DozenQ – Everett James

This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Everett James began his musical journey in Asheville, North Carolina. Born in to a musical family he learned the art from his father and performed with his sister throughout his youth. Educated classically and through real world experience, Everett is influenced by a vast variety of artists from Miles Davis, George Clinton, Prince, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, RUN DMC, Tribe Called Quest, to J-Dilla. Live or in the studio, Everett pushes urban music forward and brings the rich legacy of the blues to the future. He took some time out to chat with…

01 How did you get started in music?

I was born in to a musical family. My father sang and played in bands when I was a child. He would take me along with him to band practice when I was in pre-school. I’d follow the band mates around and try my hand at making noise on the various instruments. My older sister and I were propelled in to music before we had any choice. We were both performing in front of crowds as children. My father, who is an engineer by trade, later opened a studio in our home. I was constantly surrounded by great musicians and encouraged when they took notice of my talent. I wrote my first song at 7 and was producing music at 12.

02 Where did your direction come from?

My direction defiantly came from my mother. She was the disciplinarian of the family and insisted if we were going to do anything we had to do our best. She made us practice and taught me to be a leader instead of a follower. She is an amazingly creative woman and inspired me to be embrace being different. The discipline is what continues to push me in my career when I go through the ups and downs of this music business.

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03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

When music became a serious thing for me I was totally in to hip-hop. My mother absolutely hated it! I liked the early punk rebellious attitude of it. The first record I ever bought was RUN DMC produced by Rick Rubin. LL Cool J, NWA, Slick Rick, and Public Enemy were my first huge influences. Producers like Rick Rubin, Marley Marl, Prince Paul, and Hank Shocklee were HUGE! Then one day, I was listening to a De La Soul song and my father pulled out a George Clinton album and said…This is where that song came from. From there I learned how to dig and because a student of music. James Brown, P-Funk, Prince, & Stevie Wonder became a part of my vocabulary. I continued to expand my musical vocabulary and was introduced to Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Bob Marley. I am open to various styles of music and really enjoy all creative expression. I’ll go from the Ramones to Chopan!

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Currently, my life and technology (or the lack of) inspire me. I write and create from a very introverted place and still have this rebellious punk attitude when it comes to trends. My latest album was a reaction to becoming too digital. I found myself staring at computer screens and programming music. I felt like I lost myself in some digital world and that I had to rediscover who I was. I turned the computer off, picked up the guitar, a pen, and pad. I had to go back to where I started and rediscover what it was about music that I enjoyed so much. This album and sound is without the influence of sequencers or digital music. It is focused on the feeling of expressing who I am imperfections and all. I yearned for the feeling I got as a kid when I would bang on the drums, crank up the guitar, and say whatever I felt at the moment.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Expect to see a real musician playing music. Even if I choose to do a fully digital set you will discover that I am a musician. I play music. I improvise. You will never get the same show twice and you never know what to expect from me. I can fit in several different settings and pride myself in being versatile.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I usually start with some kind of melody in my head. I know its a good one because it won’t leave my mind until I get around some kind of instrument. I play all the instruments on my productions so I’ll start with the one that I hear the melody on in my head. Sometimes that is the piano, bass, or guitar. Other times a phrase will stick out in a conversation I was having or in my mind. Then i write first. I hardly ever scribble or edit when I write. I try to just get the idea out as quickly as possible before I get distracted or confused. I write about my life…always have. It may be in some kind of code but the themes and subjects always have some personal meaning.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Well… I became a better musician with age. I also have more life experiences to write from.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The biggest challenge is always staying true to art and surviving. When your young and idealistic you have this grand idea of what it would be like as a musician. Twenty years later in to your career you have your “what the f*ck and I doing” moments. Thats where the discipline and the love for the art must overcome your emotions. Thats why I have to abandon the trends and just make the music I love to make. I realized that its the feeling of freedom I got when i was a kid making noise that I loved. Not the fame, the money, or the illusion of success. Now I am not denying that I wish to have huge fame, millions of pounds, and international success. I am just saying thats not why I do it. I make music to be free!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I play covers all the time! Covering great artists is the best way to educate yourself as a musician. Its how I get better.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

I am in the process of expanding my music career and producing younger artists. I feel that my next step is to discover and cultivate other artists who feel the same way I feel about the music. In 5 years, I hope to have established my music production/publishing company as a world wide leader in urban alternative music with a stable of artists who all rebel against trends.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Wow… Prince. Rick Rubin. Paul McCartney. Flying Lotus. Dr Dre.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

My latest album titled ‘I AM’ will be released this fall/autumn.

Web Links:

Tour dates
Link to buy the current single


Originally posted 2013-08-19 13:35:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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