Singer-songwriter James TW

Singer-songwriter James TW

James TW is a rising star of the British singer-songwriter scene. Island Records recently added him to their roster and he remains one of their youngest artists. He’s breaching Spotify’s Global top 50 and sharing stages with some impressively big acts. We caught up with James to ask him what’s next...

 

MPS
You have been generating quite a bit of excitement recently, can you identify an individual turning point in your career?

JTW
Signing to Island Records last year was a big turning point for me as I left school to pursue music full time. It gave me an opportunity to accelerate the process of writing and recording music

MPS
Your name has appeared on some pretty impressive bills recently - not least ‘Live at Leeds’ alongside Mystery Jets and Ghostpoet, can you pick out a favourite gig?

JTW
I would say my favourite show I’ve done to date was opening for Shawn Mendes at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. The crowd we’re so loud and sung along with every song

MPS
You’ve name-checked John Mayer and Jamie Cullum as inspirations for your work, who else do you count among your musical influences?

JTW
My Dad is another inspiration of mine as he was the first person to expose me to music. He plays lead guitar in a wedding band and I was 10 years old when I filled in for their sick drummer at my first gig. I still remember it today

MPS
What was your first guitar and what guitars are you playing at the moment?

JTW
The first guitar I played was my Dad’s Gibson SG. Then I saved up some money from gigging and bought myself a standard Les Paul when I was 12. I’ve grown to love the sound of semi hollows so now I play a Gibson ES339 and for acoustic's a Taylor 812ce 12 fret

MPS
Tell us about your Strymon pedals, what made you chose them?

JTW
The first time I was exposed to Strymon pedals was in the studio writing. I told the producer I wanted a nice reverb & delay so he plugged me into the BigSky & Timeline. I was blown away so a week later I went out a bought a BigSky as my first individual pedal. To date I’d been using a multi effects pedal. Now I’m getting the Timeline, Flint & OB1 to add to the collection

MPS
What else do you have on your pedalboard?

JTW
I have the Boss RC300 Loop Station which I record Electric Guitar, Keys & Beatbox through. I also have a mini Polytune & A Tube Screamer TS808DX

MPS
Is there anything you have parted with that you really miss?

JTW
I recently parted with a Roland TD20 Drum Kit that I miss. Drums were the first instrument I learnt and I played that kit to death. Also I traded in my ES335 for my ES339 & I miss having the bigger body Semi Hollow around

MPS
Is there any advice you can offer to people starting out on their musical journeys?

JTW
The advice I would have for other artists and musicians is find what you’re best and push yourself to become better at it. Make yourself accessible to others online as that’s how many artists (including myself) were discovered. Finally listen to your gut when it comes to decisions. Whether it’s the right lyric for a song, choosing a new team member or starting a partnership. Just do what feels right

 

Find out more about what James is up to: jamestw.com



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