Simon D James

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned singer Simon D James to find out more...

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I was born in Winchester, Hampshire and lived in Andover until I was 12, then my family and I moved to Salisbury. My father is a musician and he brought me a guitar when I was very young. I didn't really touch it until I was about 14 and I saw Pulp on Top Of The Pops, this was the moment when I realized that I wanted to play guitar, so I taught myself and joined a band as soon as I learnt my first three chords.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I remember the first time that I heard 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', from that moment on I was obsessed with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, this led me to the world of Grunge and bands like Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins. Now I listen to almost every type of music, from Techno to Armenian folk music and I think I am influenced by everything I hear. When I went into the studio to record my first EP, the Producers at GreenMount Studios asked me which Artists or Albums I would like to sound like, I said Bowie and I think that's why the first EP sounds pretty retro.

How would you describe your sound?
I have a dislike for pigeonholes, and I am always asked this question, I guess somewhere in the Alternative Indie Folk arena.

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What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
I have just released the first track from my new EP 'Days of Heaven'. The track is called 'Release & Repeat' and I will be putting out a new tune every 2 weeks until the 4th October. This EP was recorded with my band from Brighton and produced by Ben Hampson who I was in punk bands with when we were teenagers. It's been a wish of mine for a long time to work with Ben, and I'm really proud of what we created. And I'm also really grateful to the awesome musicians who support me.

What’s your local music scene like?
Until recently I have been living in Brighton, which has and had a thriving music scene, you get exposure to all types of music and the gigs and clubs are always full of people having it.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I really want to put a full album out early next year, so at the moment I am busy finishing writing it and I hope to start recording it by the end of the year.

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I'm up for writing and playing with pretty much anyone. I would really like to make a more electronic sounding record so I'm hoping to work with some DJ's and producers this year.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I prefer to suppress those stories, I'll deal with them in therapy in the future.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Feedback from people is really important to me, I'd like to hear from the people who enjoy my music. No one likes to feel as though they are singing into a vacuum. That, and that I am really grateful that you read this article.

You can find out more about Simon via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.