"It put everything into perspective that you really don't have another day," Jameson says. "That really pushed me to go after what I want and to encourage other people to do the same thing."

Jameson has already had a taste of larger spotlights, having performed in Las Vegas and Canada. A song she sang was recently featured on Lifetime, and she flew to New York City last year to meet with record label heads at Universal Music Group, having already met with A&R reps from Island Def Jam. They told her they wanted to hear an album, and when Elegant Mess came out last month, they received copies right away.

Now Jameson is focusing on putting together a live band for a show she wants to be just as polished as the disc — she says her concerts will include a horns section and dancers. She also is taking guitar lessons, and she plans on performing again with Hernandez and is already writing a second record.

Dawn Jameson has high hopes for representing the Valley.
Dawn Jameson has high hopes for representing the Valley.


Dawn Jameson has no performances scheduled as she forms a new band. To see a video of her performing, visit Up on the Sun, the New Times music blog, at www.PHXmusic.com.

Jack Howell, a local producer with roots in Nashville, has worked with big names such as Reba McEntire and George Strait, in addition to Jameson. He sings Jameson's praises, saying she "lives the lyrics in every song" and insists minimal Auto-Tune effects were used on her album.

"Dawn has true singing talent," Howell says. "A lot of the pop stars today are computer-aided, even on their live shows. She's legit, and a lot of them aren't."

And though she may look like a pop princess in front of big crowds, Jameson doesn't forget her roots. You can still find her every Sunday singing in the church choir, and she might even release a worship album someday.

Back at the piano in the studio, as she starts to sing an original, "So Beautiful," it is clear her ability stands on its own. She emotes as she's singing, closing her eyes while deftly moving between keys. She could totally hold her own at a bluesy piano bar, no airbrushed makeup required. In this type of setting, there is no notion of slutwave — just a talented singer and piano player whose passion for music is obvious.

Would that there were more like her.

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If awesome nuggage and commercial success are positively related even to the slightest, most infinitesimal degree... oh she has a bright future indeed. Like, Jesus-on-a-rainbow bright.

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