Interview: James TW talks touring, snacks and how to get noticed


James TW is a name that’s soon going to be plastered all over the charts, having already had fantastic success with his debut single ‘When You Love Someone’, and venturing out on tour with Shawn Mendes, the future is exceedingly bright for this 18-year-old.

You started out posting covers to YouTube – If you could only cover one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

That’s a great question! I’d say I would cover ‘Fire and Rain’ by James Taylor. I was named after him and the song always reminds me of when I was younger and started listening to it.

What advice would you give to people trying to get their music noticed on YouTube?

I’d say you have to be free to experiment with the types of videos you post. I started by doing straight up acoustic covers and over time I began playing originals and doing my own versions of covers playing electric guitar and piano in addition to acoustic songs.

Your EP is called ‘First Impressions’, can you describe each track with just 1 word?

Naked – Sexy

Sanctuary – Fulfilling

When You Love Someone – Passionate

Different – Honest

10K Hours – Frustration

You list John Mayer, Jamie Cullum and Ed Sheeran as some of your musical influences, if you had to pick one to spend ‘10K Hours’ with, who would it be and why?

10,000 hours is a long time to spend with anyone! I think I would pick Jamie Cullum as I would love to learn how to play jazz piano.

You’re currently on tour with Shawn Mendes, can you tell us a bit about that? Is it the first time you’ve been to the US and Canada to tour?

This is the first time I’ve toured the States and Canada and I’m loving it. It has been a dream of mine since I was a 10-year-old drummer in my dad’s wedding band to go on a world tour. It has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. It’s been amazing to perform for so many warm and welcoming people. I’ve had the chance to spend time with Shawn’s team on the road and they’re all such lovely people. I’ve been able to play basketball and ping pong with Shawn which are two of my favourite sports and my fan base has grown far past what I expected.

James TW

We loved your selfie on your tour bus, can you tell us a bit about that? What do you get up to on there? Any games or catching Pokemon out of the window?

There hasn’t been any Pokemon catching yet. Usually when I get on the bus about 11-12pm everyone is winding down from the busy show day so it’s generally snacking on after show food like yoghurt, cheese strings or cookies. We’ve been playing a fair amount of Mario Kart too.

What can we expect from you in the future?

The future involves new music that I’m very excited to release and a live show that will continue to develop and grow.

James TW’s debut EP ‘First Impressions’ is out now on Island Records. He plays London’s Borderline on September 7th, buy tickets here

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