Artist: James Burrage
Single: The Views
EP: Pure Gold
Debut EP Launch Show/Release Date: 8 April 2016 (Digital release: 22 April 2016)
A few months ago, through my local music connections, I discovered new music by a young artist called James Burrage. He has a wonderful soulful voice with a fabulous flexibility of tone. It’s no wonder why he is the winner of the Open Mic UK. I am very happy to share his music and an interview with him today.
Following on from his debut single “The Views”, James Burrage released the physical copy of his debut EP “Pure Gold”, which was supported by an EP launch show on the same day in his hometown Colchester, England.
It was a cold Friday night, and felt as if it could be still winter. I arrived at the venue just after the first support act began. It was already packed. There were 3 support acts altogether; each one of them was enjoyable and I felt that any of them could be headlining. As the venue was getting hotter, James Burrage and his band finally appeared on stage with smiles and lot’s of cheers from the crowd.
He opened with “Ain’t No Lover”: the third song on his debut EP “Pure Gold”. This song starts quietly, almost casually, beginning with tasteful drums. As the song goes on, each instrument joins and takes a clear lead one by one. This track gives a slightly psychedelic vibe. It is a great introduction to the band for the audience.
Then the next song was “Rumours”, which is the first track on his EP. This track is probably the most completed composition. He sings in a quite relaxed mood, and his falsetto is charming. The piano throughout the song is very jazzy, and gets your foot tapping or gets your body moving without you noticing.
Then James and the band moved on to the next song “Life Is Good”, followed by “The View”. This is his debut single and the second track on the EP. It is the most up tempo tune by him. You can hear plenty of fantastic piano playing. At some moments, the tune sounds as if the guitars and the piano are play-fighting, which is very fun to listen to. The bass and the drums are in perfect time.
They played “Love Is Blind” next, followed by “Pure Gold” which is the EP title song; the fourth and last track on the EP. A guitar solo opens the song quietly, and then James’ gentle voice comes along. I think this song shows his singing ability very well. I must mention that the guitar cries as it goes into its solo.
Following “Pure Gold”, four more songs; “Move On Up”, “Red And Blue Lights”, “Fire” and “In One Ear” were played.
Including the encores, James and the band performed 10 songs. As he performs actively locally and in the South East including London, quite a large number of people knew the songs from the EP. The crowd enjoyed singing-along and dancing during the show. It turned out to be a little sweaty and hot night. It was one of the most enjoyable performances I have ever experienced.
“The View” debut single
“Pure Gold” acoustic live video
Recently, I’ve asked James to participate in an for the interview without any notice. And he kindly accepted without any fuss, which I’m very grateful for.
It was a great show for your debut EP launch on the 8th of April. What is your post show feeling like?
I feel elated with the feedback I got during and after my set, getting asked to play three encores is a pretty good compliment, and once I got off the stage I discovered that most of my EP’s I had brought along with me had been sold; people were even asking me to sign them – very surreal. The night exceeded my expectations; the venue was full with people who brought a great atmosphere, and I’d say the pinnacle point of the evening was when I paused and the crowd sang my song back to me. What a feeling! Overall I am still buzzing from the night and just can’t wait to start seeing the response that comes from it.
Such a joyful night! You and your band members look so young. But you all are fantastic musicians. How did you meet up and become a band?
The band formed in stages, starting out with just myself and Louis Takooree (guitarist) whom I met whilst playing in a separate band, we decided to form a duo, primarily as an acoustic set. Louis’ knowledge and technical abilities as a multi-instrumentalist is phenomenal, and for 3 months we would gig in pubs and clubs, getting a great reaction from the crowds. Louis actually produced the Pure Gold EP, and clearly has a successful career ahead of him in this industry. Noah Henry (bass) came into the picture through Louis as they were very good friends, and we all went to The Colchester Institute to study music. With Noah’s skill and great personality, his attitude and reliability is a great asset to the band. Admittedly, it did take time to find the right drummer, but we got there in the end with Jack Ames. Jack was playing with another band at the time but after some convincing we managed to get him onboard, Jack’s drive for success, and skill on the drums is stand out quality. It also turns out that Jack’s best friend was a great singer and talented pianist. Ben Porteous-Butler rehearsed with us a week before our first big gig at the Spice of Life in Soho, and took us by surprise as he was so prepared and well-rehearsed, his injection of energy was just the cherry on the cake we needed and putting all four of them together has taken my music to another level.
Fantastic! Well, who are your influences?
I was first inspired by Ed Sheeran, as he was the first person in my opinion to take the acoustic guitar and make it cool, A Team was the first song I covered, played in public. From then on, I have listened to many different styles and genres of music, and from each, taking something that I could use for myself, going from the insane stage presence of Freddie Mercury, to the iconic anthems of Oasis.
Great! I like all of the artists you mentioned.
You released your debut single “The View” recently. How would you describe this song?
This song was co-written with Louis Takooree. In my opinion this track contains a lot of energy and has a powerful melody which reflects the topic in which the lyrics are based around. Everyone has been in a situation where a relationship isn’t working, so is relatable to anyone who is listening.
How do you go about writing your songs?
Writing music for me is very dependant on the mood I am in at the time, this will reflect the style of music and topic of the lyrics that I choose. When composing songs I use personal experiences or feelings that I have had in my life, but mostly I had used thought up, relatable scenarios and combine these lyrics with good music. Usually the music comes to me before the lyrics, by experimenting with different chord patterns and then melodies seem to flow quite naturally.
Okay. Well, could you tell us about your debut EP “Pure Gold”?
I must say I’m very proud of this EP, a lot of hard work and time has gone into the writing the songs and also the rehearsals to get the songs to the quality they are. The EP contains songs which have a lot of energy, passion and emotion; these songs are relatable to everyone and have punchy riffs and powerful melodies which music lovers cry out for; amongst them is Pure Gold, the title track chosen because of its lyrics and in my opinion my strongest song, also in there is Rumors, this song was one of my first and in fact won me the Open Mic UK competition for 2014. The EP would have been nothing without my backing band, I am very lucky to have good friends who are such fantastic musicians. We recorded it at Wave Break Studios and was mastered by Martin Wagdin. Also a shout-out to very talented Joe Sparkes who created and designed the artwork.
I hear that “Pure Gold” is available digitally as well as the physical copies. Where can we find it?
The EP is available on all major online stores to download including ITunes, Spotify and SoundCloud for £0.79 per song or £2.49 for the EP, or come along to one of my gigs and get a physical copy! Check out my gig dates at http://jamesburrage.co.uk/
Awesome! Is there anything else you would like to say?
Make sure you all get your copy of the EP, it is definitely worth the money and hopefully a sign of things to come in the future. Keep up to date with all my news and gig on my social media pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, links can all be found on my website!
Thanks for your time, Teri!
Thank you for your time, James!
To me, James Burrage is a gem that is still hidden. When I listen to his music, it always gives me a special feeling; the quality of his music feels something like a mixture of Adele and Bruno Mars. I hope and think that his music will be heard by a much larger audience in near future.
You can listen to the EP “Pure Gold” via Spotify here;
To find out more about James Burrage, visit their sites using the links below;
Twitter: https://twitter.com/james_burrage @james_burrage