Interview: James Something – Didn’t Get

James Something is a queer artist based in Toronto, Canada. James hopes to push the boundaries of experimental indie pop and electronica, creating new hybrids of alternative music. Additionally, he wants to pave the way for more queer voices in music, especially those of non-traditional pop sound while delivering a message of social value.

Hey James, super nice to have the chance to chat with you. What first got you into music?
I started making music about 10 years ago with an instrumental project called, The Neon Desire. I was really interested in playing with sonics and soundscapes to create a mood or atmosphere. Composing music and creating sound worlds provides a fully immersive escape from the real world, which can be therapeutic. On
this project, I wanted to experiment with songwriting and be able to express thoughts and feelings, as well as the producing.

What do you think your role is in this world?
I think that would be to be a creator and a dreamer. All of my life endeavors seem to focus around my ability to dream and create.

Your latest track is ‘Didn’t Get’. Can you share with us the background of its creation and did any unusual things happen during its creation?
This song, and my previous lead single (We F****d Up), really stemmed from a major unrest I felt with our societal systems and our place within them. Lyrically, I talk about the ways we unnaturally split ourselves as humans (between where we want to give ourselves vs. don’t), constantly looking back even as we move forward, and
finding our lives didn’t turn out to be or fit the format we were taught they should be. Sonically, it’s an electro dance ballad, fused with nu-disco and a bit of funk.

What is one message you would give to your fans?
I would thank them for taking the time to listen to this project and I’d appreciate that they found something in my work that they can connect with. There are so many amazing artists creating brilliant work; it’s hard to break through the noise and connect with new audiences.

How do you spend your time?
When I am not recording new music, I also run a creative design studio here in Toronto. Recreationally, I’m pretty outdoorsy in the summer as I enjoy running, biking, and bonfires on the beach with friends. My vibe is definitely more laid back and chilled. I often host living room dance parties with my friends, where we get down to everything from Def Leopard, Filter, Peaches, Santigold, Robyn, and NIN. That’s out vibe!

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Right now I am loving the new Arkhon record by Zola Jesus, so I’d say opening for her would be amazing. I would also love to open for Austra, iamamwhoami, Perfume Genius, or Beach House.

What are you doing to ensure your continue to grow and develop as an artist?
I am planning to spend some time this fall learning to play the electric guitar, as I’d love to incorporate more real instrumentation in my work. I’d also like to invest some time learning other music production software and work on vocal training.

Do you think that technology is improving lives?
I think in general, yes, but as with anything in life, there needs to be a careful balance in how it is used/consumed and we need to be careful that technology isn’t also being exploited for maleficent forces.

What are your plans for the future? Any EP or Albums?
I’ve recorded an albums worth of material, but instead of just releasing my debut project as a whole album, I’ve decided to break the project up into 3 EPs. The Didn’t Get EP is the second EP, featuring the lead single, b-side track, and an alternative mix. The next installment will be released late July. I’m planning to consolidate the releases as a deluxe album in the fall and possibly have a vinyl/cassette physical release (long live physical media!).

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