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Creative Catalyst | London
Musician, filmmaker, writer, photographer and all-round creative catalyst, Jamie Catto is guaranteed to rock your mind with his deeply enlightened view of the world.
Spend only minutes with Jamie Catto and you'll be captivated by his electrifying energy and razor-sharp views on life and humanity, making you think more deeply about the world and your true purpose within it. He first came to the world’s attention in the mid-1990s as one of the founding members of the chart-topping British electronica band, Faithless. "Initially, the group got together in the evenings and on the weekends to work on it as a side project", Jamie says. "The reason why we became huge was because our music was made with passion.”
The band catapulted to international fame when one of its singles, "Insomnia", was one of the hit songs at the German Love Parade dance festival. "Our first single eventually went to number three on the UK charts, then our second single went to number four in the same year", he says. Their success spread from country to country, and the band began touring the world. "Faithless became such a famous live band because we put together a 12-piece band with percussions, electric guitars, bass, drums, two keyboards, and backing vocalists", he explains. "It was like having a huge football team of artists on stage."
He decided to leave the band in 1999 when Chris Blackwell, the legendary producer who signed Bob Marley and U2, offered Jamie and his friend, Duncan Bridgeman, their own creative deal. The duo embarked on the voyage of a lifetime to produce 1 Giant Leap, their double-Grammy nominated global music and film project. “1 Giant Leap was a way to showcase the genius of all of these different singers and musicians around the world", he says. "We also thought that if we asked fascinating people to talk to us about the big subjects in life – God, sex, death, money, inspiration, fame – the kind of subjects where even if you are in Africa, or if you're in Los Angeles, you would still have something to say, then link that together with music, we would have an incredible film".
Collaborating with legendary artists such as Bono, REM's Michael Stipe, Bob Geldof and Baaba Maal, they went on to produce two films and their 1 Giant Leap album received two Grammy nominations and sold over 300,000 albums worldwide. "As the subject of our second film, "What About Me", was so deep, all of these very personal and inspiring conversations began to happen", he says. "It was a bit like a workshop already. I always wanted to go deeper and start having experiences which were transformational together". In addition to his music and film-related creative pursuits, he now travels the world hosting a series of mind-opening workshops titled, What About Me (whataboutme.com), to stimulate people to unleash their creativity. "I started to book weekends for people to come and be together for a whole weekend, to explore our creativity and our humanity. Always with foolishness. Always with playfulness. Always playing together, like music. That's why it's important".
Interview: Enrique Nalda
Photography: Courtesy of Jamie Catto
Interview first published in RedVisitor Magazine: Issue Two - Purchase Now
M O R E I N T E R V I E W S . . .