Olympics 2016: Jamie N Commons On Soundtracking The Summer’s Biggest Event

If the Euros and Wimbledon weren’t good enough at making you feel guilty for not using your gym membership, then prepare yourself for a next level shame spiral which will kick into touch when the Rio Olympics start on August 5.

With 206 countries taking part in 306 events over 42 disciplines, it’s going to be taking over a significant part of your summer – especially if you tune into BBC’s coverage next month. And if you do, then you’re more than likely to hear the empowering sounds of ‘Not Gonna Break Me’ by singer-songwriter and British based bluesman Jamie N Commons, which the BBC will be using as their official soundtrack to all things Olympic-y.

The first trailer will air after the Wimbledon final and during the Euros this Sunday July 10. We spoke to Jamie about the tune – which you can hear below – his chances of being on Team GB’s archery team come 2020, and his debut album, which looks set for release by the end of the year.

Was ‘Not Gonna Break Me’ written specifically for the Olympics?
Jamie: “The BBC sent me the brief and I was working on this song at the time, and it was pretty much done. The sentiment of it matched up with whatever they were looking for for the advert. It was just perfect, serendipitous timing, really. I had ‘Jungle’ on the last World Cup – it’s [another] motivational, heavy loud guitar song, basically. It’s a strange niche to find yourself in but it’s good to have one, I suppose!”

How did it feel being asked?
“Absolutely, absolutely insane. Being involved in these kind of events at all really, even in a very small way is great. Just the amount of years and stuff that everyone trains for these things, and you get to come along and try and capture that in three minutes. It’s definitely an honour to be in the conversation for it. I’m definitely far too lazy to ever get there in a sportsman way!”

Which events are you personally most excited about seeing it soundtracking? Some sweet javelin, maybe?
“I just bought a bow and arrow the other day, so I‘ve got quite into that. I’m interested to see that in the next few weeks, I’ve never really seen it done professionally.

How on earth did you get into that?!
“I was just listening to this podcast, and the guy was going on about how it was really good for zen-ing out at the end of the day, like, shooting arrows for half an hour into a target to relax, and not think about any of the bad stuff. So I just went on Amazon, and saw them for £30, £40 and was like, ‘yeah why not!’ You could definitely kill someone with it! I’d recommend it, it’s good, it’s very relaxing.”

What kind of reaction are you expecting from the song?
“Someone was talking to me about it the other day, and it actually seems like a perfect song for right now in England. After the last couple of weeks we’ve had over here, it’s certainly got an appeal to it.”

How do you rate Team GB’s chances this year?
“I think we always do punch above our weight in terms of population or how seriously some countries take things. There’s always an amazing story, isn’t there, of one event or two events, so I think probably a good haul.”

Will ‘Not Gonna Break Me’ feature on your debut album?

“Yeah, yeah. I’m just finishing off the first album at the moment. It should be out this side of the year I reckon.”

How is the album coming along?
“Everything’s written and recorded and stuff. I just need a few weeks to sit down and dot the Is and cross the Ts and pull it all together and get it sounding coherent. It’s been such a long time and we’ve basically got two albums worth of stuff to work with.”

What’s it sounding like?
“It’s going to be quite an intense musical journey, I think. I guess on the heavier side there’s songs like ‘Not Gonna Break Me’ and it’ll go all the way down to a capellas – just me and an acoustic guitar kind of blues songs as well. It’s quite a dynamic range. I’m really excited about it, I can’t wait for it to be finally done and be out there and start touring it round.”

Are there any special guests on the record?
“I’m actually in the process of finding a particular female vocalist who can do a lot of backing vocals on it, so that’s in the process at the moment but I think its going to be someone exciting so… it depends who I can rope in to do it!”