No stranger to the music scene. WithNme (Jaime Salazar) has been creating music for over 2 decades. I was fortunate enough to spin his music on my Radio Show and I loved every single minute of it. Fresh, vibey tunes prompted me into a bit of a state of trance and, I knew I had to ask the man behind the music some questions.
Thanks for chatting with me. Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Jamie Salazar. I was born and raised in Redlands California. I operate under the
name withNme, and am the sole member. I have been writing and creating music for 23 years.
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what
their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that
moment in time for you?
When I was 11, I was hanging out at a friend’s house and his mom had a nylon string
classical guitar. Without even asking, I picked it up and started playing. I got so caught up, I
spent the whole time on the guitar. I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t stop. Luckily for me, his
mom saw how interested I was in the guitar and let me borrow it. After that, I knew that there
was more inside of me that needed to come out and that music was the way to do it.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works
All writing, instrumentation, recording, production, mixing and mastering are done by me. I
enjoy working by myself but I also enjoy collaborating with other artists on projects.
- I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing
that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer
being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?
Something that I have noticed about the music business in the last 20 years is the way they
try to sell artists as products instead of musicians. “Making it” in the music business now means
putting your face on a perfume bottle or a toothbrush instead of being respected for the art
you create. There doesn’t seem to be a grace period for artists to grow and find their voices
because they are expected to churn out hit singles and award-winning music videos. There used
to be a time when artists could develop in the music business and were seen as an investment
with potential. I feel like that has really changed and because of those unrealistic expectations,
the music is being compromised and tainted. As for my own musical aspirations, I am prepared
for and welcome the challenges of either staying underground or becoming a mainstream
artist. I make music for myself first and if people can get something out of it, even better. But
my motivation has always been getting something out of the process of making the music, not
because I expect a particular result or reward.
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
Things that motivate me in my personal life as well as my music are my children and my own
journey for personal progress. Music has been the one thing that has stayed with me during the
darkest days of my life.
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I
understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social
media and music today?
I agree that there is too much emphasis on social media and that it can over complicate
things so the true meaning of the music can get lost. I also recognize that it is a great tool for
artists to connect with people and get their music heard. Long gone are the days when you had
to exclusively hang up posters and play local shows to create a fan base. Now with the myriad
of social media sites, it’s a lot to keep up with and can get a little overwhelming. I’m much
better at expressing myself through music than networking.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
I create music constantly; whether I’m on my way to work or gassing up the car. There is
never a shortage of ideas. The great part about it is most cell phones can record audio, so my
phone is full of bass lines, lyrics and melodies that come to me at all hours, even when it may
not be convenient. I am currently working on four songs that I hope to release as a vinyl this
winter. I may also release a digital single or two before the vinyl is available.
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
If I had to choose an artist, it would be Prince. He was such a visionary and didn’t ever let
anything stand it his way. I deeply admire and respect his vision and work ethic as well as his
musical ability. He played so many instruments, sang, danced, wrote, produced and he did
everything exceptionally well. He was such a top tier musician and performer on every level.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, is there anything you want to say to everyone out
there? Shout outs?
Shout out to my wife, my kids, my mother, my grandmother, Dave Shewey from Shewey
Trax Records, Pulse Radio Tampa Bay, and the hand that tilts the universe and gives me the
ability to create.
A big shout-out to WithNme for not only being a part of my show, but also the pulse radio family. WithNme has been around since I started this project and continues on with my journey.
Follow WithNme at the links below.
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