JMES, artist moniker of Dallas based 21-year-old alt-pop artist Caroline Baker has just released her new single 'Porcelain'.
The raw vulnerability heard in her lyrics and voice is impossible to ignore as she sings about her experiences maneuvering through life. Writing each song in the glow of string lights hung from her bedroom wall, JMES soulfully tells the story of her life and others around her.
Having performed at venus such as Opening Bell Coffee, The Houston Rodeo and KMID TV in Midland, Texas, JMES began classical piano at a young age and later learned guitar at Interlochen Arts Academy where she graduated as a Songwriting Major.
We had a chat with her on the release and more as part of our Get to Know series...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"JMES is the solo project of Caroline Baker, who is myself. I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I am 21 years young. I grew up in a musical family which started my love for music. With the influence of Madonna, Rupert Holmes, The Doors, Michael Jackson, Carole King, etc. it was hard not to fall in love with it. I started writing at age 7 and continued. To speak to who I am as a person: I love traveling and seeing/doing new things. I didn't have the opportunity to travel much when I was young so I am doing as much of it as I can as I’ve gotten older. I had plans to go to London as my first out of country trip but with the pandemic I was unable to go so I am hoping that I will in the near future! I also collect mugs. I have drank coffee every morning since 6th grade and so I started collecting mugs because it just brings some joy every morning getting to use a colourful mug that I just love and connect with."
Where are you from and do you feel your surroundings have influenced your music in any way?
"I am from Dallas, TX. I believe that it’s influenced me because I have had the opportunity my whole life to meet and connect with people of all different backgrounds and livelihoods. I think growing up in/near a city allowed me more of that opportunity. Those connections and relationships have influenced not only my writing but my whole outlook on life."
When did you start making music?
"I started writing songs when I was 7. I took piano lessons off and on starting at age 5 up until I was 19. At the age of 13 I wrote a song that I consider to be the first song that could stand alone and had a structure. My piano teacher at the time helped me to create a piano part behind the song and later recorded it. That was my first experience hearing a song I wrote completely come to life and after that I just wanted to write more."
How would you sum up your sound in the form of a hashtag?
Who would be your dream artist to collab with?
"James Arthur! I fell in love with his self named album back in 2013. After that I have been such a fan. His voice is to die for but his writing and the way he creates imagery was something that has influenced my writing. I grew up listening to writers who did the same thing such as The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, etc. but he was the first one that I heard write similarly but in the pop industry."
What’s been your stand out moment so far?
"I genuinely feel like every next moment is a stand out one but I just got word a few days ago that I will be on Austin City Limits radio. I am very excited about it and would consider that to be my standout moment currently."
You’ve just released your new single ‘Porcelain’ Tell us a little about it!
"'Porcelain' is a story of love and caution. I wrote it while just out of a toxic relationship. The relationship itself had ended but he would text me every so often and it just made it so hard to move on. With the constant communication and still lingering feelings, I wrote 'Porcelain'. I was stuck in a loop and in something that I didn’t want. I wrote the song as if I was an outsider looking at my relationship and current state. I wanted to separate myself and really look at the full picture and what I would say about it if it wasn’t my relationship. The verses and beginning of the chorus highlight that toxicity. The chorus of the song though speaks to what I wanted versus what I had. I wanted a love that while delicate is worth protecting because it’s special and valuable, hence the title 'Porcelain'.
What is the story behind the lyrics?
"I dated a guy in highschool. He also is a musician and we really connected upon meeting with that common interest. It quickly became quite toxic but I really invested myself in him to the point of not minding my own happiness. I finally just felt like I was at a brick wall emotionally and knew I needed to do something about it so I wrote 'Porcelain' to try and just sort through my emotions and what I was putting myself through."
Do you have a favourite line from the track?
"“They pushed their love over the edge”. It’s quite simple but I think it’s a very delicate way to describe the self-caused damage done past the point of restoration."
Finally, what’s coming next for you in 2021?
"I am aiming to release an EP later this year! I am very excited about the project and I have a few more musical surprises before then."
'Porcelain' is out now
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