Leica photographer Michael Agel was given exclusive access to Jamie Cullum and his band on tour, giving him a unique and intimate behind-the-scenes look at this British jazz-pop singer and songwriter. Using the Leica M-System, Agel shot all the images with no flash. The images reflect the true craft of photography with the passion and talent of a true musician. Below is a sample of an interview with Jamie that appears in the official Momentum Tour Programme aimed to take the reader on a journey of connoisseurship, meaning and passion. Follow @leica_camera on Twitter to see how you can win tickets to Jamie’s Momentum Tour. Read on to discover about Jamie’s start in music in his own words.
Q: When did you first perform?
A: Well, if school counts, I had to sing a solo at a school concert. I absolutely hated it. I had a very high-pitched voice then before my voice broke, but I could always sing in tune. Because of that, I’d be forced to sing solos in school concerts. I can’t remember what the first one was about, dinosaurs or football or something like that. I would’ve been about seven or eight and I hated the concept of it, hating doing it and hated the idea that I wasn’t allowed to refuse. That continued for the rest of junior school, and in senior school until I discovered the guitar. The guitar made it easier as it was something to hide behind.
Q: Were you worried you weren’t going to be able to sing after your voice had broken?
A: I didn’t know what to expect really. I didn’t have a great voice before it broke. I never had any of the style or panache of those drama-school kids you see on TV. I could just sing in tune and that was about it. I don’t really consider any of what I did in school to be performing, and I don’t think I started singing properly until I took instruments seriously.
Q: It’s difficult to imagine the Jamie Cullum of now, often seen jumping up and down on top of pianos and running around the stage, being a reluctant performer.
A: I wasn’t that person for a long, long time. Even when I was playing guitar and piano in pubs and performing in bands in my late teens, I wasn’t confident. I’m a true product of someone who had just played tonnes of gigs, and who has been taken under the wing of more experienced musicians who saw I had potential. They perhaps saw I could go on to do something and nurtured me to the point where I had a lot of confidence on stage. I’d been performing for about eight years before I really started to feel comfortable on stage, it was baby steps until then.
Thank you for your time, Jamie!
– Leica Internet Team
Read the full interview and see more images in the official Momentum Tour Programme available for purchase here.