We recently interviewed music artist Eddie James. His album, Eddie James ‘Courage & Tenderness’ is going to be released on the 7th of September. So we interviewed him about the release and the red carpet album launch party.
Pro Media Mag : First of all please tell us about the start of your professional career?
Eddie James : I started performing professionally at around 16 years old shortly after my first professional audition for a national tour of A Chorus Line. I made it through three of four cuts and knew that I had it in me to actually book the job next time. Nothing discouraged me then or now for that matter. But anyway, my first pro gig was in a Musical on the south side of Chicago where I grew up and I would ride my bike about 14 miles every day to rehearsal and then home again. I would have ridden to the moon and back for that job. I think I made about $25 a week as a travel stipend. I don’t think I told them I didn’t drive yet. Every time I got paid I felt richer than Rockefeller. I was actually making money performing. Woohoo!!
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Eddie James : I have six older brothers and sisters and I am much younger so I used to listen to all of their albums secretly when they weren’t home . I could pretend I was a rock star or a sultry torch singer or just anything based on whatever albums they had. I remember singing a lot to Earth Wind & Fire, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and every movie musical I could get my hands on (those I would rent from the library). If I had to narrow it down to one “who” it would be Barbra Streisand. She sang with such emotion and I was drawn to her masterful phasing and undeniably unique style and what I recognized as “technique”.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your upcoming release ‘Courage & Tenderness’.
Eddie James : This album is a powerful and significant accomplishment in my life. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience in the studio recording the album. A little over a year ago when I was shopping studios to produce the album I meet one of the most extraordinary music producers here in LA and he agreed to record, orchestrate, mix and master my music. A relationship I would soon realize was a gift from the musical heavens. I would quickly learn that his reputation on the west coast would launch me into a whole new category and so I started keeping company with LA’s most talented musicians, actors & singers. I would also begin to develop an irrevocable relationship and love affair with the medium of studio recording. I guess that means… keep ears & eyes open for my Christmas album.
Another extraordinary gift in the process was having 2015 Carnegie Hall Piano Soloist Richard Steinbach play on the album. He agreed to be my guest pianist for six songs, one of which is exquisitely sub-titled “A Duet with Voice and Piano”. His talent simply raised the bar beyond what I could have ever imagined this album to be.
Without me realizing it, the album would soon turn into a memoir of sorts. A stunning compilation of songs that have traveled with me throughout my life, every note brilliantly crafted into the masterpiece of my life in music; what I also know as my courage and my tenderness.
I was able to hire some of LA’s most accomplished pit, orchestra and studio/jam/salon musicians I have ever had the privilege to sing with. I was able to hire a woodwind & brass section, a piccolo player, a saxophonist, and a first & second chair string ensemble which included violins, cello and viola.
Every song took on a full life of it’s own and now each one feels like a mini musical play unto itself. There are thirteen songs which include two (what we call in the BIZ) “mash-ups”. I consider everything on the album Classic Broadway and Classic Pop; my versions of Classic.
Pro Media Mag : Our readers would be curious to know more about the ‘Red Carpet Album Launch Party’ that you have coming up.
Eddie James : This event is going to be quite the party. I’m thrilled to be having it at Busby’s East on Wilshire Boulevard here in Los Angeles. I’m using their upstairs Grand Ballroom. The press will be attending. There will be two red carpets so guests will enjoy the theme “Broadway & Hollywood”. The entertainment includes female impersonators and even a dance performance of my finale on the album “Copacabana”.
EVENT INFO: http://tinyurl.com/EddieJamesAlbumLaunch-Sept7th
Pro Media Mag : What kind of responses are you expecting from the release?
Eddie James : I learned a long time ago that as long as I do my job and show up 100% with clear and honest intention, the “response” I get is always greater than my wildest dreams and expectations, whatever that might be. I hope people will give me a listen or two or even eleven. I promise they’ll be delighted.
Pro Media Mag : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
Eddie James : Well, I’ve had my share of the stage so now I’m extremely attracted to continuing my experiences in the studio. Both with music and acting.
Pro Media Mag : Any plans of tours for the album or anything else for promotion after release?
Eddie James : Yes, I would love to tour the album and I feel that will come this fall once the album is released. I’ll be pushing that to happen with the help of my managing company and of course I’m open to talking with any venue about dates.
To Find Out More About Eddie James:
Website – https://www.eddiejamesw.com