Five Minutes With Flower Mound’s Rising Pop Artist, JMES

by Gracie Watt on February 1, 2021 in Entertainment, Music, Living Texas,

For any music fan, especially in these times, there’s a special feeling when a new artist puts how we’re all feeling into words. Texan Caroline Baker has done just that.

Baker, who performs as JMES (pronounced James), recently released her single, “Ready to Love Again,” with powerful lyrics about reconnecting in the midst of a pandemic. 

With a fresh sound that can be described as soulful easy listening, JMES’s new release not only has a catchy beat, but also deep lyrics. They describe a feeling we have all been through at some point. 

“It’s surprising how much I’ve managed to accomplish and how much I’ve learned about myself and my own abilities in the midst of all the change,” musician JMES says. “I’m embracing the uncomfortableness of uncertainty, and that’s pushed me to try new things on a personal level and in my music.” Photo Helen Jade

Even from just one listen to this small town girl with a large city voice’s single (which we definitely have on repeat), we knew we had to find out more. (Our favorite lyric from the single is, “Willing to move if it means our hands stay intertwined.”  Be sure to listen out for it.)

How did you get your start and did you always want to be a musician?

Deep down I always wanted to, but I considered more practical careers also because it’s nerve-racking to go against the grain.

I grew up in a musical household listening to Madonna, Rupert Holmes, The Doors, Carole King and others. They all started my love for music. I began writing songs at age 7, which started as a way to process my feelings. It is still a cathartic experience for me, but I strive to make songs that not only help me, but are relatable enough to give listeners that same relief.

I attended Interlochen Arts Academy my senior year of high school. [Editor’s note: Interlochen is known for preparing young artists for rewarding careers and fostering academic excellence.] That experience helped me grow as a musician. I released my debut single, “Hopeless Romantic”, in July 2020 as my first step into the industry.

Texan JMES released her debut single, “Hopeless Romantic,” in July 2020. The Flower Mound native has performed at The Houston Rodeo, Opening Bell Coffee and many other events and venues. Photo Helen Jade

Where did the inspiration for ‘Ready to Love Again’ come from? 

From young love. I dated a guy when we were both 13. It wasn’t much besides sitting together at sport games or hanging out at school, but it was my first real interest in someone. We fell out of contact, but reconnected towards the end of our senior years. He later joined the military and was stationed in another country. I wrote the song soon after. I didn’t want to let go of that connection again. With the different transitions in our life we once again fell out of contact, but have recently started talking again during the pandemic.

What can your fans look forward to now?

I am in the process of releasing a brand new single, “Porcelain,” set to release this month. I also have an EP on the way later this year, and I am very excited to share it with everyone.

“I caught myself falling for him very quickly and I didn’t want to let go of that feeling, or him,” JMES says of her new single, shown here. “That’s what this whole song is about. Not wanting to let go.” Courtesy photo

What are your hopes for 2021? 

I have some big goals this year. Along with releasing my EP, I am hoping to play some live shows and get to meet the people that are listening to my music. I am also hoping that it will be safe to travel soon! I am also working on completing my certification course through New York University for Music Industry Essentials.

As a Texan from Flower Mound, what’s your favorite Texas destination?

My favorite is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, north Texas. My family and I go every year. There you can drive through and get to see the variety of animals they have on site. I love animals and nature so it has been an experience that I always look forward to.

Any fun facts we should know about you?

I collect mugs. Also, I am a dog lover and have rescued three dogs to date. Two of them are my family pets. I have a dog as well. Her name is Roo. She is a German Shepherd and we just celebrated her one year birthday. And, I am a fan of thrifting. I love the adventure in it and the reward. You never know what you are going to find and sometimes you just find that one thing that fits who you are so well, like it was meant to be.

Keep up with JMES on her social media pages for updates and new releases.

Cover photo courtesy Unsplash

Gracie Watt is the Editorial Intern at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a junior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @gracie.whatt