Michael James

Night of Giving Spotlight Interview: Michael James

Posted 2017 Nov
L Lauren Turley

We hope you're all as excited as we are for the upcoming Night of Giving, November 20. Join us as we jam to good music and raise money for a good cause. But before we get rolling with the event, we wanted you to get to know the musicians who will be performing. First up, Michael James. 


How did you get started with music?

I always would sing. Ever since I was little. I don’t know if there was a point when I got started in music. There definitely were points when I committed to music more and more. It’s a blend of music chasing me and me chasing music. I don’t know which came first to be honest.     


How long have you been making music?

I wrote my first full song at 16 years old in my best friend's basement. It was a weird feeling. I felt like I was faking it but it also came naturally.  


How would you describe your music? What genre would you give yourself?

I would describe my music as R&B dance music. I love interesting beats. I would describe my music as beat centric.


How long does it take you to write a song?

It varies. Sometimes I can write and produce a song in a few hours. Other times it take months. Sometimes it comes out perfect and the song is finished. Most of the time it takes draft after draft before it even makes sense.


Tell about one of your most recent songs. Can you fill us in on the context of a favorite?

One of my favorite and most recent songs is called ‘Body’. It’s about letting go of your emotion and your mind before, after, during a fight with someone you are intimate with. At times communicating through the physical can be more pure and powerful. It requires true vulnerability and I think that is beautiful. Something worth writing about.   


What’s your motivation?

I crave the feeling I get when I press play on a finished product that I created. I am obsessed with that feeling. What motivates me even more than the hope of success is when I’m currently failing. I am motivated when I can see the gap and I will work on one vocal phrase tirelessly until the gap is filled.  


Who of other musicians do you look up to the most?

Currently I love dvsn, Sabrina Claudio, and Sam Smith.


Best memory?

Some of my best memories a right before sleep. I remember a night falling asleep under the stars on the beach with my wife Maude sleeping on my shoulder. I remember feeling infinite.


Where are you from?


Music isn’t easy by any means. What keeps you moving?

I’m always on the brink of quitting. I don’t think that’s ever going to change though because it keeps me moving. I know that if I want to quit it is because I am always trying to push myself to another level. That motivates me everyday.  

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