"No no no!" is the reaction from Jazz music's newest star when asked if he is a Mac evangelist, persuading friends to become Mac owners. "I prefer being cool on my own," he explains.
Twenty-four year old Jamie Cullum is cool enough, being one of the hottest and most promising artists on the jazz scene, with a double-platinum selling album already under his belt. In the past few years Jamie has gone from funding his own CDs to a reported million pound record deal; from being an unknown to playing at a "surreal and incredible" private party for the Queen.
Jamie is also a committed Apple Mac fan currently owning a "beautiful G4 laptop with the twelve inch screen." Having been a Mac user for "about six years" Jamie started his Mac-using life on a "colour classic II", his main use for which was to play the classic "Leisure Suit Larry". Since that first Mac Jamie has upgraded about every four years.
Over the years Jamie's hardware collection has expanded, and now includes "an iPod, a small midiman keyboard (USB), Nikon digital camera, Epson printer, and a Sony DV camera occasionally."
Jamie's reasons for choosing Mac over Windows will be familiar to many Mac users, "I hate hassle. Macs seemed like a lot less hassle what with everything being designed to work for it. Also it appeared to me to be the choice for creative people."
Since getting his one million pound deal with Universal music Jamie has been incredibly busy and is currently in the middle of a tour of the US and Canada. Having his PowerBook on the road is extremely useful to Jamie who uses it for "email, watching DVDs on the road and organizing revolutions."
Aside from the revolutionary plans of the man dubbed variously as 'the David Beckham of Jazz' and 'the new Frank Sinatra' Jamie finds his Mac essential in his work. He uses it for "writing tunes on the road using Sibelius and Reason software with a small MIDI keyboard – essential when on tour and jetlagged. Using WiFi connection in cafes is great too. It's also invaluable for syncing with my iPod." Jamie is a great fan of the iPod with "NERD's Fly or Die" currently being the album of choice.
As yet Jamie has not used Apple's new GarageBand software, preferring to use ProTools and Logic. "I have Logic, Cubase and Reason software and samplers at home, and I'm always messing about with that quite a lot, but for this album we recorded it all in analogue."
Jamie has his own Web site, unique among most artists signed to major labels in that it’s independently run. "Having your own site is a wonderful thing. Mostly it makes your fan-base human and inspires them during times of relative inactivity to keep abreast of what you’re doing. I’m very proud to own and run my own site without record company involvement. We update it almost daily."
Jamie's use of the Internet actually goes back even further than his Mac usage, having been online "probably for about ten years. I started with bulletin boards years ago with my ZX Spectrum." Comedy website Homestarrunner is one of Jamie's favourite bookmarked sites, being a combination of cartoons, games and amusing emails.
Jamie currently doesn't own a PDA but uses "a Blackberry. Mobile email has become a central part of my very existence. This, of course, is not directly compatible with my Mac."
With Apple wanting to be at the centre of our digital life, Jamie wishes that their next move would be to rectify this. "I'd love to see Apple do a deal with T-Mobile or someone and develop an utterly stylish and functional mobile, email phone that works seamlessly with the computer (probably via Bluetooth) and enables your laptop to connect to the Internet also."
Despite having become a star from the power of the major record labels Jamie doesn't share their concern about the downloading of music, "I think downloading of music is brilliant, I think it is good for music. I think it keeps the industry on its toes, and it makes people write better albums.
"The record industry is only worried because it makes them work harder. They need to get involved in the infrastrucure of the downloading of tracks. Also bands need to inspire more loyalty in their fans by playing live more and actually care for and look after their fanbase so fans actually want to buy their records.
"I think the reason people are downloading is because there are only one or two good tracks per album! So if you make better albums, people will want to buy better albums."
Finally Jamie feels that "as musicians, we have to make albums with more than one good track on it and do cooler artwork – give away cooler stuff with the package. Remember wanting to own vinyl because it was just so f**king cool?"
Visit Jamie's offical web site here.