RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTER’S JAMES REID
Hiya James thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a soloist?
I’ve always thought something was missing but couldn’t put my finger on it until my partner got me a studio experience day and I got to record a track in a studio with a producer I recorded a cover of an Adele track and he was impressed and suggested I do something with this I put the track out on socials and ppl were shocked as prior to that I hadn’t sang before and it all started from there I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
My mother was a soul and blue singer and she used to play her music at home I remember her playing her music around the house it was amazing the emotion and passion within the songs from artists such as Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and many more my tastes vary from old soul & Motown to RnB to pop and much more. My first recorded releases were covers of Sam smith Stevie wonder Roberta flack Callum Scott and Adele I then began writing my own songs and have now put out a few that have been well received and am now working on my debut Album FEEL.
What’s your favorite part of being from manchester?
The iconic musical history and the recognition of the city itself as a huge character on the world stage with its big names bands singers artists performers painters all coming from this city
What’s the worst part about coming from manchester?
I would say the stigma attached to the city is that everyone here is rough, common, and scary, and how they are scared of visiting as its full of gangsters and bad boys, etc
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
No, not a fan
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Ha no I was responsible for just the essentials
What useless party trick do you have?
I can wiggle my ears without touching them ha
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I love when I do the big gigs with a really interactive audience when you can get them all involved singing back and dancing are always the most fun.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Oh I had a few of them haha from ppl climbing on stage trying to grab me and others trying to grab the mic and another when I was on stage at a big gig mid-show and all the power went off ppl clambering on stage trying to fix it, ha I ended up singing acapella to save the set but all good in the end
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I only started singing in 2019
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Soulful music with a story that makes you feel something
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I have been told I have a unique sound and my songs and performances are memorable because my vocals stand out.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Fuel prices haha
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I love to perform powerful tracks with big vocals as I love to look out and see the faces of the ppl in the crowd when you know the song has hit home I they feel it I love that.
I hear you have a new single/album/ep, what can you tell us about it?
I have yes I’ve done a bit of a double whammy I’ve just released an upbeat funky track called LYING this is a track about finding out you’ve been cheated on and confronting them with it and realising you don’t need them anymore. That is to be followed up by my next single Happy which is a track about forgetting your troubles for a while and letting go and finding something that makes you smile and just going with it. This is leading to the release of my Debut album FEEL due out later this year
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album/ep?
I write all my own music and I want the emotions I feel when writing to be put over in the song when its put out so its more about the feel of it for me so the writing process begins with an idea usually late at night or in the middle of driving usually haha or another inappropriate time then the lyrics and structured I then figure the sound and vibe of how I want the track to feel I will record a couple of rough blank vocals and a melody or hook then head to the studio
What was the recording process like?
When I head to the studio I have a solid idea of how I want it to sound and feel so im not happy until that is the case so when I start working with my producer to put it together a bit at a time and we seem to be on the same page and get cracking right away I love this part I love to see my lyrics come alive and see the song take shape I will record a rough vocal in the booth then build the track around it then go with the final real vocals and once we are happy with the track it gets signed off and its good to go.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
As bizarre as it sounds I really like the writing and creating of the tracks and as I am still new to all of this most of it is a learning curve haha the covers are easy as it’s a recognised format and track structure but when its your own its starting from scratch so id say in creating the structure and feel of the tracks and getting the music to match the feeling and the vibe while getting the emotion of what im trying to say to come through that’s the toughest part I think.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No I’m happy with the tracks and can’t wait to put the album together for release
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Got lots of stuff planned so following the release of the single I will be working towards the album release and be doing a couple of launch night gigs I will be then push the album by doing an intimate venue tour performing the tracks from FEEL all around the country. I have lots of other gigs and shows booked in I will be doing some charity gigs helping them raise much-needed money and am down for some festivals and some big stage shows and support gigs both here and in Europe so lots happening.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I have lots coming up and will be releasing lots of new music as well as gigs and a tour and album launch nights and I would love for you to come out and support me and my music whenever and wherever you can I will be releasing a merchandise line that will be available to order soon. It has been an amazing experience becoming a solo artist and I would love to take it to the next level with your support so come and see me live I would love to see you.