Jamie Lambert rose to fame as one-fifth of musical theatre boyband, Collabro, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 and have gone on to become the world’s most successful musical theatre group. Through the band Jamie has sold over one million records, celebrated three top five albums, performed for over one hundred million people around the world and completed three sell-out tours, which this year culminated in a spectacular show at the Royal Albert Hall.
Jamie’s talents don’t end with singing however. He has also written for various publications speaking out about being an LGBTQ+ advocate – a topic which he is incredibly honest and passionate about. He is also a huge dog-lover and lives in London with his adorable pug, Betty! YASS Magazine met Jamie and here is all you need to know!
How did everything start? When did you realise you have a talent in music?
My nana used to play me old Jose Carreras records and then Andrea Bocelli came along and i fell in love with his music. When my nana passed, she left me all of her cds.
Were you always dreaming of becoming a singer?
Actually, when I was younger i wanted to be an english teacher or a marine biologist!
How did you meet the other four members of Collabro and when was the idea of a musical theatre boyband conceived?
We met via auditions advertised on social media. Matt and I knew each other and we decided that we should try and make our own group work as the West End is hugely difficult to get into. The band band was formed from there, we entered Britain’s Got Talent and the rest is history!
Where does the name Collabro come from?
Collaboration of brothers!
Collabro won Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, sold over one million records, celebrated three top five albums, performed for over one hundred million people around the world, completed three sell-out tours including a spectacular show at the Royal Albert Hall, and the list goes on! Did you really expect that you would become the world’s most successful musical theatre group?
Absolutely not. I do believe though, that a lot of our success comes from the work ethic we all have. We never stop working and we never stop hustling – it’s just part of who we are. We have a genuine love and passion for what we do.
Are you excited about your return to Britain’s Got Talent?
It is a bit daunting when you’ve spent five years building a career to suddenly go back and find yourself in a competitive arena again, but Britain’s Got Talent were very respectful towards us and we had an absolutely amazing time.
You have also hosted several live red carpets shows including the Olivier Awards. What is more challenging? To be a singer or a presenter, and what do you enjoy more?
I think the beauty of performing in a group is that we have each other to lean on, no matter how tough things get. I adore being a presenter too though, you just don’t have the safety blanket of the other guys around you, which is both terrifying and thrilling. I also love finding out about people which really helps.
What makes you happy?
Lots of things! But particularly the ideology that the time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted. I am a huge believer in living life your own way. So I do what makes me happy – I run my company, I sing with the boys, spend time with my family, bake, garden etc.
What is a typical day of yours like?
I have a few things I do as part of a routine at least a couple of times a week – I always have my coffee, I go for my run, I walk the dog and I work on our production company.
Apart from being a talented singer and presenter, you are also an LGBTQ+ advocate and you have written several publications speaking out about being an open and out LGBTQ+ advocate. What makes you passionate about raising awareness?
I believe we are currently tolerated. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance. So more work is needed, and we all have a role to play.
What do you mostly want to make people sensitised and aware about?
The fact that we are all human. We all laugh, cry, love, live and bleed the same, no matter our sexuality, gender or skin colour.
How does it feel to be out and visible nowadays compared to when Collabro started?
I have a huge amount more confidence now I think. Years of performing our own music at our own shows has allowed me to develop who I am both artistically and as a person.
Do you feel a role model for the new generation of LGBTQ+ people?
Not particularly to be totally honest. i like the idea of using my platform to help other people, but there are so many incredible LGBTQ people who dedicate their entire being to the community, and I couldn’t take their spotlight.
Do you believe there is less discrimination and more visibility nowadays in the LGBTQ+ scene?
I think the world is always shifting, always moving. The world right now, particularly in the UK and the US, are hugely focused on gender and I don’t believe that’s a binary thing. People who are afraid of change find the idea terrifying. The idea that they might become something other than the ‘norm’ frightens them, consciously or subconsciously, and they often behave like animals backed into a corner. They lash out at queer casting or people who aren’t what they consider ‘gender normative’. It’s dreadfully disappointing, but it can change the more we celebrate queer identity, and represent it in mainstream culture.
Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your sexual identity?
Definitely. Directly or indirectly, we have all suffered because we aren’t what society has conditioned people to believe is ‘normal’. Last year my partner and I were attacked in the street. So many LGBTQ people still feel uncomfortable walking down the street hand in hand.
What is the biggest issue LGBTQ+ people face?
Feeling like they’re not able to live their lives in public in the same completely open way that other people can.
Tell me about your adorable pug Betty. How does it feel to be a dogfather?
Betty is a huge part of the lovely life we have created – she’s so cute. I genuinely don’t remember what I did before we had a dog! She is a massive part of our family.
What are your plans for the future?
I am super excited about the release of the new Collabro record ‘Love like this’ which comes out in November – it’s a real departure from our normal stuff but it has allowed us to be so creative and really develop. It’s my favourite thing about being a recording artist and working with three other brilliant people. We really get to bounce off each other and create together.
*all images are courtesy of Jamie Lambert
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