Jaimee Paul

Gospel/R&B/Soul

Pop,Adult Contemporary,Retro-Soul

http://www.jaimeepaul.com

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

In the summer of 2008, Jaimee Paul was working as a backup singer for country music legend Wynonna Judd, when the phone rang, and on the other end was Nashville music impresario Bill Gaither. “Get your music over to Green Hill,” Gaither told her. Less than six months later, At Last, the most remarkable debut album by a major new jazz-and-standards singer, was being released. A collection of signature songs associated with the great female icons of jazz and pop, At Last features the distinctive sound of Jaimee Paul backed by Nashville’s own jazz piano icon, Beegie Adair, and her trio, as well as a sumptuous string orchestra arranged and conducted by Jeff Steinberg.  Between Jaimee Paul’s big, soul-drenched voice and Jeff’s big, classically-informed orchestrations, At Last is an overwhelming experience.

“I was always involved with music,” Jaimee Paul reports. Her parents are both musical: her mom taught music and piano in the public school system for 30 years, and her dad studied music in college before deciding on a career in engineering. “I like to think I use both sides of the brain,” she says, “mathematics and science from my dad and music and art from my mother.”

Attending a Southern Baptist church during her childhood, Jaimee Paul was attracted to gospel singing with its emotion and four-part harmonies. Today, she deftly melds her gospel influences with jazz and pop standards. The result is a vocal style that captures listeners somewhat off-guard.

Jaimee Paul’s love of music was instigated by her parents and then cultivated equally in both the church and school. At the age of five she began studying classical piano for almost ten years, and from the third grade on she also played the French horn in school bands (both the marching and the stationary variety). For all those years, she also sang in both school and church choirs. Jaimee Paul was also attracted almost equally to two kinds of music that are not as different as some people imagine: gospel and jazz. Both have a tradition of individual interpretation and embellishment, not to mention a strong rhythmic drive, which appealed to Jaimee at an early age.

In the 8th grade, Jaimee Paul, who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since she was seven years old, was given a solo with her church choir. In order to distinguish her performance from what the other kids were doing, she decided to change a few notes, in a way that was inspired by the soul singers she heard on the radio. Her solo, innocent as it was, literally shocked some of the more conservative church ladies. “It was a more hand-clappin’, knee-slapping, visceral performance style than they were used to,” she says. It was the first and last time she sang solo on a Sunday morning service; however, she was permitted to follow her own star and sing the way she liked in the Sunday evening rituals.

Jaimee Paul was also learning jazz standards and show tunes. “When I played in the school bands, the music I always liked best were the swing-based numbers,” she says, and she also played Adelaide, the female lead in her high school production of Frank Loesser’s Guys And Dolls. Ironically, although she was primarily singing, all of her music training was in theory, French horn, and piano – she never took formal voice lessons. By high school, she was teaching music as well; when her mother had more private students than she could handle, the teenage Jaimee Paul began giving lessons.

Jaimee Paul attended Belmont University in Nashville. “I didn’t need a degree to prove that I could sing,” she says, “plus, I really loved the business side of music, so I decided to get my degree in that.” In addition to majoring in music business, Jaimee Paul continued to pursue both gospel and jazz, participating in Belmont’s Gospel Showcase. She also interned for many music business companies in Nashville, including Sony Music (where she worked with the marketing team that helped “break” The Dixie Chicks). Jaimee Paul also sang backup for a band led by Benjy Gaither, whose father, Bill Gaither, would later play a major role in her career. Jaimee Paul was given an opportunity to audition for Bill Gaither at the age of 19, but she declined, feeling that she wasn’t yet ready. “I told him, ‘It’s not my time yet, but someday you’ll hear me.’”

After graduating Belmont in 1999, Jaimee Paul worked part-time for two venerable music business institutions, BMI and CCM Magazine, while steadily working as a backup singer on recording sessions. At one point, her college music professor arranged for her to have an interview with a famous Nashville gospel label. When Jaimee Paul called to talk to her contact at the company, he asked point blank if she was black. Stunned, Jaimee Paul had to admit that she wasn’t. The voice then told her, “Well, if you’re not black, then stay out of our industry. There’s no way we could ever sell a white girl to our audience.” (The employee who delivered this pronouncement was fired a short time later.) Jaimee Paul was shocked, but she decided it was God’s way of encouraging her to follow her other major passion, jazz and the Great American Songbook.

In addition to her ongoing jazz gig, which began at Ellendale’s restaurant in 2004, Jaimee Paul was working more and more as a session singer on country and pop dates, eventually reaching the point where she devoted herself full-time to her music.  Jaimee Paul self-produced her own album, Angel Like You, that intermingled jazz standards with three original songs, including the title track. She has performed with such luminaries as Lyle Lovett and Wynonna Judd, and, as mentioned above, she was touring with Wynonna in Alaska when Bill Gaither called and instructed her to present herself to Green Hill Productions.

“I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Leif (her husband) and me. For He has given us a future and a hope; a hope that something will eventually pan out in this silly music industry, if it’s in His will, of course. After all, God is the ultimate creator of great music.”

Listen to Christian Music Singer Jaimee Paul<


Discography

Album Title Year Label
Angel Like You2004Independent
At Last2009Spring Hill Music Group
Ain't No Sunshine - EP [+digital booklet]2010Spring Hill Music Group
Time Is Here2010Spring Hill Music

Category:

Location:

Nashville

Tennessee

United States

Record Label:

Spring Hill Music

Christian Label:

Yes

Years Active:

00's

10's





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