Whitton
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Whitton

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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WHITTON Rare Bird whittonmusic.com Much in the same way Amy Winehouse played on ’60s soul and girl-group sounds, Jaime Whitton draws on ’40s jazz, positioning herself as a kind of Billie Holiday—minus the tragic undertones of either Winehouse or Holiday—for modern pop audiences. Whitton keeps her retro references subtle, using just enough tinkling piano, warbled phrasing and quacking brass to glance backward without risking whiplash. The style is inherently playful, making the gin-joint romp "B Sting" far and away the disc's brightest moments. But the Reno native is also handy with a ballad as she proves on the ace closer, "Better Days," a hopeful look to a better future that echoes the best of the past.
- Indie Scene


ASCAP Members Ian Coyne and Joe Solo on Developing Whitton

March 2. 2012 00:01
By Ian Coyne and Joe Solo

Pictured (l-r): Ian Coyne, Whitton and Joe Solo in the studio

"Artist development" is usually a phrase that you only hear in the context of rants against the record industry, as in "Label X isn't willing to put any time or effort into artist development!" Fact is, the concept is vital to the careers of any artist, signed or not. Behind most successful recording artists are the producers, co-writers, managers, publicists and even family members that provide the inspiration and feedback that helps hone an artist's personal style. As a case study, we talked to ASCAP writer/producers Ian Coyne and Joe Solo about developing Whitton, a singer/songwriter with a unique sound that they played a large part in realizing.
-Etan Rosenbloom, Associate Director & Deputy Editor, Communications & Media

********

Ian Coyne: In early 2009, I was heading out to support an artist friend in Pasadena and the thought occurred to me that I might go early. I never go anywhere early. So perplexed as I was by this impulse, I went. It turned out to be an auspicious evening, since it was the first time I met the singer/songwriter Whitton.

As a producer, I knew immediately that this was an artist I could work with. Whitton was the whole package - young, talented, with a unique voice. She was not just beautiful, but memorable. A mutual friend and co-writer, eLi, made the introduction and Whitton and I sat down less than a week later to discuss working together. With an immediate and recognizable musical chemistry we began a path that would come to full fruition 18 months, one EP, a CD and a 12-piece band later - and would bring with it multiple film placements, a publisher agreement, a publicist, and a showcase for Atlantic Records which got us a publishing offer from the VP.

But back to the beginning. In addition to producing, I also am a songwriter. I have input on all levels (melody, arrangement, song selection, etc.) so working with a new artist who also writes can sometimes be a bit tricky. I feel it's my job as producer and co-writer to figure out how to create a sound that's commercial without losing what makes them unique - to influence without overpowering their sound. Whitton's vocal sound is very sultry, and her melodic style is a mix somewhere between Norah Jones, Billie Holiday and Feist. So the task was to meld those influences into something that was accessible to all types of listeners, while staying true to that special Whitton flavor. This project became a great example of how a producer must ride the line between artistry and commercialism.

In our case, the artistic process was one of marinating slowly over time. Our unique sound didn't actually come together until our second song. Our first song, "Apple Tree," which was written for the film The 5th Quarter, had more of an Americana vibe.

It was at this point it became clear we had successfully navigated the awkward "dating stage" and were in a full creative partnership. Our sound was a 1940's influenced pop, and we wanted to now bring in someone to consult/collaborate with and provide another point of view and a modern spin.

A fellow songwriter suggested that I meet producer/songwriter Joe Solo to do just that. I emailed Joe and he called me back to discuss the project - Joe you take it from here...



Joe Solo: After talking to Ian about Whitton's voice, I was intrigued to learn more. He came to my studio and played me what they had done up to that point, and asked me if I would be willing to get involved. So the next week Ian and Whitton and I began writing a few new songs and discussing what we might do to bring the quasi-1940's vibe into this millennium without watering down the authenticity of what they had accomplished so far. I felt they simply needed to add a bit of a hip-hoppy feel in the drums and capitalize on the hooks they developed by bringing them to the forefront of their mixes a bit more. Also, we wrote a handful of new songs together and I contributed a bridge section to the title track of the album, "Proud Bird." Back to you Ian!

Ian Coyne: It's worth mentioning that as a producer, one is called upon to wear many hats over the course of a project: producer, engineer, psychologist, chauffeur, friend, songwriter, confidant, parent and studio musician. From programming all the natural drum sounds to writing and playing the guitar, bass and mandolin parts, I was able to use many of my abilities to their fullest. In some cases, inviting a guest musician made sense. As a result, we had the pleasure of a horn part from Larry Gittens aka T-Voyce (Stevie Wonder/Kool and the Gang), a writing collaboration with Peter Fox (Rachael Yamagata), Peter Malick (Norah Jones) and again, Joe Solo (Macy Gray). Joe brought an extra commercial sound to the mix and also became a collaborator in one of my current projects focused on music placement. I have been lucky enough to have some amazing musicians around me during my career, from working for Diane Warren when I was 21, to getting to work on tracks with Gerald Albright, Danny Sembello and Stewart Zender (Jamiroquai) while he was on tour in Los Angeles. So it was a pleasure to work with such a high caliber of musicians on this project, too.

Somewhere mid-recording process we started to work on the live show. This provided another opportunity to expand the creative vision, taking the project from the studio and realizing the complex musical structures on stage. Incidentally, I was the musical director and guitar player for this. After a couple of shows at Hotel Café and an exciting showcase for Atlantic Records with a full 12-piece band, I felt the project was self-sustaining and I could return my focus back to production.

The project has been an outstanding experience. We have an excellent publicist on board and the song "B Sting" just won the Searchlight Songwriting Competition. Whitton is a very talented and unique voice and we're looking forward to the project's continued success.

********

Ian Coyne is composing film and TV music with Joe Solo, and writing jingles with ASCAP writer/producer Robb Vallier (Gin Blossoms) and Miranda Frigon for placement in multiple media. Additionally, Ian continues to work with other successful artists & producers. Fin out more at www.IanLounge.com.

Joe Solo is currently focusing on his Music Success Workshop, where he gives both one-on-one career mentoring and travels across the nation giving weekend workshops on how to be successful in music. Find out more at www.joesolo.com.

Whitton is currently preparing for a live tour, meeting with potential managers and label A&R reps. Find out more at www.whittonmusic.com. - ASCAP - Joe Solo and Ian Coyne


Singer-songwriter develops as musician
By SARA CLAYTON · Daily Trojan
Posted February 29, 2012 (3 weeks ago) at 9:22 pm in Featured, Lifestyle, Music

(Votes: 1; Avg: 5.00)
Music was something that Jamie Whitton, the petite, doe-eyed singer-songwriter, knew from a young age would become more than just a hobby.

“As the youngest of six children, I always heard the sound of my siblings and their musical endeavors. My family was really like [the Von Trapp family in] The Sound of Music,” she said.


Moving up · Between failed record deals and underdeveloped music, Whitton had a difficult rise to fame. But now the artist has made her mark with her vintage style in the music world and on television shows. - Photo courtesy of Whitton PR
By the age of six, Whitton was performing and honing her musical finesse as part of the Sunshine Generation, an all-girl song and dance company.

“We would dazzle everyone who saw us,” Whitton said with a chuckle.

Whitton participated in as many theater and dance-related activities as her school offered, and though she enjoyed every second of it, she began to realize that there was something missing.

She still wanted to perform, but instead of singing songs that others had written, Whitton wanted to sing songs that embodied her voice, her melodies and her lyrics — as well as her influences.

“I am a singer-songwriter,” Whitton said. “The ’40s, with its vintage sound from the Big Band era, has really influenced me. You can’t forget about the legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.”

Whitton has a sound that allowed her to stand out from other artists. Her success, however, was due in part to being at the right place at the right time.

Unfortunately, Nevada — not exactly the best place to launch a music career — did not quite fulfill that “right place” requirement. So it wasn’t until her family packed up and moved from Reno to Los Angeles that Whitton was truly able to pursue her dreams.

“California was definitely new and exciting to me. I didn’t know what to expect,” Whitton said.

But before she could start headlining concerts and attracting a dedicated fan base, Whitton had to get her name out there. She was, after all, only one singer in a city bustling with actors and musicians, all waiting for their moment in the limelight.

Though Whitton was approached with record offers as soon as she started performing around Los Angeles, something still didn’t feel right to her.

“At that point in my life, I was not ready. I kept thinking, ‘How come I can’t find the right deal,’” she said. “Yet everything happens for a reason: My music wasn’t ready. It wasn’t perfected. It wasn’t polished. Record deals fell through and I became very disappointed.”

Though Whitton made some initial mistakes, momentum began to pick up and her hopes grew as soon as she put together her five-song EP Whitton, which opened many doors of opportunity.

“As my journey [has] continued, I have been able to collaborate with people who are well-known in the industry, and have learned so much,” Whitton said.

Such people include Peter Fox — who has worked with Rachael Yamagata — and Joe Solo (Macy Gray), who co-wrote tracks on Whitton’s new album Rare Bird.

Her music has also been featured in shows such as Dexter and Gossip Girl and films like All I Want To Do starring Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff.

And without missing a beat, Whitton has begun a successful tour. She is currently making her way around California, Oregon and Washington in support of the release of Rare Bird.

“I love the freedom of being on tour. I love going to new places, especially playing to an audience that has never seen me before or doesn’t know me. It’s a really cool and fun thing to meet new people,” Whitton said.

Depending on the size of the venue, Whitton either plays and sings with a 10-piece ensemble or a smaller trio consisting of herself on vocals and guitar, a multi-instrumentalist who does brass and woodwind instruments and a drummer.

With such lively presentation, Whitton finds that the shows on her tour attract more emotionally and musically focused crowds.

“Live audiences are attentive. It’s the best when people in these audiences are intimate and pensive — I love when they come talk to me after the show,” she said.

It’s understandably tiring to constantly tour and sing with barely enough time to catch a breath between shows, but Whitton finds ways to stay motivated despite her hectic schedule.

“After my last show, I began to think about why I love music,” she said. “I realized when you see people in the audience and see them singing your lyrics and coming up to you after the show, telling you how your songs have touched them … that’s the biggest high I could ever ask for.”

Whitton will appear on GVB Radio in Hollywood on March 5 and perform at the Villain’s Tavern in Downtown Los Angeles on March 7. - SARA CLAYTON


Whitton Wants You to "Turn Off The Light"

Whitton’s sweet-sassy single, “Turn Off The Light”, showcases the doe-eyed songstress as a 1940s housewife begging her aloof, lazy husband for some sexy time. The single is from her new album, “Rare Bird”, which honors the mid-20th century Americana sound. Whitton is currently touring about the Westcoast to promote the release. See her live at Villain’s Tavern, every Tuesday beginning November 1st. - Nicole Dawley



Published on October 14, 2011
- Nicole Dawley


Whitton: Vintage-Inspired Songstress on the Rise to Stardom
BRITTANY REDDEN OCTOBER 31, 2011 0
Singer-songwriter Whitton takes vintage to a whole new level with her timeless voice and sense of style. The Nevada-born crooner sat down with Cliché and told us all about her childhood, road to fame and what’s to come in her life as a budding artist. Check out Whitton’s newest album “Rare Bird” on herwebsite or Facebook page now!

Photo by Jeff Fasano
Cliché: Tell me about yourself, where did you grow up, where are you living now?
Whitton: Well, I grew up in Reno and I went to catholic school. I started dazzling Reno folks at the age of 6 in a theater show called “Sunshine Generation” where I would sing in all the old age homes. Now I’ve finished my new album “Rare Bird” which I’ve been in the studio for two years making, so I’m just getting my touring boots on and getting ready to go out and tour the US this coming spring. I typically like to tour with only about a four piece because you know how much money that is to have such a big band on the road, but I have a CD release on the 22nd in Reno with my full 10-piece band.
C: What was it like growing up in Reno?
W: As you can tell my stage name is Whitton, but my first name legally is Jaime. My parents decided to have 6 kids because of the movie sound of music. My mother cut her hair like Julie Andrews, she made all of our clothes out of curtains, and she sings and plays the ukulele. My dad is an actor in Hollywood, James Lawrence Whitton, so they decided to raise us there and now we all have our own musical endeavors.
C: Did you always know this is what you wanted to do?
W: I graduated high school when I was 17 and then had a record deal in Malaysia with my first band called “Jaime and the Blue Suits,” which was a big 10-piece band. We played jazzy techno-blues music, a very interesting, very European sound. So, that actually fell apart and from there I joined a reggae band for a couple of months. At the end of my 17th year I moved with my sister, Stacey Whitton-Summers, to Myrtle Beach, SC where we recorded my second album, but our first album together. She’s actually a Marilyn Monroe, Shania Twain and Gretchen Wilson impersonator. I was so fortunate to get to travel with her because she goes all over the world. We would just go play music on the side. It was really a fun experience. However, as far as this album I’m just releasing, I saved all my pennies that I made over the last few years installing voice and data cables for computer connection, building microwaves and radios for corporate buildings and then bartending on weekends. So I really saved all my money to get the top players, the top recordings, the top engineers and even down to the illustration, so I’m very, very proud of this new record.
C: Can you define for us your current musical style and what influences how you developed that?
W: I’ll tell you how this endeavor got started. I play guitar, and anytime you play guitar and you’re just a vocalist you have acoustic music or folk music or Americano or what not its all in the same family. So I was playing guitar at an open mic in Pasadena and there were four people in the audience and my current producer with this album, Ian Coyne, was one of them. I had just been hired for a 1940s review show on a cruise line and I was getting ready to leave and he wanted to write a song together. I decided to go in and we wrote a song together and it was immediately placed in a film called The Fifth Quarter with Andie Macdowel and Aiden Quinn. So then I thought, “How can I leave now? I can’t leave!” So we just ended up writing a handful of songs. He produced a couple of my acoustic songs. I’ve also had the liberty of writing with a couple of great writers on the album in Joe Solo, who’s written for Macy Gray and Fergie, and Peter Fox who’s written for Rachel Yamagata, so its been quite the experience. As far as my music, you take my natural acoustic sound and intertwine it with a little big band, singer-songwriter stuff and that’s what the sound came out to be on this album.
C: What about your lyrics?
W: They’re all very, very personal. I was the last of 6 kids so I have just a natural ability to observe, so I’m always observing strangers, people, family, and friends. So I do write about other people, but they all come from a very personal place.
C: Was the 40s big band idea something you’ve always been attracted to?
W: Well when I met Ian, I had a few side projects coming up where I would sing big band songs and jazz songs and blues songs, so yes. But I’ve always loved the style of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. I used to sing them in my room in front of the mirror, so I’ve always had a love for that type of music. But Iam a singer-songwriter and that’s where my roots are. My acoustic music is a little more vulnerable and melancholy sounding. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jeff Buckley, but that’s kind of where I stem from. Ian really dissected my vocal ability and saw a little bit of vintage in it, so we built the instrumentation that was appropriate around the songs. When I met him he had never done big band or jazz music either. It’s just naturally what was developed.
C: How would you describe your fashion sense?
W: I’ve always had a love for vintage type clothing, like flowers in the hair. Actually, my sister Stacey makes these amazing flower pins that you can pin anywhere. They’re actually part of my merch called “Whitton de Fleur.” I them in my hair and they are a very vintage cloth with a little sparkle to them. Anything vintage and off-collar I am attracted to.
C: You said it took you two years to put together this album. What was that process like?
W: It took a long time, but all good things take a long time. We really crafted the songs and focused on making them the best they could be by getting the best players, building relationships and networking. That all takes time. It was definitely a process. But I’m seeking a manager right now. I have a marketing team, a publicist and a good group of people, but there’s always a time and place when you’re ready and now I’m ready to find management! I’m planning to tour all text year through the US and parts of Europe. The tour is not booked all the way but that is my intention. So in the next couple of months it just depends on who I meet, but it’s all beginning to roll and I’m very excited. I have a handful of shows coming up in the next couple of months and I have two residencies that I’m going through until the end of the year. Now I’m just getting people to my shows and by next spring definitely doing a lot of shows outside of California
C: Is there someone you dream of doing a collaboration with in the future
W: Absolutely! I would love more than anything to write and sing with a handful of artists: Rufus Wainwright, Amos Lee, Colin Hay, Ray Lamantaign. And Thom York would be absolutely… well my life could end that day!
C: So you’re big fans of those guys! Who is somebody that really inspires your music?
W: I had a friend named Shane Gooding and he was probably one of the most amazing and gifted musicians and songwriters that has ever lived. I was very close with him and he passed away of cancer three years ago at 25. He really was a huge person in my life that I walked with and just adored.
C: Who would you say your role model is?
W: I’m very, very fortunate to have such a brilliant family. All my siblings are very unique in their own way and have such a gift specifically and I admire all of them. They’ve all taught me so much.
C: Have you ever felt pressure to fit in growing up, in high school or even now?
W: Well, I was a complete loner! [laughs] I was kind of in my own world, I didn’t have a specific group of friends. I had one friend here, one friend there, I was friends with everyone! But I always had older friends that were out of school. I looked up to different mentors in music or in health and yoga, and I really look up to my family so I spend a lot of time with them.
C: Did you ever go through a rebellious stage when you were growing up?
W: Sure! I made tie-dye clothes and traveled to all the festivals around California and Nevada selling hemp necklaces and tie-dye clothes. That definitely has a package of being a little bit of a rebel. I did date a guy in high school that drove a Harley. He used to show up at my high school with a rose in his mouth and pick me up! He was only about five years older, but it was still the fact that some guy on a Harley was picking me up. He used to drop me off at the end of my street so my parents wouldn’t see.
C: Have you ever had your heart broken?
W: Oh yeah, of course!
C: What kind of advice would you give someone to get through something like that?
W: I really think real heartbreak never goes away. It sits with you and you either accept it or you don’t and that’s how you survive in your life; just accepting a lot and trying to do the best that you can to deal with it. I don’t really have the best advice for that sort of thing!
C: What would we be surprised to know about you?
W: I’m a really good cook!
C: What kind of things do you like to cook?
W: I’m a nutrition freak, so I do try to mix different vegetables and fruits and all sorts of fun green things in juices. I make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fresh berries and nuts. I just kind of put things together! My mom had to piece things together in the fridge if we didn’t have a ton of food, so I’ve just learned to do that and make masterpieces out of almost nothing.
C: What do you like to do in your down time?
W: I toured up to Seattle and I have a friend up there whose dad said to me, “What do you like to do when you’re not working?” I thought about it and I realized, wow, even on vacation I’m always working! Sometimes that can be overwhelming, so even on vacation I love doing yoga. Another really therapeutic thing for me is gardening; I love to garden. It goes with my cooking. I’m actually working on a cookbook for my merchandise. I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what’s different, what unique merchandise can I come up with. I love to support local artists and I’ve been looking into getting a person who makes mugs by molding them and making them look really cool and authentic. I already make these matchboxes with my face on it for your fridge and my sister’s flowers. I try to be as creative as possible. But a cookbook is definitely on my agenda.
C: From here what does your future look like?
W: This coming year while I’m touring (probably the beginning of spring or summer) I’ll be working on my next album. I have 40 songs under my belt that I’m finessing and now I’m working with a new producer named John Avila, who is the bassist of Oingo Boingo. I’m so excited about working with the top guys in the studio and I hope for a release next fall or next winter after the promoting “Rare Bird”
C: You seem like a very down to earth person. Is there a motto you try to live your life by?
W: I was raised catholic, but I don’t necessarily think I’m a religious person. I’m more of a spiritual person. I connect with nature and just try to get to a place where I can mediate and just think about the good things in my life and look at other peoples’ life and be thankful every day for what I do have.
- BRITTANY REDDEN


The Hills Are Alive
by Nathan Orme

Courtesy Photo/Michael Whitton - Whitton, a Reno native who describes her singing as Regina Spektor meets Billie Holiday meets Norah Jones, performs Saturday at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks to promote her latest album.
SPARKS — A young woman with platinum blond hair, a beautiful singing voice and six siblings in a musical family should be using the last name Von Trapp, not Whitton.

It was from parents who lived according to “The Sound of Music” that Reno native Jamie Whitton — who today just goes by her last name — began her life as a musician 28 years ago.

“My mom has the Julie Andrews haircut and everything,” Whitton said in a phone interview last week.

Having found her niche as a jazzy, 1940s-style female vocalist, Whitton will perform at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks on Saturday to promote her new album, “Rare Bird.”

A former student of Our Lady of Snows and McQueen High School, Whitton began performing at age 6 with the Sunshine Generation Kids group.

“We would go dazzle all the old-age homes,” she said.

Working her way through cheerleading, gymnastics and various types of dance in her youth, she started her first band at age 17, called Jamie and the Bluesuits. After that effort expired, she joined a reggae band, singing her own style to Jamaican-infused beats. Later she moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and worked with her sister in a “legends” group, impersonating Marilyn Monroe and Shania Twain.

But her first musical love was jazz music. In middle school, she listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. After working the legends show, life eventually led her to Southern California where she was hired for a 1940s revue on a cruise ship about two years ago. But just before departure, she was playing an open mic night in Pasadena when producer and musician Ian Coyne heard her sing. They began collaborating and she decided to stay, resulting in the song “Apple Tree,” which was picked up for the movie “The Fifth Quarter,” starring Andie MacDowell and Aidan Quinn. The song was then released on her self-titled EP and the ball on her music career began rolling.

This newest effort, “Rare Bird,” reflects a concerted effort by Whitton and her marketing team to find her voice and her strongest niche. They analyzed the album’s 10 tracks to come up with a list of words that best described the color and mood of the music: complex, alluring, secretive, wishful and curious. Upon testing the songs on a variety of ages, Whitton said there isn’t just one range that likes her music.

“I’m so amazed because it’s such a universal album,” she said. “My 13-year-old knows all my songs.”

With help from Coyne and various others, Whitton revamped a lot of her old lyrics for songs on “Rare Bird.” For example, she said she wrote “Pity Party” eight or nine years ago while living in Long Beach, Calif. The album’s most catchy tune, she said, is “Bee Sting,” which describes every woman’s dream of a Friday night in a red dress out under the stars.

Whitton already is working on another album to be released next year. This time it will be a stripped-down effort with a four-piece band produced by former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila. She also hopes to tour in Europe soon, but not before hitting her native soil.

“My publicist says I have to start in my hometown,” she said.

Whitton performs Saturday at Cantina Los Tres Hombres, located at 926 Victorian Ave. in Sparks. Jellybread opens at 7 p.m. with Whitton performing second. There is no cover charge. For more information, call 356-6262.

For more about Whitton, visit www.whittonmusic.com.


Read more: Sparks Tribune - The Hills Are Alive - Nathan Orme


Singer-Songwriter Whitton to Host Record Release Oct 22 for new album “Rare Bird” w/ Special Guests Tyler Stafford & Jelly Bread
by Oliver Ex on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 1:03am
Singer-songwriter Whitton has taken giant steps toward break through success in her music career. With an impressive list of song placements and major club appearances already under her belt, it is delightful to see the Reno native on the climb and making good in the industry. We have local music impresario Todd South to thank for sending the talented artist and her publicist our way to help promote her upcoming record release event at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks on October 22, 2011 @ 7 p.m.
Whitton’s videos and press materials show an artist on the rise, with an easy stage presence—evident even early on in her career travels. The willowy blonde chanteuse and veteran road dog with the stunning Bettie Davis eyes, has a decidedly throwback persona that melds a juke joint jazz tonality, with light inflections at the end of her phrasings that recall Billie Holiday. Her voice is sultry and emotive, with a round, soft feminine sweetness that can easily swing from folky to throaty and smoky. Somehow these elements combine to make Whitton’s sound both fresh and familiar.
Whitton has been a guest vocalist on Showtime’s Emmy-Nominated hit series “Dexter” and her recent tour in support of “Rare Bird” has brought her to the best venues in Los Angeles and Vegas, including performances at the Hotel Café and The House of Blues.
Her new LP, “Rare Bird” is available now with 10 new tracks including several co-written by Peter Fox (Rachel Yamagata) and Joe Solo (Macy Grey) and mixed by engineer Michael James (New Radicals, Hole). Several tracks have already received feature film placements in: SHE WANTS ME (starring Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff and Josh Gad) and METH HEAD (starring Lukas Haas, Wilson Cruz and Necar Zadegan). The “Turn off the Light” music video is also available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efa2Vtox40M
For a sneak-peek of Whitton’s LP “Rare Bird”, please go to: www.whittonmusic.com.
Tracks from Whitton’s previous, self-titled EP also received placement in the 2011 films: THE 5TH QUARTER (starring Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, and Ryan Merriman), EXIT STRATEGY (starring radio host Big Boy from Power 106, Jameel Saleem and Kevin Hart), and was featured on Delta Air Lines Sonicbids Radio Channel and in Delta’s “Sky Magazine”. WHITTON has recorded three full-length albums with acclaimed producers David Hauser (Redbone, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Iron Butterfly), Kevin White (writer for Billy Ray Cyrus) and Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Dishwalla). She also has won numerous awards including “Best Female Acoustic Rock Artist” by the New York Music Festival.
We spoke to the artist by phone and online to get her views on the music business, her busy career and her upcoming record release.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: You worked with some accomplished producers and writers on your new album “Rare Bird.” Talk about your songwriting process, and the collaborative experience you had while recording the record.
Whitton: Each song off my new album “Rare Bird” came from a very personal place. Most of them were songs I wrote on guitar years before, but took the lyrics from them and put them over new chords and arrangements. With my producer/writer, Ian Coyne, he had a huge influence on the arrangement and production of this album. Being brilliant in his craft, Ian dissected the characteristics of my singing voice and we built around it musically. I also was fortunate to write with a handful of writers, Peter Fox (Rachel Yamagata), Joe Solo (Macy Gray) and the exquisite jazz pianist, Michael LeVan. The process was enlightening and very eye opening. I learned so much from everyone who played and wrote on this album. I’ll never forget it. It’s made me realize so much about myself and what I want.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: You’ve done exceptionally well with film and industry song placements. How early on did you discover the importance of the publishing side of the business? What career-building advice can you give Reno’s talented artists seeking breakout opportunities in the industry?
Whitton: Well, I can’t give too much advice on this because I’m still climbing the ladder of success!! I think the most important thing to do is enjoy what you’re doing. If it feels like work and beats you up until you’re blue in the face, it might be time to look into doing something else with your life. My advice is own everything. Own your recordings, equipment and do your best to hold onto your publishing rights. But realize at the same time that you have to give some to get some. To me, the only real way of getting a strong foot in the door is creating buzz—a fan base. And how to do that is touring and TV/film placement. If you’re lucky to get a great publicist or manager, that makes your job soooooo much easier. I love the job of being the musician! Management/publicity can help get you interviews/reviews/press in the cities you tour through and much, much more. It’s an arduous battle representing yourself. You can do it… but most people don’t like to deal with the artist. Besides, being a salesperson isn’t one of my best qualities, I must admit. Trying to pitch yourself wears you out—or at least me.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: Talk about how you’ve been able to build your fan base and secure major showcase and performance engagements at top venues like House of Blues and Hotel Cafe?
Whitton: Consistency. It takes a long time to develop a strong buzz. Networking is very important. Sharing the stage with fellow musicians and building relationships with them, fans and industry. It’s extremely important to have the “right” team of people. Performing in Los Angeles regularly, I’ve gotten handfuls of deals/offers from industry professionals… but that doesn’t mean that any deal through the door is the right deal. You have to be selective and be aware. But don’t let fear take the wheel because you might end up in a dead end with no deal. Intuition and knowing what you want is key in finding the “right” team.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: Your upcoming CD release at Cantina Los Tres Hombres is something of a homecoming for you. Who’s on the show bill and what do you have in store for your Reno fans?
Whitton: Yeah, I guess it is like a homecoming for me. I’m excited to see old faces and new faces! I’m jazzed to perform at my brother’s childhood friend, Shawn Plunket’s restaurant. Shawn’s been like a big brother to me, so it’s like I’m hangin’ with my family as well. I’ve heard fabulous things about local songwriter, Tyler Stafford, who’s opening for me at the Cantina. Also, one of my favorite funky bands, Jelly Bread will perform later in the evening. I’m excited to reconnect with Dave Berry (singer/guitarist), whom I toured with for a while years back. It should be a wonderful night of just plain ‘ole good music.
Find Whitton on Facebook, Twitter and Pandora. - Oliver X


Album Review of
Whitton's “Rare Bird”
by Craig Boehman


It's as though an old 78 from the 1940s was discovered in the attic of an estate sale. And the proud new homeowner, without turntable, takes the strange, bulky disc to a friend at the recording studio. And the tracks are played … for the first time in 70 years. What they hear blows them away. So they digitally remaster the music and make it available for the first time in CD and MP3 formats, ten songs as smartly constructed and performed as any music from the Big Band days. This could well have been Rare Bird's introduction to the 21st Century.

The female vocalist sounds like she belongs to the big band era, and yet, there's a modernity to it that makes Whitton's latest album a delight to listen to whether or not your tastes belong to the times of Billie Holiday or to the eclectic styling of a Regina Spektor, a couple of Whitton's important influences. No matter the genre she's worked in, Whitton aspired to be front and center of a big band sound.

“I've always been a huge fan of big band music and wanted to either join a group or start my own, so I decided to start my own in a modern way.”
Seldom comes along a crooner who possesses a strong yet ethereal resonance in her voice. She effortlessly makes use of a broad rang of alluring vocal dynamics from her tool kit and pulls it off in a poignant way aptly suited to the material, all the while leaving you wanting to hear more – a quality that used to be known to music aficionados in the record industry as talent.

And the proof is in the pudding. Despite releasing Rare Bird all on her own, “Nothing At All” and songs from past albums are finding their way into major motion picture soundtracks. But this isn't an album that has a few bright moments and the rest is filler, a phenomenon that arose because album singles have historically been the best way to launch a new artist or the latest LP. Recording artists taking the independent journey must always be presenting their finest material because the mechanism just isn't there to showcase a single or two. It all must be great! And that's what I hear when I listen to Rare Bird.

“At the end of the day, I've aspired to write good songs all away around, may it be on solo guitar or collaborating with other musicians.”
And there are plenty of good songs to be had. A beautifully orchestrated number, lush and foreboding, “Monster” is about a domineering lover who comes on the scene and takes away his lover's “power.” I couldn't help but draw comparisons of the song's narrative to Beowulf's battle with the dragon which leaves him fatally wounded. It's the slightly ambiguous nature of the lyrics – did she want this kind of love? Maybe at first … There's a mournfully hopeful side to the music that's contrasted with every twist and turn of the imploding relationship, leading down the stairs into a dark place.

If I had to choose a number that best represents the genre, my favorite would be “Pity Party.” This ballad delivers a classic arrangement in the vein of Billie Holiday. From the point of view from an envious admirer who's following the brief rough patch of the belle of the ball, I'm left wondering whether our protagonist is giving herself a pep talk after extensive self-examination, or, more mysteriously, perhaps she lurks in the shadowy out lands of her diva's social circles, wondering at the gall for such a woman to feel any pity whatsoever.

One of the stand-out upbeat track that begs to be made into a video is “B Sting”. This song is full of spirited energy and is accompanied by sassy horn fills. This where Whitton truly sounds like she's at home for the weekend in a musical sense, out on the town at a speakeasy just minutes before the cops raid the joint. It's fun; it's decadent – it's what good music is all about.

It would be a mistake to tag this album just as a 1940s throw-back project if the title track “Rare Bird” is any indicator. Au contraire, ladies and gentlemen. Each song was written with a keen ear to pop sensibilities. This is the benchmark for any artist that dares to crossover into other genres, or to blend them together into musical fusions like a round of mixed drinks in a smoky bar room. Just as there are expectations of the bartender to “know his stuff” and to expertly combine different liquors in order to serve up a tasty concoctions for his thirsty customers, musicians are afforded no less scrutiny in their knowledge of music history when their album has its sonic muse rooted in the past. In the end, it's their talent and their love for the craft that will ring true in the expectant ears of their fans. Likewise, it's her love for the craft and her proven talent through the chronicling of four albums which lends lift to Whitton's latest release to rise beyond the heights of mere tribute and into the starry domain of popular music.

Visit Whitton at http://www.whittonmusic.com/
- Craig Boehman


Jaime Whitton is a pop vintage singer/songwriter with a background as unique as her voice. Following in the footsteps of the famous flick, “The Sound of Music,” her parents bore six children of their own, Whitton being the youngest. And just like the notorious film, all of her siblings were musical, something she considers a key source of inspiration for her personal singer/songwriting career.

Whitton is inspired by the extraordinary singers of the past. She incorporates elements of the 40’s as well as the soul of notable performers like Billie Holiday and Norah Jones into her tunes. She puts her own twist on songwriting and uniquely fuses an array of genres such as pop and Americana together.

In an exclusive interview with Patch, Whitton explains how she lets go of all limitations when sitting down to write a song. She also discusses holiday fun in West Hollywood and her favorite part about performing live.

West Hollywood Patch: It's been said that you have a unique approach to singing. Tell us more about that.

Whitton: I'd say I have a pretty unique way of songwriting. There have been folks that have said that I have a very unique voice. I think that the only reason they think I have a unique approach to singing is because when I'm writing and singing by myself, I really let go of limitations and let my emotions dictate the sound that comes out of me.

Patch: How do you describe your music?

Whitton: Well, I kinda have two styles of music I like to write. I'm ultimately a singer-songwriter at heart. But the album that I'm just about to release is called, "Rare Bird" and it has a flare of vintage pop Americana in it. It's more of a big band sound, which I love! But you will catch me time and again just playing my guitar by myself on stage. Most of my emotion and heart sails on to the horizon when alone musically, no boundaries or judgment.

Patch: Who/what inspires your songs?

Whitton: Most of my inspirations come from my own musical family. My parents had six children because of the movie, "Sound Of Music.” I was raised in a house of musicians, although, I didn't get to see much of my siblings since I was the youngest. They had already moved out of the house with their own dreams by the time I got started. Today, we all have our own musical endeavors. Other inspirations come from other fellow musicians and people watching - one of my favorite things to do.

Patch: What do you most like about performing live?

Whitton: The connection between the audience and myself. There's nothing more magical then seeing your fans know the lyrics to your own songs. Also, I really enjoy revisiting my songs, especially, the precious moments I've captured in words.

Patch: If you could live in another era than today, when would that be?

Whitton: Definitely the speakeasy era.

Patch: Who are your favorite singers of the past?

Whitton: Favorite singers of the past? Meaning deceased or alive? I'll tell you both I guess… Alive, I'd say: Elizabeth Fraser, Thom Yorke, Colin Hay, Joni Mitchell, Andrew Bird, Peter Gabriel, Alison Krauss, Dave Gahan and Rufus Wainwright. Deceased: Shane Gooding, Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson

Patch: Do you travel a lot to play shows? Where is your favorite place you've traveled to?

Whitton: The last two years I've been so busy in the studio finishing up my album, "Rare Bird,” that I haven't gotten much touring in. Before that, I performed 100+ shows a year for a good five years. Now that my album is finished, I've got my touring shoes on and recently, I toured through Seattle, WA again, but this time I got to explore a little more and I've completely fallen for this city. I'm not sure if I could live in so much rain, but I sure appreciate and love passing through when I can.

Patch: What's your favorite song on the radio right now?

Whitton: Sadly, I don't listen to much radio. I do love Pandora, but if I were to pick a popular song, I'd say "Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum - great band!

Patch: What are you doing when you're not singing?

Whitton: Visiting family, writing music, traveling, sampling all the organic fruits at the farmers markets, undesirably driving on the 10 freeway in traffic everyday and listening to intoxicated locals cackle about their life while bartending on the weekends.

Patch: What is your favorite thing to do when in West Hollywood?

Whitton: I've spent many holidays in West Hollywood. I love the parades and special live concerts, and mostly, the people watching.

Follow West Hollywood Patch on Twitter and Facebook for more updates, tips and news.
- Nicole Pajer


Whitton's Rare Bird out now
Credits: Whitton
Whitton releases Rare Bird

By Tracy Heck, Detroit Live Music Examiner
Singer/songwriter Jaime Whitton is bringing the big band era back with the release of her latest album Rare Bird, which came out on Tuesday.

Whitton's voice is a throwback to the days of Billie Holiday but with a modern twist that harkens more towards Norah Jones and the contrast between the vintage and current bluesy pop is a delight to listen to.

Whitton herself cites Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley as two of her biggest influences and certainly many of her songs also have a folksy feel to them, "I love the music of the forties and the big band era and I always wanted to bring that into my own music. With this album I also brought in a flare of Americana."

Whitton's love of music began at a early age after being born into a musical family as the youngest of six children.

Whitton says her parents chose to have that many kids because of their love for the movie the Sound of Music, "I was raised in a house of musicians so it was always there. I began performing at the age of 6."

When asked about being from Reno, Nevada and that besides the Killers it does not seem that much music comes out of the area Whitton laughed and explained that yes it is true that the area does not feature a big musical background and that you really had to search for it.

However, after her family moved to the L.A. area Whitton's musical career really took off and is most responsible for the artist she is today.

Although she is a naturally a observer and loves to play guitar she found herself in the singer role as the result of some personal tragedy but feels at home there now.

She is involved in the writing and creation of all of her music and with the self-released Rare Bird she worked with Peter Fox (Rachel Yamgata) and Joe Solo (Macy Grey) as well as engineer Michael James (Hole).

Rare Bird is one of those albums that you can sit down and be involved in all the way through; there are no filler tracks.

The album opens with the fun, spirited "Turn Off the Light" and continues on with tracks like the powerful "Monster" and the energetic "B Sting", which Whitton says is her favorite track off of the album and her favorite to play live.

"Turn Off the Light" is the first single off of the album and features Whitton as the bored housewife searching for the light in her own life.

As long as the funds are there Whitton does plan to release more videos with "B Sting" being tops on her list, "It's such a great track to perform live and I would love to do a video for it as well."

Whitton says that performing live is her favorite thing to do and that people should come out to her shows because, "It is all about the connection between myself and the audience. Seeing the fans singing my lyrics and feeling the songs is what it is about and I think that connection is what people look for."

Depending on the situation Whitton sometimes is backed up by a 7-10 piece band but at times goes out with a trio or quartet behind her creating a more stripped down version of the songs and making it a unique experience for the audience.

Whitton is currently just scheduled for a few shows in Nevada and Los Angeles but is planning a longer tour in the Spring towards the end of February and beginning of March.

There are many areas she has not been to yet including the Detroit area and she hopes to hit all of them and eventually move out of the country as well.

She says that the Seattle area is one of her favorite places to play after falling in love with the city while out exploring.

She says she enjoys wandering off while out on tour and exploring especially since, "People watching is my favorite thing to do. It's a great way to get lyrical inspiration."

Whitton's music has been finding a home in the entertainment world being featured on shows like Dexter and in movies like the upcoming Charlie Sheen film All I Want To Do.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Whitton releases Rare Bird - Detroit Live Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/live-music-in-detroit/whitton-releases-rare-bird-1#ixzz1ZZtoQSrC - Tracy Heck


What: Whitton concert and CD release party. Also on the bill is local band Jelly Bread.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Where: Cantina Los Tres Hombres, 926 Victorian Ave., Sparks
Admission: Free
Learn more: To learn more about Jaime Whitton or purchase her music, visit www.whittonmusic.com
Jaime Whitton says she spent the last two years pouring her soul into “Rare Bird,” a ten-song CD that was released Sept. 24.
“It took me that long to really save all my pennies to get the top musicians and the top mixer, engineer and mastering guy, and designer for the cover,” she said. “So, I’m very, very, very proud of it.”
Saturday, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter will show off the fruits of her labor during a CD release concert at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks. The show will not only celebrate “Rare Bird’s” release, it will be something of a homecoming performance. Whitton – who uses only her last name on stage – was born and raised in Reno.
“My mom grew up in L.A. and my dad grew up in Reno,” she said. “My dad moved to Hollywood to become an actor, and that’s how they met. Then, they moved back to Reno to have six kids.”
The youngest of those six children, Whitton said the movie musical “The Sound of Music” inspired her parents to have a large family. So, it’s not surprising that their household shared similarities with the Von Trapp siblings depicted on screen.
Whitton’s video for ‘Turn Off The Light’


“I started singing when I was six,” Whitton said. “All of us kids were in our own musical endeavors. … My first four siblings, they were in big band. You know, my brother played trumpet and my sister played saxophone. My other sister played trombone and my brother plays guitar and drums.”
Many of Whitton’s siblings, including Reno-based sister Stacey Whitton-Summers, are still active in the arts. Whitton-Summers is a singer and stage performer who works as a celebrity impersonator, portraying the likes of Shania Twain and Marilyn Monroe.
Although Whitton, and the majority of her family now live in Southern California, she said she visits Reno about four times a year. Her trip this weekend will be special, though, as it’s allowing her to show off the new collection of tunes that she worked so hard for.
“The feedback’s been really great, but as we all know it takes awhile to really get some buzz going,” she said. “So, I’m excited for it. I’ve got my touring boots on, so I’m ready to hit the road. … We just put our tears and blood into that album.”
“Rare Bird” is a jazzy collection that takes traditional pop influences and blends them into a sound reminiscent of the music of the 1940s. In part, that’s because Whitton’s voice shares traits with classic jazz singers like Billie Holiday. It’s also due to the vision of the album’s producer and co-writer Ian Coyne.
Whitton said she used to perform more stripped down material that featured mostly her voice and acoustic guitar. A chance run in with Coyne changed everything.
“I was used to playing guitar solo and doing my own tours,” she said. “My acoustic stuff, it’s kind of hard to categorize. It’s just acoustic. … When I met Ian, he had this whole vision of developing a bigger sound.”
That sound leans heavily on jazzy horn parts and swinging rhythms that reinforce the nostalgic feel of the music. Although Whitton is hoping to spend a lot of time touring in 2012, she’s the first one to admit that it’s tough to break through in the music industry, particularly these days.
That’s one reason she had to self-fund “Rare Bird,” an effort that has required her to work two part-time jobs for the last several years. Despite the struggles, Whitton has had some success in the music industry. Tracks from her previous recording, a self-titled EP, were placed in two 2011 movies: “The 5th Quarter” and “Exit Strategy.” She was also featured as a guest vocalist on an episode of the popular Showtime TV series “Dexter.”
As for concerns about the instability of the music industry, Whitton said she just keeps moving forward.
“It frightens me sometimes when I really think about it, but I don’t really have another alternative,” she said. “I mean music is just something I have to do.” As long as I’m doing it, I think I’ll be OK.”
http://www.rgj.com/article/20111019/ENT/111019010/Reno-native-Whitton-takes-flight-Rare-Bird-will-perform-Saturday?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Local%20Life
- Forrest Hartman


In a day and age where the majority of artists are "cookie-cutter," it is beyond refreshing to hear someone with a truly unique approach to singing. Whitton will assuredly delight as she performs in her individual manner, spanning pop/novelty styling’s of other eras to the commercial sounds of today. - Lawrence Cohn - GRAMMY Winner (Robert Johnson – The Complete Recordings), 6-Time GRAMMY Nominee, Producer, Record Executive

"1930's music that never felt so modern and loved" Speak EZ Radio - James James

"Whitton offers more than pretty presentation and a pretty voice. What is especially intriguing about her is an element of strangeness that is uniquely endearing instead of off-putting. Her vocals invite you in for happy story time and concurrently warn you to listen carefully or else." - Jon Hershfield, Is Good Radio - isgoodmusic.com

Whitton is a unique young talent. And she’s got it all - looks, charm, vocals & songwriting ability. Her potential is limitless." - Liz Redwing - (Management & Interscope Records' former music publishing arm)

"Whitton's songs will make you remember why you love listening" - Iceman Steve Phillips, Tiger Radio

"Whitton is the whole package - the rare combination of captivating performer, song stylist, and writer. She knows exactly who she is and she's ready for the spotlight." - Ted Lowe - Choicetracks / Recurrent Records

“WHITTON’S” music is right on the money, powerfully original, and keeps my listeners asking for more!” - BRYAN PHILLIPS, Radio Personality at MIX 92.9 KOMG: - Various


Discography

2012 original Christmas Single - "It's Christmas Time"

2011 "Rare Bird" LP

2011 "Mercy" (acoustic single) - Feature Film -"Exit Strategy"

2010 Self-titled EP, "Whitton"

Is Good Radio Los Angeles
WomensRadio Independent Channel on Live365
KRBS 107.1 FM Oroville, CA
KTHX 100.1 FM Reno, NV
KLAS 89.7 FM- Online
KOMG Mix 92.9FM - Branson, MO
KHOZ 102.9 FM - Branson, MO

Whitton featured on other Compilations:
Female Artists Compilation Vol. 17 - Position Music
"I Fell in Love", "Til The End" and "Shy"

2010 "Carvinal Del Corazon - Haiti Compliation" - "I Fell in Love"

Photos

Bio

Whitton will be touring parts of US & Europe in support of her current song placements in Scandinavian commercial for clothing company, "Ellos", USA TV shows "Gossip Girl" and MTV's "Catfish". Whitton and co-writer/producer, Ian Coyne released her new album, "Rare Bird", which was just nominated for the "Independent Music Awards" for "BEST POP ALBUM". Track, "All I Want to Do" landed a placement in the upcoming Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff film, "She Wants Me". And song, "Nothin' AT All' placed in feature film, "Meth Head" (starring Lukas Haas, Wilson Cruz and Necar Zadegan).Whitton's previous self-titled EP celebrates the song placement of "Apple Tree" in the upcoming film release, "The 5th Quarter", (starring Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, Ryan Merriman). And her song, "I Fell in Love" is featured on Delta Air Lines' Radio and Sky Magazine. Whitton's song "Monster" has been placed in indie horror film, "Among Friends".

WHITTON has recorded three full-length albums with acclaimed producers David Hauser (Redbone, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Iron Butterfly), Kevin White (writer for Billy Ray Cyrus) and Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Dishwalla). She also has won numerous awards including "Best Female Acoustic Rock Artist" by the New York Music Festival, her track, "B Sting" in the Searchlight Songwriting Competition and was nominated for "Best Acoustic Artist" in the Star Music Awards. And she's been recorded as a back-up vocalist on Showtime's Emmy-Nominated hit series "Dexter".

Originally from Reno, Nevada, Whitton comes from a very musical family of eight and has been singing, writing and performing since the age of six. With the spirit of a gypsy and the discipline of a soldier, Whitton continues to write, record and tour to serve both her music and ever-growing fan base. Currently, John Avila (bassist for Oingo Boingo and producer for "Reel Big Fish") has taken interest in Whitton's music and are in the process of recording future tracks for her next album.