Like most Kiwis Jamie McDell loves the ocean – sailing, surfing, swimming, and diving – you name it. She’s also been making music and writing songs since she was a child.
Most of us know her as the phenominal singer songwriter talent, who signed onto a development deal whilst still at High School. Bursting onto the scene in 2012 with You’ll Never Take That Away and Rewind, which both topped the NZ Singles Chart, her straight forward, unaffected, sunny sound proved be an instant hit, finding favour from Cape Reinga to the Bluff and beyond. Her music has won her awards, and is attracting international attention – with a formidable following on YouTube and social media.
There is no complicated science or marketing magic behind her success, just good old fashioned talent and dedication, alongside that rare ability to tell a story in an honest, direct way that cuts through all of the unnecessary ephemera of modern life.
Growing up in Mangawhai nurtured her passion for the ocean and outdoors, which has had a huge influence on her music. After many adventures seeing the issue of plastic waste in our oceans first-hand, she’s finding ways to lend her talents and time to help care for our oceans, and has been volunteering for the Kiwi-based charity Sustainable Coastlines.
“We turned up to this beach and it was just really heartbreaking to see how much plastic was there. It was something I’d never seen before.”
We first met Jamie when she volunteered as an intern as part of our Festival for the Future team in 2015, and we’re delighted to have her back this year!