Singer James Smith chats Loyle Carner and Amy Winehouse in 1 on 1 session
How would you describe your sound in three words only.
Honest, Soulful, British
Tell us about the new Single ‘Little Love’
I wrote Little Love nearly a year ago with a co-writer of mine, Ryan James. We started writing the record acoustically until I found an old hip-hop break-beat which seemed to work well over the chorus and make it come alive. From that point on, ‘Little Love’ came very naturally. Most of the song was written in about 20 minutes. However, it was the emotional aspect of the song which we thought needed work. My delivery of the lyrics didn’t feel real enough, which is why I chose to sing in the accent I speak in.
In terms of lyricism, the track stems from the idea that sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve dreams. In my case, I’ve given up a lot of my social life in the hope of achieving a career in music – turning down holidays, parties etc. As a result, I end up spending weeks-on-end alone, in my studio – hence the need for a ‘little love’.
Finishing the song was a very special experience. My manager Geeneus who worked on the production and my mix engineer Jarrad Hearman, went to Livingston Studios to record everything live. I come from a very ‘muso’ background so one of the things I love is live instrumentation – nothing can beat REAL music.
Who did you grow up listening to and who are you listening to right now?
Growing up, I was obsessed with singer/songwriter artists, such as McCartney, Bob Dylan and Carol King. My ultimate obsession was Stevie Wonder, who I recently saw live and cried like a baby.
Nowadays, I’m listening to a lot of the soulquarian period of music, so D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and so on. Artists like Loyle Carner and Tom Misch have these influences, which I adore.
What’s your go to track to get you in the mood before a night out?
To be fair, I don’t really have night outs, but I’ll always chuck a bit of Amy on lol. (Winehouse)
When playing live what’s the track which gets the crowd hyped?
I haven’t played any of my songs live yet…….. DUN DUN DUN
If there was a song out there you wish you’d written what song would it be?
Either ‘Love is A Losing Game’ by Amy Winehouse OR ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles.
If you could work with any Singer/ songwriter/ producer on a record who would it be and why?
Probably Mark Ronson or Paul Epworth. They are my favourite producers.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life who would you like see play the lead role as you?
Hahahaha, maybe Cillian Murphy ?
What’s next? Are you going to be touring this / next year ?
Yes I’ll be announcing when you can see me perform my music for the first time soon !
Where can we find you (YouTube/Soundcloud/Facebook/Twitter/ Instagram/ Snapchat?)