Non-binary singer Jamison Daniels talks upcoming music release

Jamison Daniels is a non-binary actor, singer, and songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA who 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 train in 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 have recently been focused solely on music and are working on their latest solo act under the name Tum Tum Club. They will be releasing singles this summer with a full EP following this fall.

Jamison mentioned to me that they were working on some upcoming music, as well as spoke to me on some other topics. Check out our interview below!

Bryce Quartz: When did you first start making music?

Jamison Daniels: When I was around 13, I tried to start a band in High School. Unfortunately, I had overcommitted to extracurricular activities, so it never came together and I continued to write songs casually through college.

Things came into focus in 2018 when my friend got an Ableton Push. Seeing what it was capable of doing expanded my imagination and inspired me. After that, I started playing around with music production and took it more seriously at the start of the pandemic. 

BQ: How would you describe the music that you’re currently working on?

JD: I make Queer indie pop music. My influences are Ralph, Scissor Sisters, Charli XCX, Robyn, MUNA, Britney Spears, Tove Lo, Christine and the Queens, Carly Rae Jepson, etc. 

BQ: You were iconically on America’s Got Talent as a member of The Other Direction, self-described as the gayest boy band of all time. What was one of your favorite moments being on the show?

JD: Even for those two minutes, getting to perform in front of a live audience was thrilling. And the fan reactions online have been so incredible! It was a privilege to be the representation I never saw growing up. I’m grateful for the opportunity and look back on it fondly.

BQ: Do you still talk with the boys in the band?

JD: I still talk to the boys in the band. Not as regularly as I would like, but I’m actually having a writing session with Drew Machak (aka Alex) next week!

BQ: What does your queer representation in the music industry mean to you and others as a non-binary bear? 

JD: It’s one of the main reasons I feel the need to make music. As much as it’s gotten so much better for Queer artists and representation, I feel like we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to body and gender diversity. You don’t see a lot of artists showing you can have different body types and be unapologetically sexy.

The Bear community played a huge part in teaching me to love my body after growing up in a field that constantly told me I was only marketable if I lost weight or wanted to be a punchline. I want to take that gift and share it with those who want to celebrate our bodies and break free from the toxic pressures of “societal norms.” 

I feel we are also still struggling to represent that non-binary isn’t a one-size-fits-all in terms of how it is expressed. I’m still discovering what makes me happy in terms of expressing my gender because for years I suppressed what made me happy based on making others feel more comfortable. I’ve loved exploring my gender identity through my music and performance as I continue to discover what sparks joy in me. 

BQ: When can we expect a new release from you?

JD: This summer! I plan to release two singles from my new EP that I’m working on under my new solo project, Tum Tum Club. I’ve been working on a summer bop about falling in love with the skin that you’re in and sharing that feeling with other people. 

BQ: What other artists are you listening to right now?

JD: I listen to a lot of Zee Machine, Isaac Dunbar, Shamir, and Fancy Hagood. 

BQ: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions for us, Jamison!

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

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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.