On the song “Paradise,” he said, “Well I came up with the riff for ‘Paradise’ in Disney World of all places, #paradise. It actually started as two different riffs for two different songs and then when I was in the studio I showed them to my producer and we just found that they both worked.”
“The write was seamless and easy and was just honestly me expressing how it feels to chase success and never be satisfied. The only thing that really makes me feel complete and loved is my faith in Christ that is very prominent in my music,” he said.
He is touring with American Idol alum Danny Gokey. “It doesn’t seem real. Kinda like a dream right now. All of this is so new to me and I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given. I feel pressure but I think every 17-year-old would to some extent. I’m just staying rooted in who I am and what I’m doing this for. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me,” he said.
His music is inspired by “life experience.” “Growing up, I have gone through a lot of health issues and struggles and that has helped to shape my music as well as my outlook on life. My faith is a huge part of my music as well. I want to inspire kids to play guitar, be the best they can be, and do all they can to shape the future of music,” he said.
On being an artist in this digital age, he said, “There’s honestly never been a time that’s had music so accessible to everyone. It’s pretty exciting to see how technology has changed the whole industry. Who knows where we will be in 20 years. Streaming has changed the game.”
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a musician, he said, “The capabilities we have now in production is insane. A kid can make polished recordings in his bedroom now which is just a wild thought. Almost everything is digital now (although I am a sucker for analog) and with YouTube, you can basically learn whatever you need to.”
James listed Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter John Mayer as his dream collaboration choice. “There would be a guitar solo part where we would go back and forth, and I may or may not have planned most of it out. He’s been one of the biggest factors in shaping my sound. He has kept guitar playing alive in the pop world and is just a genius when it comes to chord choices and lyrics,” he said.
For his fans, he said, “I would like to say ‘thank you so much’ for the love and support you’ve shown. This is impossible without you and the fact that the art that I create actually resonates with you is insane. You actually care to listen to a 17-year-old’s thoughts, fears, and experiences and that’s pretty awesome.”