James Humphrys - Alone

How is it April already? But that can only mean one thing, summer is almost here! So to celebrate that our Track of the Week comes from BIMM Bristol’s James Humphrys, taken from his EP Sun Mantra. Check out Alone…

What was your inspiration behind your track?
This track touches on themes of insecurities, communication, and decision-making. Moving away from home and having the time to focus on music has taught me a lot about myself and the way I like to go about things. Sometimes we need to let things go to be able to move on to the next stage in our lives, to progress as people. That is easier said than done and quite deep and clichéd but hey… I also feel this track doesn’t take itself too seriously at the same time, which is important I think.

What did your song writing process involve?
I’ve always had an interest in odd time signatures and I used to listen to a fair few math rock bands back in the day, so I knew I wanted to incorporate some elements of that into this track. Although it’s in 5/4 I wanted it to feel natural to the listener. The drums constantly develop throughout the track, which gave me space to mess around with different rhythms. The track came from a little harmonic progression, which can be heard every so often. The rest of the song was pretty much written around that!

What things do you differently to other bands?
I can’t say for sure what I specifically do differently to other bands, although I record most of the instruments on my tracks myself in my bedroom. I love the interplay between each instrument and how important each part is together when making up the track, once I get started I can’t stop. On a more general note, I guess our energy as a band on stage is raw and real. I think it’s clear that we’re enjoying ourselves and the music without having too much of an image to get in the way, which hopefully comes across and breaks that boundary between us and the audience.

Can you describe your sound in three words?
No but since you asked I’ll give it a go…

Tropical, Dream, Sandwich.

Have you channeled any artist in particular on this track?
No one specifically on this track but I guess maybe the band Real Estate in regards to the dreaminess and the chord shapes I use. But I’m also a big Bombay Bicycle Club fan and the last chorus and outro reminds me of ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. Generally the track probably channels all sorts of artists I was listening to at the time.

What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
For me the best thing about studying at BIMM is getting to meet all the like-minded people and musicians. It’s an opportunity to put everything into music for three years and I wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities I’ve had if it wasn’t for the people I’ve met or spoken to through BIMM. You’re constantly inspired and I think if you put yourself out there and take all the advice you get, good things will come your way.

What’s the best bit of music advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of music advice given to me was actually from my mum. She said to enjoy each small success and then build on it. The business is hard enough without being hard on yourself, so it’s important to take time to celebrate the small successes and then put it aside and focus on the music.

What’s next for you?
I’ve just released my debut 5 track EP ‘Sun Mantra’. This is the closing track on the EP and is probably more of a ballad-esque number compared to the others. I now want to focus on our live set and to continue gigging around Bristol. I’ve just started recording my next single, which will be out late April, so keep an eye out for that!

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