The humble folk singer shares his experience on taking a huge leap from a store worker to a performer with a recording deal.
Brendan James has been hailed as hometown hero in Derry, New Hampshire and now he is on the verge of moving to a bigger league. With a major debut album in hand, to the music industry the 28-year-old has supplied fresh folk sound which successfully gained the attention of legendary musician Carly Simon at the first place. And to Aceshowbiz, the aspiring singer has recalled his journey from nothing to something including the future hopes.
ASB: When did it occur to you that you want to become a musician and performer?
James: I always loved singing but it wasn't until my sophomore year at UNC Chapel Hill until I started writing and performing my own material. I don't know that there was ever a 'moment' but I do think if there was it probably happened in college.
ASB: Have you always gone in the folk direction?
James: I have described my music as folk but I don't know if that's entirely accurate. I tunes has me under the folk genre but I would describe myself as a singer/songwriter who hopefully writes music that people can relate with.
ASB: We heard that the piano playing was self-taught?
James: Yes, I would spend many of hours cutting out of class when I was at Carolina practicing on the pianos in the music dept building. When I moved to NY I spent many of hours in hotel ballrooms continuing to practice, work on songs.
ASB: It was huge call you get from Carly Simon. How did it feel to have her as a mentor or to even meet her at the first place?
James: Carly is a very special person in my life. When I met her and heard that she liked my voice and music that was definitely surreal. I'm very grateful to have the chance to learn from her as well as her friendship.
ASB: Unlike many artists who tend to cover others' songs, you seem rooted on your own piece. Why is this so?
James: I guess because I'm trying to get my own music out there right now. But I do enjoy playing covers from time to time. On youtube I have covers of James Taylor and Ben Kweller. Playing covers offers a pretty fun break from my own material and allows me to enjoy some of the music I love when I'm just listening to my iPod on the train or bus.
ASB: What part of songwriting do you enjoy most?
James: Connecting with others who are dealing with similar feelings and emotions.
ASB: What issues do you take as inspiration of your lyrics?
James: Everyday life. Subway rides.. Bus Rides. Nature.
ASB: Which famous musicians have you been performing with so far? And which has impressed you most?
James: I'd say Livingston Taylor impressed me the most. He gave me some very valuable lessons to consider while taking this journey in music.
ASB: 'The Day Is Brave' has been released on June 3. What can you say about the debut album overall?
James: The record is honest. It comes from my heart and I hope that it connects with people.
ASB: Any particular goal that you want to reach in your music career?
James: To create music that people enjoy and win a Grammy
ASB: One of your songs, "Hero's Song" was featured in an album that 'Inspired an Iraq War Veteran'. What is your personal thought of the war?
James: My thought is that more people need to be concerned about the men and women fighting for us regardless of their politics. It's about human beings fighting for us.
ASB: We would like to know you a little bit more personal. How do you describe your personality?
James: You would think just from listening to my music that I'm always introspective and serious but my friends actually consider me as being a bit goofy. I like to have fun. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
ASB: Do you pursue other interest beside music?
James: I love basketball, the ymca, and nature.
ASB: With growing fan base and career on the go, what personal message can you deliver to your fans at Aceshowbiz?
James: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I feel very lucky to make music for a living and appreciate everyone that listens to my tunes. If you come to a show please stop me afterwards and introduce yourself.