Jamie T Invades New York

Jamie T, drinking in an alley.Photo: Amos Barshad

Jamie T’s already a bona fide star in his native England, but despite no shortage of blog acclaim, the 22-year-old genre-hopper is little more than a buzzy name on our shores. Last night at Brooklyn's Union Pool, we checked out the goods for ourselves. His verbose, hook-filled pop songs went over well in the cozy room, inspiring audience members to shout out nonsensical British catchphrases like, "Oy, Jamie, ‘ow many beans you got?" We didn't understand it either. We talked to Jamie after the show.

What do you plan to do in New York this week?
I've got some interviews tomorrow. I intend to, like, come to New York over and over again and never see the Statue of Liberty. I can’t be fucked. What is it? It’s a statue. I’d rather hang out in bars and shit.

Do you ever get heckled at these solo shows?
Some guy shouted at me, "Go get a haircut!" I had really big hair at the time. I was like, "Look at you. How much did you pay for that haircut? Guy, you paid like 50 pounds for that haircut, and you still look like a fucking prick." And everybody was like, "Ahhhhhhh!" And, yeah, I’ve got a microphone. Shut up.

You recently beat out some heavy competition to win the NME Award for Best Male Solo Artist.
Yeah, well, it’s fucking a bit nasty, to be honest. I don’t really enjoy that bit. Thom Yorke and Jarvis Cocker were in that category. Look at their records, man — I will never, ever be able to make records like that. So it was quite an uncomfortable event and I felt a bit strange. But it was lovely to win the award, obviously.

Is there any pressure from your record label to break America?
In recent years, no English band has really broken in America. There’s Coldplay and shit, but that’s different, right? I'm not like that. It’s more like, "Do you wanna go to America and fuck around for a while?" And I’m like, "Yeah." —Amos Barshad