I was able to chat with Russell James recently. He is an independent pop singer/songwriter based out of Georgia. During our conversation we were able to talk about new music he has coming out, his influences and what he thinks about streaming services.
- Who are your biggest musical influences?
Hmmmm….. this one definitely gets me thinking. I’ve had so many influences from so many talented artists/bands from completely different genres that it makes it hard to really narrow it down. I can say as of right now my biggest influences are probably Maroon 5, Twenty One Pilots, Logic, NF, Rag n’ Bone Man, and Taylor Swift.
- Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
My playlists are crazy. They can literally go from heavy stuff like Periphery to happy pop music such as Ellie Goulding. I like a lot of different music.
- What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on releasing an EP this year and also releasing multiple music videos to support the release as well. I’ve recently released my single “Comedown” along with a music video. The video is available on Facebook and YouTube while the song is available on all major streaming services.
- How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
It’s just the way things are now. There’s no going back because streaming is just very convenient for the consumer. There are definitely pros and cons but at the end of the day it’s not going away. One can either complain about it or accept it for what it is and learn how to take advantage of it. It definitely makes it easier for an artist/band to publish their music and get it out there.
- Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
Absolutely. I am a Christian so naturally that has an effect on my content. It’s who I am and that shows through me as an artist. My songs are not “Christian” songs per say but that side of me definitely comes out in a more subliminal way if you pay attention to the lyrics.
- Can you describe your sound?
Pop. Definitely poppy mixed with some slight rock and hip-hop variations of tracks.
- What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
I’ve recently been introduced to Rag N’ Bone Man. Such a talented dude. Definitely check his music out if you haven’t heard him.
- What made you decide to “get into” music and start your career?
I fell in love with music when I was about 15. I moved forward since and haven’t looked back. I’ve played in many bands before and I just got tired of things not working out and having to rely on other people for my success. I finally decided to go solo because now, I only have to rely on myself. I’ve been solo for about a year now and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made musically.
- How does your writing process work, do you collaborate with other writers on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
I currently write all my lyrics and plan to continue to do so. That might change for some collaborations with other artists in the future but if it’s my part in a song I feel it should be my lyrics.
- If you had to pick just one, which album would be your favorite?
Oof. That’s a tough one. I would probably have to say “Songs About Jane” by Maroon 5. Such an inspirational album to me and my sound.
- Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
Maroon 5. I really love their sound and I’ve been following them since their first album. Adam Levine has such an incredible voice and is a huge inspiration to me.
- What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
It’s the way of the future and definitely the way to go. I think it’s smart. People just don’t have the attention span anymore to sit down and really listen to an entire album at one time.