Kris James – The Solo Effect

30th December 2018

Singer-songwriter Kris James has spent the last several years of his life traveling the world with his London pop boy band, The Scheme. Following the band's unexpected breakup, Kris James is stepping out on his own, ready to share his retro, catchy tunes with all that will listen. Candid's Jeff Conway sat down with this emerging artist to discuss his creative process, the risks he is taking on his upcoming album and the silver lining he carries with him, ever since his band split.

Do you write all or most of your songs? And when you do write, is there a certain time or place you do your best writing?

I generally write a lot of songs on my own, but the songs I generally put out, I'll co-write with one, no more than two people, just because I think it's better to collaborate.
I tend to work with one of my best friends, who is one of the best guitarists in England, in my opinion. We've worked together for ten years, on and off. When my band split up last year and I got to commission an album, I went back to him and we are writing an album together.
I work out of a studio in London and a studio out of Liverpool. I live in London but I'm from Liverpool. I like to go back to Liverpool because I find it slightly more creative and I write better songs there. I like to get away to quiet places.

What would you say has been your biggest ‘break' moment in your career so far?

I've had quite a few. I was in the band and we got the opportunity in America to play the Amway Center in Florida. We were offered the opportunity to sing the American anthem and then do the halftime show for a football game.
I learned the American anthem and it is a beautiful song. When you do that type of stuff and go over to the US, to get the opportunity to play stadiums in America, it has been a huge, huge dream for me and that happened last year.

What has been the greatest challenge in your path toward music success?

The challenges that come up are whether you get the right songs and it's always very challenging when you put out new music.
We all age, we're all getting older and I thought I needed a more mature sound. The risk was that it may not have been perceived as well, because fans have known me as a pop artist. I've gone for this quirky, 80s, pop sound. Releasing new music in a new genre is always challenging, but if you don't give it a go, you'll never know.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bernard

I notice a lot of dark colours, leather jackets and sleek blazers on you often. How would you describe your fashion sense and do you see it evolving as time goes on?

I love fashion. I'm not scared of wearing anything. I'll wear anything and everything. I feel like I'm evolving all the time. My style is generally during the day, trendy and funky. And in the evening, I'm sharp and all about tailored clothing. I love all those double-breasted jackets. I think it's all about mixing and matching.

What was the most positive aspect that came out of your band breaking up?

The most positive thing for me is that I got in the band really young. You travel the world and learn a lot of stuff. Seven years in a band has given me so much experience, so many valuable lessons to go on as a solo artist. I'm now confident about what I'm doing and when I'm doing it.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bernard

What projects are you currently working on and what's next?

I'm finishing my album in LA and then I'm going over to Minneapolis to produce the album with a gentleman called John Fields. He's a guy that did all the Nick Jonas, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus [albums].
The guy has worked with everyone in America, so I'm finishing my album with him. Then April 2019, my next single will be out and I'll be going on tour,  supporting one of the bigger acts in the UK. That takes me up to September 2019, when my album will drop.
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