Northeastern University alumnus Jamie Alimorad, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology, is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and the Founder of Knothole Records. Since his days at Northeastern, he has been fully dedicated to advancing his music career and sharing his work with others. He has released three albums, starting with Cornerstone and Words Left Unsaid, which led him to go on his first nationwide tour through major cities including New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Building off this incredible momentum, Jamie then spent the next several years writing and recording new material for his latest album, This is Tomorrow Calling (2019).
This recent album, representing a years-long journey of emotion and experience, is varied – and includes a diverse soundscape. This unique sound that Jamie has developed, fueled by his passion for merging genres, has evolved over the years.
“When I cut my first EP while at Northeastern, I was going for a pop/rock, power pop sound that harkened back to the 80’s a la Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams, etc.,” explained Jamie. “I stayed true to that, with some sway, for years, but when I started This Is Tomorrow Calling, there was a conscious effort to be more contemporary, and more story-driven lyrics. This Is Tomorrow Calling is pop at its core, but the unifying theme is my voice. It explores rock, country, jazz, funk, soul, Americana; it’s a really unique record, and I’m so proud of it.”
On this album, “Brighter Days” was one of the tracks that stood out to Jamie from the start; it won the 2019 USA Songwriting Competition, is charting on radio, and spawned a partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
And the track stood out to more than just Jamie. Before the album was released, a promoter at an event in Los Angeles heard the song and inquired about it, a gesture that turned into a meaningful partnership. The promoter, who works with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, wanted to send it along to the organization – and another meaningful partnership unfolded. Jamie worked with them to create a campaign to raise money for mental health and suicide awareness, filming the music video (part performance, part vlog) at the Out of the Darkness Walk Santa Monica.
To me, this song has everything.
“The lyric is about my friend who attempted suicide, and is fortunately still with us,” Jamie added. “I wrote the song as a song of hope for her, and anyone struggling. I did the demo acoustic guitar/vocal and it had this George Michael vibe. When we went into the studio, producer Ross Vannelli really brought it to life, bringing in flares of rock, Latin, and gospel that revealed so much color! It’s an optimistic lyric and how the song builds brings it all together.”
“Brighter Days” won Best Song, Best Pop Song, and Jamie – along with co-writer (and producer of most of This Is Tomorrow Calling) Gino Vannelli – won Songwriters of the Year in the 2019 USA Songwriting Competition. It now sits on several top charts around the world.
These incredible successes are the culmination of a lot of hard work, starting even before his time at Northeastern.
While Jamie had been performing most of his life, during his time in Boston, he had the opportunity to dive into the underground music scene and hone his own craft through student organizations and engagement. He was in the Northeastern Rock Ensemble and started a band in his freshman year, Gemini, that played in afterHOURS and throughout the Northeast. By his junior year at Northeastern, Jamie was ready to try going solo, with his first gig being Kings Lounge.
“I sang an original, ‘In Her Smile,’ which would be the first song I professionally recorded, ‘And I Love Her’ by the Beatles, and ‘Summer Of ’69’ by Bryan Adams,” added Jamie. “I eventually wound up playing pretty much every venue from All Asia to the Paradise Rock Club. Now, Boston’s scene has changed so much, but those years were invaluable. I learned to deal with hecklers, empty houses, packed houses, diverse crowds, technical difficulties, you name it! The benefit of repetition, the discipline of practice and rehearsal, how to be a band leader, all of that started there.”
Needless to say, Jamie left Northeastern with both his degree and a blossoming career. And while many things have changed and evolved, some have stayed the same: his passion for music, dedication to the industry, and commitment to letting the creative process lead the way.
Music, to me, is as essential as air and water is to every living creature…
“It’s not just something I do, it’s something I am. There’s nothing better than writing, recording, and performing. I will choose those things over anything,” Jamie concluded. “Music brings people together. It takes you to another plane. It’s the intersection of math, science, art, language, spirituality, and magic.”