CMW - Country Music Week

Interview: Jimmie Allen talks playing in the UK, Mercury Lane, Harry Potter, Disney and more

Soon to be Mega Star Jimmie Allen made his debut in the UK in October during Country Music Week. His debut album Mercury Lane had just been released and already the UK fans were going crazy for it and couldn’t wait to see him. Jimmie supported Chase Rice on his UK tour as well as playing the Bluebird Session with Eric Paslay, Cassadee Pope and Lee Miller and a showcase at Ticketmaster with Megan O’Neill and Laura Oakes.

Since Jimmie was here, he received the amazing news of his song Best Shot reaching number one; Making history as the first black artist to launch a career with a no.1 song on country radio and joins Darius Rucker as Second Black Solo Country Artist to Have Debut
Single in Top Spot. More on that here.

When Jimmie was over in the UK, we caught up with him to discuss being in the UK, his album release, Harry Potter, Disney and more.

Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of BBR/Stoney Creek Records

Hi Jimmie – How are you?

I am doing great.

Welcome to the UK – we are so happy to have you, is this your first time here?

Yes, ever. I love it here, people have been great, the weather isn’t as bad as I thought.

So you just did a showcase at Ticketmaster and that was your first ever UK show . How did it feel?

I had a good time, I sang a song that I had never sung before.

What was that?

A song called County Lines, we had never done it acoustic before.

Oh nice!

It was fun.

What did you think of Megan and Laura?

I loved them, they are super nice.

I heard you said to Megan it is hard to write a happy song about the US and you wanna be in Ireland.

Yes. The way that song was built you can tell that Ireland is a smaller country. The thing about the US, we can write songs about our towns and out hometowns but we don’t really write about the country in its entirety because its all so different.

True!

Congratulations on release of Mercury Lane.

Oh thank you so much.

Have you stopped celebrating yet? Has it sunk in now?

Nope, hasn’t sunk in yet. I am just happy to have released an album. Have music out that people can listen to.

It has had such good responses, that is all I have seen.

Oh man! I have seen some bad ones but I look at it as; you know what? No matter what you do not everyone is gonna like it, and that’s fine. I would be worried if everyone liked it. You gotta have people that don’t like it.

What did you do to celebrate? I remember you saying that when you got your record deal you went home and played Playstation.

I watched TV, chilled at home and ate pizza.

I don’t blame you.

When the album came out, that night actually, I was on my tour bus with my manager and booking agent heading to a show. I played my first arena show that night with Jake Owen in Ohio which was a good time. So I guess I can say that I celebrated my album release by playing my first arena show.

Well you can’t get better than that.

Was it a lengthy process making the album?

Not really, it was relatively easy. 90 per cent of the songs were already done. I already have about six or seven songs that I want for the second record – we have recorded them and everything. There are a bunch of songs that I really love that I want to come out so I am just waiting for the label to say they want music.

Were they potential songs for Mercury Lane at any point?

There were like two that I wanted for this record that aren’t on there.

Any chance of a deluxe record of Mercury Lane?

I don’t know; The only thing I don’t like about Deluxe albums is that you’re selling the same album. I’d rather just release three or four songs and make it an EP. Something completely different.

Yes I agree and don’t agree because I am a CD collector and love having different versions, deluxe versions and so on.

But then you can print out EP’s and sell them at shows.

Ooh I hope so, that would be awesome.

What song has been the one that most people have told you they relate to or love?

Live shows it depends; you figure on the record, listening back, tracks like All Tractors Ain’t Green, How To Be Single, Make Me Want To. Live shows people love Underdogs, County Lines so it depends on the crowd, each crowd is different.

What about your mum? Obviously Warrior but what else does she love?

She has her favourites like Wait for it and Underdogs.

So you went to platform 9 and three quarters? How was it?

Excellent haha. I am working on going to the Harry Potter Studios Saturday.

My sister has gone today.

Nice.

You could have gone with her haha.

I had to work on a connection I had at Warner as it has sold out.

Yes it does, very quickly.

You’re in Slytherin house I see?

Oh yeah!

Haha! Have you been to the Harry Potter place in Universal Studios?

Oh yeah I go there all the time.

So it’s good?

Oh it’s great!

What do you think of Butter Beer?

Oh I love it! You can do the frozen and the regular one.

Are you going to get a chance to sight see here?

I try to do some sight seeing and shopping.

Have you been asked to bring anything back?

Yeah but I don’t open those text messages haha. There is this store I have heard of, a seven storey toy store?

Hamleys?

Yeah! Where is that? I want to go to that.

It is worth it, and there will be a lot of Harry Potter stuff.

Oh good.

Any plans to return to the UK soon?

I hope so.

We just spoke to Lainey Wilson who said you had a hand in her securing her record deal. Are there any rising stars we need to be paying attention to?

Check out Sammy Arriaga and a guy named Matt Stell. He is a country artist and has a song called Prayed For You which you will love.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

Going out with Scotty McCreery, going to DisneyWorld.

Florida?

Yes Florida always. After I finish the Scotty tour, I will go out with Kane Brown.

Nice!

I went to Disneyland Florida but regrettably didn’t do Animal Kingdom.

Oh it’s awesome. I have been six times this year.

Wow! You should go Disneyland Paris whilst here.

How far is that from here?

You can go by train in like two hours. Disney express or something.

Really? I wanna take a trip to Disneyland. I might do that haha (checks diary on phone)

You a massive Disney fan then?

Massive.

What is your favourite Disney film?

Movie? Mary Poppins.

Are you keen on watching the new one?

Erm..not sure.

Neither am I. You can’t beat Julie Andrews.

You can’t. I feel that some movies should be left as a classic. Man I can’t believe Paris is so close, I know what I am doing Saturday ha.

Jimmie’s PR: you are playing Saturday.

I am? What day do I have off?

PR: Sunday

Nah I am playing Sunday.(Checks diary again) I need to figure this out, it’s important. It might be Friday….

We wrapped it up over a drink and he checked more on Disney, I am not sure if he went.

We loved Jimmie both in person and as a performer and cannot wait for him to come back to the UK soon. Fingers crossed for C2C Festival.

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