David James


Genre: Experimental

David James’s MNotez Interview:

  • MNotez: How long have you been a musician? What age did you begin?
    • David James: Honestly, I’ve done music ever since I can remember. I think it was just natural for me to want to do music. My dad sings and plays 12 string guitar, and my mom (my favorite singer) plays keyboard and writes Christian songs. Also, Mom and Dad pushed my brother and I to play instruments as soon as we were in elementary school. My brother ended up doing visual arts instead (and he’s amazing), but I never stopped doing music. Now I can play keys, reed instruments, brass instruments and plucked instruments. I’ve never got into bow instruments though and I’m a novice at strumming guitar.
  • MNotez: What motivated you to become a musician?
    • David James: I think I answered this above, but I should mention that I got pushed into an actual career in music by accident. I used to hand out closet-demos to the customers at the gas station I worked at, and they kept telling me that the songs were good, but the sound quality wasn’t. I took that to heart. I started driving town cars for a living, which paid pretty decent, and in my spare time as a hobbyist I built a booth and a studio in a little garage-style workshop, and the sound was awesome. I recorded a couple of my friends for 10 bucks a song and they went and told everyone about me. By a few months later I didn’t have time for anything else. I now charge $30 an hour in my own studio and I do house calls for $20 an hour. I’ve worked with over 1000 of the local artists, and people have paid as much as $120 an hour for me to engineer their tracks in major studios. I’ve traveled as far as Chicago to do mix work for some notable artists (I live in Florida). I’ve been making a living off of engineering for about 5 years now, and I’ve even got a few radio credits. The past couple of years I’ve been going to school for electronics engineering so I can learn to design studio equipment of my own. To think, originally I was going to try to get a steady career delivering mail for the post office.
  • MNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
    • David James: I can’t go without mentioning 311. These guys are my number one. My older brother turned me on to them in middle school and I just love their combination of rock, reggae, calypso and hip hop. I also listened to Green Day, Nirvana, Tool, Prodigy, The Urge, Sublime, and other music like that in middle school and high school. Before all that, I was a big Whitney Houston fan and I liked Boyz II Men and TLC. My dad turned me onto Elton John, Pink Floyd, Santana, Eric Clapton, Genesis, Paul McCartney and some other bands from that era. The first rap song I heard was the big butts song by Sir Mixalot in Elementary school. In high school, my older brother turned me onto some rap groups like Do or Die (my favorite, and I had a chance to hang out with them while I was in Chicago), Tech 9, Bone, and all that Dr. Dre West Coast stuff. Friends exposed me to rappers like I.C.P. and Eminem. I never picked one genre of music to love over all the rest. Heck, my grandma even put me up on Elvis, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, as well as some old bebop music. Mom exposed me to some great music from Garth Brooks, Diamond Rio, Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire and my favorite Christian artist is Tom Burke, he’s so funny. She also made me a firm believer in James Brown, The Temptations, Tower of Power, and a medley of other great music. I think my biggest influence is the local music scene though. Now days I rarely listen to music that I didn’t record.
  • MNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
    • David James: One time I drove 3 hours to do this show at night on a huge piece of property in the middle of nowhere. The concert was called Beat Harvest. When we went on stage we thought there was only like 15 people in the crowd, but after our first group of songs, the woods erupted with cheers and applause from hundreds of campers that we couldn’t see were there. It was amazing. We did a whole hour and we got a lot of fans that night. The other guys I came with went home after our show, but I stayed and camped out with my chick. There were rave DJs spinning all night. At one point in time, I woke up to take a pee, and a bunch of naked people were dancing in the middle of this huge field. When the sun came up, I realized that we had pitched our tent in the middle of a cow grazing pasture. There was poop everywhere. It was like a mine field.
  • MNotez: If you could play with any other musician or band… who would it be? (past or present)
    • David James: Present: 311, Past: Bob Marley. It’s all about the vibes.
  • MNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • David James: Honestly, I just want people to stop judging each other so harshly. I tell a lot of fucked up stories about lose-lose situations and the decisions people make, so that others might understand that the best way isn’t always the good way, and vice versa. People need to throw out what they think is right and wrong and stop trying to impose their opinions on the people around them. The world is filled with so much diversity, and we should keep it that way.
  • MNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • David James: Honestly, I just want people to stop judging each other so harshly. I tell a lot of fucked up stories about lose-lose situations and the decisions people make, so that others might understand that the best way isn’t always the good way, and vice versa. People need to throw out what they think is right and wrong and stop trying to impose their opinions on the people around them. The world is filled with so much diversity, and we should keep it that way.
  • MNotez: What are your goals and aspirations for the next 5 years?
    • David James: Well, recently my studio was burglarized so I’ve got to get it back running, and that should happen in the next month or so. My next artistic venture is a movie studio, and my next business venture is a deli. Some times we’ve got to go back to the basics. If I’ve got at least those three things going in 5 years, I won’t be disappointed. I want to open a breakfast diner and a formal restaurant too, but I’m going to use the money from the deli for that. One day I want to franchise my food establishments. I’m also going to college as I mentioned before. I hope I have my bachelor’s within 5 years but it’s tough because I’m part time. All the greatest stuff I have planned will start happening after I’ve got my degree.
  • MNotez: You consider yourself in an “Experimental” genre on MuzicNotez… and have a wide variety of songs influenced by multiple genres, what’s your favorite genre to mold your rap and hip hop sound with?
    • David James: Ooh. Take your pick. Honestly, I just do whatever suits the mood but I’ve made some of my favorite songs with a subtle reggae feel. I also use jazz pretty frequently, and I think it’s fun putting a show-tune quality in some of my stuff too. I’ve got an awesome short song called ‘Cornerstone’ that has a show-feel to it. Check it out if you can find it.
  • MNotez: Out of all your songs or albums… do you have a favorite? What is it? And why?
    • David James: My favorite is always my newest, but I can listen to my song Treehouse any time anywhere. It just keeps getting better. People always hear the song and think it’s about smoking weed. It’s actually about rising above. It was inspired by this huge treehouse in my friend’s back yard. The song is a triple entendre.
  • MNotez: How do you believe the internet helps the music industry or you as a musician?
    • David James: Oh, man, I’m so anti-social sometimes. If it weren’t for the internet, my music would seldom get farther than my car stereo. I don’t go to bars or the club unless I’ve been invited.
  • MNotez: How do you spend your time when you’re not creating music?
    • David James: I love swimming, climbing, school and travel. The other day I swam so far out into the Gulf that someone called the coast guard lol. Some people have no faith in man. I love climbing trees, but there’s nothing that competes with climbing a tree at the top of a mountain. I did that at Pinnacle mountain in Little Rock, Arkansas a few weeks ago. As for school, I was one of those ‘your baby can read’ kids so it’s just something I’ve got a knack for (thx mom n dad). Few things make you feel more accomplished than when you ace a hard test. I wish I could travel more, though. I want to go to Europe so bad. Traveling just gives you so much perspective on other cultures.
  • MNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message to your fans?
    • David James: Don’t just believe stereotypes, and don’t agree with what people say about me. Come find out for yourself. Oh, and if you don’t like the first song of mine you hear, don’t worry. All the rest of them sound different.

Use Your Facebook to Comment:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>