Q: For starters, I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for “hate me!” — definitely a middle finger to all the haters and trolls out there. I am curious, though. What’s the motivation behind “hate me!”? Does the song come from a personal experience?
REES: “Hate me!” started off as a much angrier and angstier song, written at a low point during various coronavirus lockdowns and whatnot, but as I sat on the idea and played with the melodies in my head, it ended up morphing into a song that embraces negativity rather than fires back at it. I think the song represents the attitude I want to have around critics and comments all the time, even if some days are easier than others in that respect.
Q: Upon the song’s release, what did you hope people would take from it?
REES: I really hoped that people would be able to see past the slight shock factor of the song and into the message of the song – that “haters” only hate because they are insecure and that you should embrace the status that comes along with being disliked. Luckily, people really seem to have resonated with the message – if not, then they at least get the chorus stuck in their heads!
Q: It’s not easy having the song’s “mentality” when it comes to haters, so, how would you advise people to deal with trolls?
REES: This question doesn’t really have a good answer because no matter what you do, people are going to troll you or be critical in some fashion – that’s what happens when you put yourself out in the world and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
I guess I just try and remember that people who dislike you are always going to be far more vocal than those who like you – they’ll tweet about you more, they’ll comment on you more, and they’ll probably even stream your music more than those who like you.
A loud minority is still a minority, and for everyone one person who actively rallies against you, there are hundreds who enjoy you and your contribution to the world. Did that all make sense? I hope so; I’m terrible for rambling.
Q: What was your favorite part about working on this record?
REES: Backing vocals! I love recording millions of takes of backing vocals and decorating my tracks with them – there are so many harmonies thrown in there that you might never spot, but they’re just so much fun to record. I should also mention the choir outro, which I composed early on in the production process.
I originally had planned to record all the voices myself, but I couldn’t hit all the soprano notes, so I had to borrow the services of my friend Emily who was able to get it all. As a person who normally works entirely by myself, it was really fun to record with others.
Q:What are the reactions you’ve received from people after releasing this piece?
REES: People have really loved it! I’ve had a lot of feedback commenting on how much my production has improved since my debut EP last year. As I’ve experimented with my sound, I’ve felt so much more confident in my voice and my artistic vision, and I think that shows in the song. At least, I hope it does!
Q: Where can you see your music career taking off to?
REES: I’m such an egomaniac that I’d love total musical world domination! If not, then I’d love to work with other artists in a co-writing or producing sense and share my artistic vision with more people. I’d love more than anything to have people connect with the type of pop I have to show – maximalist, slightly campy, but very much from the heart.
Q: You’ve said a lot to your trolls, but do you have anything to say to your loyal and supportive fans?
REES: Yes! My fans are all so brilliant, but they’re also so witty and fun. The jokes I’ve heard based on my song lyrics always make me cackle, and it’s such a pleasure to have people find some personal connection to the music I put out there. So thank you to everyone who has streamed and shared and plugged and playlisted me – there shall be big things coming in the Jamie___rees pipeline!
Interviewed by Taylor Berry