The Nerve Centre Interview: Jazamin Sinclair

For some reason, whenever I do interviews for this very blog, I decide on the agreeable venue of The Egg Cafe. Those who know it, will be aware that it has a great selection of food, a cool and varied clientèle and an ever revolving art gallery, EggSpace, inside of it. It makes it all the more fitting then, that I am chatting to Jazamin Sinclair, one of the lovely persons who puts EggSpace together. She also performed sets at The Nerve Centre and more recently during the Bold Street Festival for the Nerve stall. I met her and discussed Nerve, her various talents, music and more over a very refreshing coffee.

You performed at The Nerve Centre and more recently The Bold Street Festival at the Nerve stall. How did you feel about the performances? 

(Thinks) Well, I was nervous at The Nerve Centre because it was my first solo gig for a while and I felt rusty and slightly out of practice. The Bold Street Festival gig was better as I'd also had a show the week before at The Gallery (In Clayton Square) and had rehearsed more so I felt quite relaxed and I enjoyed the performance, although I'm not sure people could hear much! 

How did you come to know of Nerve?

It was around 2004, when I organised an exhibition with Karen Henley (as part of The Long Journey Home Group) at Quiggins, that I met Colin Serjent (Nerve's resident Art Critic!) who was interested in what we were doing and in reviewing our exhibitions. 

You're multi-talented, being a painter, photographer, exhibition organiser and much more. How do you balance your time and do you find, like many artists, that being busy is the best thing?

Well, some weeks are really hectic and some are not so busy. On a really hectic week I could be working from nine am to ten pm but other weeks not. I like being busy, but it really does depend on the week! 

Street Lites by Jazamin Sinclair.

"(The Nerve Centre) is a good thing. Keep it going!"
Those of you who came to The Nerve Centre may have seen Sinclair's Life drawings of nudes on the wall near the performance area, and it was only fitting, and perhaps coincidental, that she performed her set with them just behind or next to her depending on where you were in the audience. A solo artist as well as a member of Sense of Sound Singers, Sinclair's set was one of the many highlights of the four weeks and if you read my review you'll know just what went down as that particular gig. Being an artist of many disciplines, Sinclair has many strings to her bow, and I asked her in particular about the musical side:

Concentrating on your music, I recently reviewed your performance at The Nerve Centre and noted that you performed a few cover songs in the set. How do you choose which songs to perform?

There's a list of songs that I choose from and some songs that I want to learn, such as that song that goes like " Put all your troubles..." (In a moment of modern knowledge, I say that it's Eliza Doolittle's song Pack Up.) Yeah, that song. Although I think it needs the full instrumentation, rather than just me and my lonely guitar! (Laughs) It really depends on the venue, though, and that determines what I'll sing.

Any favorites to perform?

Well, Spaceman by  4 Non Blondes. Also Circle Game by Joni Mitchell. 

Jazamin in performance at The Nerve Centre.

Do you approach creating your art pieces in the same way as creating a song? 

Well, when I create a song it's usually a quick process. I'll have an idea, and I'll write it down, sometimes I'll finish it soon. Sometimes I'll return to it much later! 

What is your creative process usually?

Well, it depends on the type of work. For paintings, I do a small ink and water colour drawing, from life, of something nearby, then I choose a small section of the drawing that I think will make a good painting and paint that part on a much bigger scale. For photography, it's whatever catches my eye really. 

You're a member of Sense of Sound Singers as well as a solo artist. What is the usual process when working with them?

Perri Alleyne-Hughes arranges the various parts and harmonies for the songs and then we learn them bit by bit together over the weeks. We do lots of gigs and practice regularly so it keeps you busy and the skills and training you get with Sense of Sound are invaluable!

Liverpool is a very creative place to be in. How much does Liverpool, or aspects of it, affect your work?

Oh, I don't know really. I mean, I've lived all over the place but Liverpool is home so I suppose that it's where I take influence from. But, I couldn't say really! It's a very creative place with an active creative community so it's a good place to be an artist really! I think you will always take a certain amount of influence from where you are.

Clothes by Jasmine Sinclair.

To round off our chat I ask her about The Nerve Centre, a topic on many peoples mind recently due to its current - albeit temporary- lack of existence:

As many out there may know, we're currently seeking a new location for The Nerve Centre. What do you think are the positive aspects of a project such as The Nerve Centre?

I mean, it'll be good! There's lots of artists going in and out, showcasing their work. It's a great thing for the local artists. 

Any thoughts, words of advice or wisdom for the people of Nerve?

(Thinks) It's a good thing. Keep going and try to find a new building! 

Thanks to Jazamin for a wonderful chat. You can see the fruits of her organisational labours at EggSpace and you can discover Jazamin's work at her website: 

Interview and Photo by Sebastian Gahan@The Nerve Centre. 


The Nerve Centre Live Review: Jazamin Sinclair.

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