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With his new release dropping on Quattro, we took a moment to talk with James Bright on the making of this release, and to hear how he came up with his unique sound. Check the full interview below and be sure to check the premiere for ‘Betamax‘ off the EP.
Interview With James Bright
1.) Can you give us the background on you and how you started in the music industry?
I guess I started making music in my early teens when I took up the guitar. I bought myself a
Shure SM58 mic and a Tascam 4-Track and was constantly writing little hooks. I tried the whole teen band thing but unfortunately I always fell to pieces when it came time to play on stage.
I started producing around 1999 when a mutual friend introduced me to Steve Miller (AFTERLIFE). We went on to form the downbeat act Lux. Northern Lights, the first track we wrote together was picked up as the opening track for Café Del Mar Volume 7. We released a couple of albums as Lux.
As a solo artist I still produce Downbeat/Balearic and released the album Little Things in 2010 followed by string of eps on labels such as NANG and ECLECTICS. Although I’ve also released a few house tracks under a different pseudonym . Which led to me signing a publishing deal with Blackrock in 2016.
2.) Can you talk a little bit about this release ‘Betamax’ and the production process for this?
The production process for my new release was the same as all my previous productions really. I very rarely go into the studio these days with any pre conceived ideas. When writing I just like to sit with a blank canvas and see what comes out. It could start with a beat or bassline or even just a sound I find inspiring. As you can imagine writing like this I have hard drives full of sketches of songs but it’s good to go back through these sometimes when you’re experiencing a bit of a creative block. It was quite an interesting process writing a couple of the tracks for the release as they were done at home during this quarantine time. I managed to get my computer, Mixing desk, Monitors, a guitar and bass back home from the studio before we got locked down. So writing with limited equipment was a fun challenge.
3.) What would you say is you unique point of difference in your style of music and production?
That’s a tough one. I guess the uniqueness comes from it just being me and like I said earlier maybe the way I go about writing, Although I’m sure a lot of artists must write the same way. I do have quite a wide taste in styles of music and love to incorporate real instruments with electronic, digital production. In a previous interview some body described my music has having “an unfussy feel, and this really rich bass sound”. I know I’ve developed my own sound over the years but it’s not really something I’ve consciously worked on. It’s just what happens when I produce, it just feels right to my ears. I’m quite methodical when it comes to layering sounds and try to get every element to sound as strong as it can on its own. There’s a tendency when writing for people to over complicate songs, I know I’ve been guilty of that, but I’m a big fan of space and letting things breath.
4.) Are there any iconic figures that you draw inspiration from?
This could be an endless list of musicians and producers from the last 5 or 6 decades.
5.) What have you been doing to keep busy during the quarantine time?
Staying at home with my wife and daughter, fortunately and quite unlike the UK the weather has been very kind to us so far, so we’ve spent a lot of time sunning in the garden. I did manage to bring some equipment home with me so I’ve still been writing everyday (which is easier said than done with a manic cooped up 3 year old running round).
6.) Any other cool releases dropping soon this year that we should know about?
I’ve got an Ep with some great remixes out on the Eclectics label later this year. I’m also
Remixing a track for Joe Morris at the moment. Hopefully they’ll be plenty more on the way as well.
Turn it up & enjoy!