In the next of our series of interviews with My Dream Is To Be talent, we talk to singer and pianist Jamee Nielsen about her background, inspirations and hopes for the future.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Jamee Nielsen, I live in St. Paul, Indiana (about an hour south of Indianapolis). I have a mom and dad, Sharon and Kevin Nielsen, and an older brother also named Kevin. I’m also a freshman in high school. My hobbies are horseback riding, basketball, and piano and voice.
How did you get into music?
The first time I remember ever getting into music is when I was young. My dad would always play piano in the evening and one night I sat up on the piano bench, looked at where and how he positioned his fingers on the keys, and I started to mimic what he played. Soon after he had me enrolled in piano lessons. When I broke my arm in 5th grade I couldn’t play for a while, but luckily my piano teacher also taught voice so I started singing and discovered I wasn’t half bad! Now I’m out of the arm cast and I pursue both.
When did you start playing piano? How often do you practice?
I started playing piano when I was in 3rd grade so I was probably about 8 or 9, and I don’t really have a set time for practicing. All I can tell you is that I play piano every day and I can’t tell you how many times it has kept me up half the night. I can tell you though that out of all the times I’ve sat down at the piano, not once did I have to force myself.
Who were your main inspirations, both musically and in your own life?
Well, my main famous inspiration was by far The Beatles. They are the band I was raised on by my dad and I still can’t find any artist that compares! As for my inspiration in my own life, I can’t choose just one. My top three are my piano and voice teacher Kim Wallace because she has been with me so long she’s like a second mother and I wouldn’t know anything without her! My second is my deceased Grandpa Roland Nielsen. He died when I was very young but I’ve heard stories about his natural music ability and how he could play any instrument just by picking it up. I know that if I’m talented, then I must’ve gotten it from him! And last, of course, is my dad. Because of his music experience, he always gives me tips (even when I don’t want them!)
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment had to be when I scored my first basket for my basketball team, it just happened this year! I’ll admit, I’m no Michael Jordan, but I was wide open for a shot and the point guard passed it to me and I shot and it went in! Of course it didn’t hurt that it was a three pointer!
Have you ever performed live, what was it like?
Yes, many times. My first time was at a little piano recital when I was 9. My biggest crowd was at a Yuletide dinner in front of 600+ people. It was exhilarating! I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous, but it’s just the greatest feeling to see the audience light up when you impress them! It was the first time I really considered music as a career.
Check out Jamee peforming ‘Price Tag‘ by Jessie J
Where would you like to be in five years time?
In 5 years, I want to be on Jay Leno, Ellen, or Regis and Kelly (minus Regis), but I’d just be happy if people recognized my name!
What do you think of reality TV shows, would you ever take part in one?
My point on view on TV shows is that if someone wanted to offer me the opportunity to make people happy, have fun, be famous, and get paid in the process. then i’m game!