>> Naomi Hamilton, otherwise known as Jealous of the Birds, is unapologetically queer, wise, and a very talented musician. Her music has been featured on NPR, BBC, and countless others! The indie sounds and punk rock undertones and thoughtful lyrics she creates are absolutely mesmerizing. Enjoy our interview with her below where we talked about her decision to pursue music, what bird she would be, and how she maintains her punk rock attitude!
What made you decide to pursue music?
Halfway through my first year at university I was gifted some basic recording equipment and started messing around with demoing songs at home. Since I was 12 I’ve played guitar, written poems and sang heaps of Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, and Nirvana, but until then I’d never thought to write original material. Soon enough, after releasing music online and playing my first gig in May 2015, things snowballed to the point where my interest in pursuing music surpassed whatever career potentially waited for me after a degree in English with Creative Writing. Music became the reason I got up in the morning.
What artists (doesn’t have to be just musicians) have inspired you to create?
There are too many musicians to mention, but from a literary perspective, Allen Ginsberg’s poetry and his ethos of embodying candour in one’s creative practice had a massive impact on me. Studying his poems taught me to harness free-association in an attempt to avoid the kind of self-censorship which constricts the expression of very vital, human ideas.
Please describe yourself as a bird.
I’m a sassy pigeon.
What is your favorite book and why?
This changes all the time, but right now it’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
How did you celebrate Pride Month? What are your tips for being a good ally?
By being unapologetically myself and encouraging other queer individuals to do the same. I live in Belfast and its Pride Festival doesn’t begin until 26th July, so you can count on me to highkey celebrate then. In all honesty though, in the LGBTQ+ community, every month is Pride Month. Being a good ally is as simple as being a compassionate person who can not only respect another’s identity but also celebrate their right to really own it. The best thing we can do is empower, educate and look out for one another in the face of bigotry.
How do you maintain your punk rock aesthetic/attitude in this over-commercialized world?
I’d say that my aesthetic is much more indie than punk rock, but it’s true that I vibe with a lot of the drive behind it. I think punk is welcoming in the sense that it encourages people to really commit to their own individuality, even if that particular way of being goes against the grain. The tonic is being fiercely oneself and passionate about things regardless of fickle trends or whatever the big corporate lens is aimed at. It means that, more often than not, you arrived at what you like through your own unique experience, or directly through the artist themselves, rather than a faceless corporation telling you what to dig. <<