Jamie Fine’s LA Summer

Photography by Ayanna Allen

In a world where authenticity often feels like a rare gem, Jamie Fine’s music and personality illuminate everything around her. Born and raised in Ottawa, Jamie’s journey from a bullied teen seeking solace in music to a celebrated artist with a platinum record is nothing short of inspiring. With a magnetic charm and soulful vocals that compel others to be more fearless, Jamie has carved a unique path in the music industry. Her roots in Ottawa, where she began performing in high school talent shows, are a testament to her unwavering commitment to her craft.

Jamie’s trajectory took a fascinating turn when she chose culinary school over university, eventually launching her own catering business. But it was in 2017, following a profound creative awakening, that she made the courageous decision to pursue music full-time. As part of the duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, she achieved platinum success in Canada. In 2020, she stepped out as a solo artist, defining her own signature style with hits like “If Anything’s Left,” which garnered 24.4 million global streams and platinum status in South Africa.

Now, in a bold move, Jamie is setting her sights on Los Angeles, a city known for making and breaking dreams. It’s a leap of faith, driven by her desire to continue growing as an artist and person. As she prepares to take on this new challenge, her Ottawa roots remain a source of strength and inspiration. Though she’ll spend the summer touring festivals across North America, Jamie returns to Ottawa with a performance on September 11th.

“I really just want to stay true to the music. I want to keep doing things that I love with the people I love and it comes down to that.”

You are about to leave for a road trip down to LA for the summer. What are you most looking forward to when you get there?

I think the change of scenery. It’s pretty cliché that Los Angeles is a place you go when you want to figure everything out in your career, and I think that’s exactly what I’m doing. I need to be in the thick of it… even though I really miss home when I’m away, I think now is the time to really take the leap for a few months and go and see what happens.

Tell us about your bucket list that you’ve shared ahead of your new EP ‘If This Is It’, which came out on June 21st.

My bucket list is pretty scattered, but it covers everything that I want to do in my life, not just musically, but in general. ‘If This Is It’ is really a project about the music… I was very selfish writing it. Usually artists will tell people to listen to their album from top to bottom, because it tells a story, but I wrote this EP in a way that mirrored the mess that was in my head last year… my emotions fluctuated so much… its nonlinear. Last year felt like one of my least linear years yet, so I was selfish in writing this project, and I want people to be selfish listening to it, too. I want you to be able to feel however you feel on any given day and be able to pull a song from me that most fits that day for you.

What is your favorite part about summer in The Capital?

Considering we have winter for 300 days of the year, summer weather is pretty great (laughs). I love BBQing and spending time with friends. This year will look a little different, I’ll be touring festivals and won’t be back, but I will be back in Canada for some of the festivals in Toronto, Edmonton and Kelowna, then heading back to LA, which will be my homebase this year.

This year you launched a new podcast with your girlfriend and friends… how do you like the world of podcasting? Did anything surprise you about this new challenge?

I think working with four friends can be challenging sometimes… especially trying to figure out schedules and decide what we want to talk about. But I’m really thankful for all of them. We were having the best conversation one day and thought ‘why are we not recording this?’ So we picked up our mic and just started podcasting with no expectation, we just wanted to see how we felt. I think all of us find so much solitude in being able to talk about really important things while also laughing at ourselves a little bit. We cover everything, so I think we were meant for podcasting together. I don’t know if I would love doing it solo, but being able to do it with three of my favorite people in the world is pretty special.

You recently chatted with Queer & Now and spoke about the importance of being your authentic self and taking up space. What’s your best advice to fans reading this on learning how to love yourself?

You first have to acknowledge that it’s going to take a lot of work. You’ll have to call yourself out a lot, and hold yourself accountable a lot, and that’s exhausting. It’s not supposed to be easy, but on the other side of that work is the feeling of being so grounded and so firm in who you are. Without that work I really think that people don’t get there in life, and so you have to do the work and make sure that you hold yourself accountable every day, because that’s what it takes.

What are you most looking forward to about Pride month in LA?

Let’s be honest, all the gays flock to LA and San Fransisco! (laughs) I think I’m so excited to experience that realm of the community because it’s on a whole other level. Obviously Toronto is probably the biggest pride celebration in Canada, but Los Angeles is probably the largest celebration in the US. I think that’s what’s most exciting, is seeing a completely different group of people that I’ve never met before celebrating the same thing I do.

You’ll be performing in Ottawa on September 11th. What’s your favorite part about performing at home?

I love a good hometown show. I’m very proud to be from Ottawa, so even though I’m getting a chance to see a lot of the world, Ottawa will always be one of my favorite places. Truly, I owe a lot of my career to the people in Ottawa, and it’s really special for me and the people that I play with on stage.

What are three of your favourite spots to dine out in Ottawa?

I’m giving you all the exclusives for my date night with my partner (laughs). We go to Fratelli in Westboro, and get the meatballs for the appy and gnocchi for the main. By that time we’re full and its not cute, and then we walk down the street to try and make ourselves feel better (laughs). On the corner of Churchill is Gezellig, they have a gorgeous, gorgeous dinner… and so we walk down there to make ourselves feel better about having 17,000 calories worth of carbs from Fratelli, and then we sit down for dessert at Gezellig and make ourselves feel worse again (laughs). They have these deconstructed Butterfingers that are absolutely to die for… and it’s the perfect date night.

You and your girlfriend are going on 4 years together, what’s your favorite thing about her?

She’s one of the most honest people I have ever met in my life. It’s a pretty refreshing quality in a human being, just how truly, truly honest she is and the trust that I have for her in this relationship is something I haven’t experienced before, so I’m thankful for her.

Looking to 2025, what’s next for you and what are you looking forward to?

I’m typically a day-by-day person. That’s pretty much the most that my mental health can handle, waking up and figuring out what I can accomplish that day… I obviously have a lot of short term and long-term goals to work towards. I really just want to stay true to the music. I want to keep doing things that I love with the people I love and it comes down to that. I think that if I follow that strategy, everything else falls into place for me, because the opportunities that I want or things that feel good follow. So I’ll stick to that, ya know?


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