Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Simon James find out more about him...
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from Dublin Ireland and I first got into music as a result of my dad. He sang and played guitar for years at family parties and I would always look up at him in awe and then he began to teach me at age 7. I also started piano and keyboard lessons then too and began to teach myself ukulele and drums from YouTube. That then manifested into songwriting on those instruments and has been my passion ever since.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
My influences growing up were essentially whoever my dad was listening to which was everyone from John Denver to my favourite artist growing up, a 12-year-old American country star called Billy Gilman. As of now, I find myself being influenced by several different artists across a wide spectrum of genres. These include Lauv, Shawn Mendes, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and PrettyMuch.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound at its core is pop melodies with an acoustic/folk vibe while maintaining a commercial pop production highlighting vocal samples and deep bass synths... Influences are what's mentioned above.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Simple Terms - The influence behind it was from personal experiences of being in a relationship with someone who essentially 'Loves (themselves) more than me" which is one of the main hooks in the song. Taking influence from Maroon 5 with combining a sad story to a happy and upbeat music resulted in this fun pop song which at its root, portrays a story of someone being thrown out and ultimately heartbroken.
What’s your local music scene like?
The music scene in Dublin is small but definitely has a real sense of community and comradery between musicians especially at open mic nights.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
The plan for the next 12 months is yes to get some festival slots, release a 5 track EP in May, and continue on my school tour which I have been doing since October of 2017. This is all in conjunction with maintaining my YouTube upload schedule of four videos a week which are a mixture of Vlogs, music and Challenge videos.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Ryan Tedder, Ed Sheeran or Pharrell.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I was once performing at an open mic night in Dublin and the performance area was situated in a bay window. As I was performing, with the window behind me which looked out on Temple Bar, the crowd looking up at me mid-performance suddenly gasped and all showed an expression of shock or just pure horror. Naturally, I panicked thinking I was either sounding awful or I'd a gaping hole in my trousers. However, when someone pointed behind me I turned around to find an angry, bald, 6 foot 6 highly intoxicated man attempting to lump a wooden sign through the glass window I was standing in front of. I quickly jumped out of the way but luckily someone else intervened and rugby tackled the lunatic to the ground before any damage was done. Haven't performed there since! haha
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
That they should all follow - @simonjamesofficial