Jamison Daniels releases cover of Mandy Moore’s debut hit “Candy”

Jamison Daniels is a non-binary actor, singer, and songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. They just released their first single Candy, a cover of Mandy Moore’s 1999 debut hit, under their artist name Tum Tum Club.  

Jamison was most recently seen as Greg in the boy band The Other Direction on NBC’s America’s Got Talent

When they were 16, they were awarded a scholarship to study musical theater at Idyllwild Arts Academy in a quaint mountain town in Southern California. This led them to a scholarship to train in the BFA program for musical theater at The Hartt School at The University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. 

Jamison has performed in Film & Television, National Tours, Off-Broadway, and even your local mall! 

They recently signed with Happy Human Entertainment and are hard at work on their debut EP Late 2 the Party, expected to come out in 2023.

We covered Jamison back in May, check out that article here:

Jamison’s cover of Candy by Mandy Moore highlights their creativity and ability to rework a song and make it their own. From start to finish, I find myself enamored by the track. The vocal delivery and instrumental combination gives us such a nostalgic feeling. You can tell the producer put their work into elevating this song too, making it all the more worth it. The vibes are definitely there, making this track a must listen. 

I had the privilege of interviewing Jamison about the release, check it out below!

Bryce Quartz: What inspired you to make this track?

Jamison Daniels: I grew up on pop music in the late ’90s. Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera, etc. But I always had a soft spot for pop princess Mandy Moore. She was only a few years older than me and I really looked up to her. She had a quiet confidence that was so admirable and unique. She was the embodiment of the girl next door with a soothing, breathy voice to match. Mandy was the fantasy I wanted to be. She was singing her heart out while driving the lime green VW Bug of my dreams. 

Since then, I’ve always been a huge fan of this song and this music video. Embarrassing fact, I used to practice lip-synching by watching Mandy Moore’s music videos cause I thought she was the master. When creating this cover, I knew I wanted to do a grown-up version. Since one of my goals as an artist is to be sex-positive, I wanted to create a BDSM anthem for submissives and really lean into the subtext matter of the song. Missing someone “like candy” sounds absurd until you put it into the context of desiring something everyone says is bad for you and has no substance in your life. But indulging can make you feel good and causes you to crave it more. Combining these thematic concepts laid out a blueprint for the track and where I wanted to go with it.

BQ: How did you get the instrumental together?

JD: I tried to stay true to the musical integrity of the original because as much as people wanna write off mainstream pop as simplistic, it’s much more complex and carefully crafted than people give it credit for. The real craft is taking complex ideas and streamlining them into something you can feel in a harmony or a hook.

I knew when creating the ice cream bell sound I wanted to have a haunting nostalgia, and that was one of the first sounds I locked in on. When choosing the rest of the sounds, the challenge became where we would find the sonic space for all the gritty low-frequency synths I wanted to use without muddying the sound. With the help of my producer, Brandon Baisley of Happy Human Entertainment, we were able to carefully choose what sounds would give us the desired effect and find the balance to make this cover really pop. 

BQ: Did you have fun recording this in the studio?

JD: I had such a blast recording this song. It was so much fun to live out my pop star fantasy and really sell the sex of this song in my performance. One of the most exciting parts of this song was getting to rewrite and perform the infamous spoken word portion and get really sticky-sweet with it.

BQ: Do you have any plans for visuals in the future?

JD: For me, Tum Tum Club is about embodying fashion moments from the late ’90s to the early 2000s with a more body and gender inclusive perspective. So right now, I’m having multiple outfits being made for upcoming performances and photo sessions. I’ll be teasing some of these visuals on my Instagram & TikTok accounts soon. Both can be found @jamison_daniels 

BQ: What can we expect next from you?

JD: Currently working on the master for an original song, Rub My Tum Tum. It’s a body positive dance anthem for bears and cubs who like to show off their tummies and the people who admire them. I’m also hard at work on the rest of my debut EP Late 2 the Party, which will be out in 2023. It’s inspired by artists like Alex Chapman, Madison Rose, Rina Sawayama, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Lizzo. For me, this EP is about feeling free and letting go of ideas that held me back in the past. I want my audience to go on a journey of self discovery with me, where we can express sexuality with a kind of abandon that I wish I had seen from someone like myself when I was growing up. 

BQ: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jamison!

Be sure to stream “Candy” by Tum Tum Club on all platforms now.

Visit Jamison Daniels’ website for more info, and follow them on FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok, and YouTube to keep up to date with what they’re doing next! 

Latest Articles

Bryce Quartz

Bryce Quartz is a queer, cubby rapper currently based in Brooklyn. In addition to contributing to Bear World, he is also a writer for Ryan Cassata’s music blog Rock The Pigeon. He has performed at bear events across the US and has worked with popular drag queens, including RPDR alum Brita Filter.