Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jeffrey James dropped his single, “Downtown” last month from his upcoming EP titled East London. The pop ballad showcases not only the rough times that comes with relationships, but the singers authentic and rich vocals. Get to know a bit about him and the single below.
Having family that was into music, did you always know that music was what you wanted to pursue?
I actually never thought about doing music as a career until I got to college. Music was just always something my immediate family did for fun. But all-of-a-sudden I found myself surrounded by artists and creatives perfusing their passions as a career and I realized all I wanted to do was perform and write songs.
Who are your musical inspirations?
My inspirations are a bit all over the place. I take a lot of inspiration from Bill Withers and the simplicity of his melodies and lyrics. On the other hand, David Byrne has been a huge inspiration to me. Both musically, and on how to put on a show. Janelle Monaé has been my spirit animal for a few years now as well.
How would you describe your sound?
Introspective, husky, and soulful. With classic pop influences.
What was the process like for writing Downtown? What was the inspiration?
Downtown started with the chord progression you hear in the track. Then, for whatever reason that day, I was thinking about a story from my not-too-distant past. The story being that I went through a rough patch with my partner that ended up being more about the other people we had surrounded ourselves with than our own relationship issues. We made it through that time. But there was a moment when we could have just as easily gone our separate ways. When I sat down to write it, I had had just enough distance from that moment to write about it honestly.
What was it like to get away and write your EP in London?
Going to London to write was a game changer for me. Something about the new co-writers and producers I was working with mixed with being in a foreign but familiar and exciting city really jump-started my creativity. It’s amazing the perspective you get when you are in a new place surrounded by new people. It didn’t hurt that I was working with some talented mother fuckers, either! But I was also able to have zero outside distractions and just focus on what kind of art I wanted to make.
Did the difference in location have an impact on the songs?
Absolutely! I found that the British producers I worked with had slightly different musical tendencies and influences than I did. And I tried to let those perspectives seep into my writing.
Any tour plans?
Still working on more shows! I have a handful coming up, so stay tuned!
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to be still relevant enough that you will want to ask me more questions 🙂
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