Twenty-one-year-old Louie James has had a successful year behind him, with a series of prestigious award nominations on the horizon, the YEP spoke to the singer-songwriter before he heads to Verve Bar in Leeds this Saturday for his new single launch.
For anyone unaware of you, your sound and style, who are you and what do you do?
I guess it’s more of a collective of sounds really, I got very comfortable with the acoustic folk sound but other influences tie in. I play guitar and sing, I also tend to play piano and other instruments in my studio tracks. There are plenty of new sounds coming soon.
You’ve had a really good 2017, being nominated for two awards and releasing singles etc. What’s been the highlight so far?
I am up for two awards in February both best song of 2018 and best newcomer which I am hoping to take home. The highlight for me has been the realisation of not taking myself too seriously. Music is a wonderful opportunity that I have been fortunate enough to have in my life and it’s given me some amazing experiences.
You’re very active in the local music scene, going from busking in the street, curating your own open mic night and playing gigs with other bands in the region. Is it important to be involved in all aspects of the scene?
I always like to keep active. I’m one of those people who can’t sit still when I’m not busy I take pride in my role in the music scene around Yorkshire. Not without the help of amazing people like the entire team at Double Denim Live. With them I have been able to really excel as a performer.
You’ve recently made a video for your new single that has hit over 6,000 views on Vevo. Were you surprised by the response and following you’ve received?
I have, I just recorded a video for the first single Different Worlds, I was very surprised by the response, the last I heard it was on nearly eight thousand in two weeks which is very surreal. I’d grown so used to releasing music and just leaving it on my Soundcloud reaching on 100 views if I was lucky so this is definitely a pleasant shock. I am very humbled by my support so far, thank you.
What are your own influences and bands/songwriters growing up that you look to for inspiration?
My influences are a tricky one, I grew up on grunge, metal and punk yet play the softest music . I’m very inspired by the likes of Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley both of which manage to incorporate emotion with an alternative feel. I’m very keen on harnessing my own sound but the pair of them are a huge inspiration.
If you could give advice to anyone wanting to start writing and performing, what would it be?
To anyone just starting in music I say do it, do it with every ounce of your being and don’t care what others think of it. Too many people become sucked into this void of writing music to impress virtual people in a virtual world. As long as you’re true to your own art you won’t go far wrong.
Louie James plays at Verve Bar, Leeds on Saturday November 11. Twitter: @Lou_JamesMusic