Jeffrey James

19 Jul

A native of Indiana, Jeffrey James is now living in Nashville, TN working on his dreams of becoming a well-known musician. It wasn’t too long ago that I had Jeffrey here in my living room, playing a show for a few close friends. I was amazed at how talented of an individual he is, so I decided to put the spotlight on him this week. I did a short interview with him and he also created an exclusive video for the site of his new song, No No No.

Q. You lived in Indiana and are now living in Nashville. What is the biggest difference between the two cities when it comes to the music scene?

A. Well I didn’t really start playing until I got to Nashville. Mainly because I wasn’t ready to play my music for people yet, but also because Indiana didn’t have as many avenues to showcase new music. Nashville is a city where you can see a good show every night of the week at mulitple venues. You can see almost any genre you want. It is a great place to hone your skills as a songwriter and performer. There are so many good musicians in town that if you can’t step up with them you get swallowed up easily and I think I’ve been swallowed up many times… which has made me work harder at my music and grow exponentially.

Q. If you could pick any artist to cover your song, who would it be and why?

A. Kurt Elling. He is my favorite current jazz singer. I think the best cover versions are the ones that are completely different from the original and he would definitely put a completely unique touch on my songs.

Q. Do you have any particular song in mind that you would have him cover?

A. You’re Not Here.

Q. Two part question. Out of today’s current artists, who in your opinion is one of the most controversial?

A. I feel like Lady Gaga would be the easy answer for this one, but honestly I don’t think she is controversial anymore. Anything she does from here on out is expected. Lupe Fiasco has bee pretty outspoken politically recently which I think caught a lot of people off gaurd. He has always been his own person though and he hasn’t done it to be “different” he’s done it to say what he feels.

Q. Second part to the question. Do you feel like being outspoken and controversial is a good way to have your music heard and get more people to notice you?

A. Well, it’s one way to do it. I’ve always been more about letting the music speak for it self. Yes, there is a level of self promotion you need to do to get your name out there, but thinking your opinion matters on something other than music is one of the biggest mistakes an artist can make. Just because people will listen to you doesn’t mean your opinion is the right one or the most educated one.

Q. If you were to change one thing about the music business, what would it be and why?

A. The good thing is that the music business is already changing a whole bunch on it’s own, but I think I would want there to be more of a chance for the average joe to hear different music. There is a bit of a cycle on MTV stations and the radio where they play what they think people want to hear but people only hear what they are given (for the most part). Because of this and the current economy, the biggies in the industry won’t take chances on acts that may be different. Luckily, we “independent” artists are finding more and more ways to get our music out there.

Q. If you could improve on anything as a musician, what would it be?

A. Definitely my guitar skills. I can always improve on everything else, but I could really use some more guitar practice.

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