Jamie Fine Leaves EW x JF To Take Solo Journey
Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, the Canadian pop duo that burst onto the scene with “Ain’t Easy,” are doing some new math – and it involves the subtraction of Jamie Fine.
“It was a conversation and there were a few conversations after that,” Fine told iHeartRadio.ca in an exclusive interview Friday from her home in Ottawa. “One of the things that we mutually agreed upon was the really simple fact that we just see ourselves differently in terms of an artist. There were those creative differences.”
Fine stressed that there are no hard feelings between the two. “We looked at ourselves and I was like, ‘I want to be this kind of artist” and he was like ‘I want to be this kind of artist’ – doesn’t match up, OK, beautiful. It’s just in terms of the brand, it’s how we look, it’s the artists that we want to be – that’s where we really differ.”
EW x JF were thrust into the spotlight in 2018 when “Ain’t Easy” – a song they only had a small hand in writing – was chosen for release on the second episode of The Launch. The track quickly became ubiquitous on Canadian radio and the duo followed up with the EP 8:47 and songs like “Want You Back” and “Better Off." They also earned a pair of Juno nominations.
Fine’s solo debut is the raw confessional “Sellout,” a track co-written and produced by Woods, in which she sings: “Sold my soul to write some songs that I don’t care about / Tryna write this new one thinking that it’s sick / Probably stealing lines though from some better s**t / Anyways we’re high bro, sorry if we did / We’re just tryna write some f**king kind of hit.
“Writing all this pop s**t / Faking it in L.A. / Guess I should’ve listened / You know what they say / If you sell your soul for paycheques, you’re the one who pays.”
The song is the result of an internal struggle Fine had for almost two years. “I was waking up every day and I wasn’t the happiest I could have been,” she recalled. “I had this feeling of looking around myself and ourselves and having this overwhelming feeling of pride and accomplishment – and it was beautiful – but it was accompanied by this really strong feeling, almost stronger feeling, of never having felt further from everything I’ve ever wanted.
“I couldn’t understand why I had those two feelings together and I couldn’t understand the core of my unhappiness.”
Fine said there was no rush to go solo but she knew she needed to hit pause on her life.
“It was ‘I need to take a step back from absolutely everything and figure out why I’m unhappy and why I’m feeling this way and reevaluate.’ A lot of that was taking accountability and taking responsibility for why I was unhappy,” she admitted. “A lot of it was reassessing everybody around me and deciding ‘OK, here’s what I have to do for me.'
“The process made me fall back in love with music again and fall back in love with why I’m doing this.”
Below: Jamie Fine shares the biggest lesson she has learned from being in the music business.
Fine is not worried about “Sellout” coming off as bitter or ungrateful. “I don’t care, which sounds very ‘entitled artist,' but that’s what I want with my music. If I’m angry, I don’t want to brighten it up enough to seem like I’m not a bitch. I’m angry and I want to be angry,” she said.
“If I’m sad, I don’t want to sugar-coat it with a little bit of happiness to make it seem like I’m not an emotional psychopath, ‘cuz sometimes I am. I don’t want to fog up any of my music or taint it with anything it’s not.”
Fine believes “Sellout” will resonate with anyone working a job they don’t always love. “We all hate our job at some point, either somebody we’re working with or a day we’re having that’s really bad. There’s no way that you have all good days,” the singer said. “I was having a bad day with my job – doesn’t mean I don’t love it, doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for everybody that I’ve met and worked with along the way. It was this day of me being like, holy s**t, I’m sick of everybody coming up to me and saying ‘You’re amazing’ but feeling like I’ve reached my ceiling.”
Fine said she is confident EW x JF fans will stick with her and support her on the new journey.
“They’ve been incredibly supportive,” she said. “It’s not one of us being left in the dust, it’s both of us really going after things that make us happy and I think the fans are seeing that. It sounds so cliché but the fans that I’ve been lucky enough to meet along the way … they’ve just been so supportive in a really huge way.”
Is this really the end of EW x JF? "For now, it really is," she replied. "I’m a big fan of saying 'never say never' but both of us… I think that the quarantine and slowing down and forcing ourselves to slow down, really showed us what we really wanted and what we are really passionate about.
"I really found the direction that I really want to go and the things that make me really happy. The direction that I’m taking is definitely proving to help my mental health, for sure.”
Check out the lyric video for "Sellout" below: (Warning: Contains language some may find offensive.)
Listen to music from Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine