collaborators as a way to repackage the album when an A&R executive at Polydor suggested he meet TommyD, a songwriter and producer who worked with Michael Jackson, Björk, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adele, Beyoncé, Fun, and Noel Gallagher, among others. A multi-instrumentalist, TommyD grew up listening to psychedelic rock, punk, and blues music before falling in love with hip-hop at age 17. “Public Enemy, Run-DMC, LL Cool J — it was that era,” he says. “I used to fly to New York City just to buy records and sneakers.” TommyD played guitar, keyboards, drums, and sang in a number of bands around South London, worked as a tape op in a commercial studio, and sold musical and studio equipment before he began DJ’ing at a local club at age 18. Over the next 13 years, TommyD made a name for himself as a DJ. He was a resident at Ministry of Sound and a regular at Cream and Back to Basics in the U.K., as well as Danceteria, Twilo, and DV8 in the U.S. Influenced by the sound of New York’s Paradise Garage and the rise of House music, Danvers formed a production duo with musician/DJ Jeremy Healy under the name Ezee Posse. Around that time, Danvers was asked to produce a track by an unsigned band called Right Said Fred. The song, “I’m Too Sexy,” debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and hit the Top 10 in nine countries.
Although it propelled his remix career, TommyD was more interested in writing, which led to his penning several songs for KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Janet Jackson, and Kylie Minogue. “Jamie came along soon after that,” “Tommy and I hit it off straight away,” Scott says. “I brought in an idea I had for a folk thing I was doing and he said, ‘Let’s go for it,’ so we wrote it on acoustic guitar.” The track was “Stare Into The Sun.” Scott left to go on holiday for two weeks and received an email from Danvers when he returned saying he’d done a bit of work on the track and what did Jamie think? “When I first heard it, I was like, ‘What the f**k has he done to my song?’” Scott says with a laugh. “I was literally fuming. I had been expecting it to sound like my solo album. But then after listening to it a few times, I thought, ‘That’s not going on Park Bench Theories, but I love it.’” “Jamie had been playing this sort of melancholy guitar music, and I just said, ‘Look, you’ve got to let rip on this, mate,’” Danvers says. “We both love a lot of the same music, so I think I awakened the Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye in him. He has a truly unique voice. It doesn’t sound like anyone else and that’s what I love about it.” Rather than repackage Scott’s solo album and have Danvers produce it, the two decided to start writing original material together. “I didn’t want it to be a producer producing a solo artist,” Scott says. “It was a collaboration. The sound was just too strong to be anything else.” “Basically we just thought, ‘This is really good, there’s something happening here between us,’” Danvers says. “A musical relationship is very much like a personal relationship in the sense that you’ve got to just see where the road takes you, so we put our heads down, shut the doors, and kept working.” Over the next year and a half, the songs began to pour out. “It opened a door to a whole new way I could start thinking about some of the songs, with all these big harmonies,” Scott says. Indeed every song on Colours can be stripped down and performed on acoustic guitars and sound just as exciting thanks to Scott’s soaring vocals and three-part harmony arrangements. Check YouTube for Graffiti6’s stellar versions of “Annie You Save Me,” “Stone In My Heart,” “Calm The Storm,” and “Lay Me Down,” as well as covers of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got A Feeling.” Graffiti6’s live shows have also earned them a growing devoted fanbase around the world.