Following the recent release of his Pages EP and two stopover shows in the UK at Camden Assembly and The Great Escape festival, Brighton; we sat down with James Hersey to discuss his influences and what he has in store for the rest of the year.
If you don't already know, James Hersey is an Austrian- American artist hailing from Vienna. He carefully moulds the sounds of electro and pop music to make a truly original sound which has lead to several entries in the Austrian and German charts already. As an artist on the rise, Hersey has collaborated with Dillon Francis and Kygo on 2 successful tracks whilst, and more recently hooked up with fellow countrymen Camo & Krooked on their single 'Like I Do'.
James has racked up some astonishing streaming plays counts on Spotify and is starting to gain more and more attention outside of continental Europe in the UK and over the pond in America. Having just played the likes of Bonnaroo festival, Tennessee, he is definitely doing something right at the moment. Have a read of the interview bellow to see what James had to say to The Idle Man.
What were your musical influences when you were growing up?
My absolute heroes of childhood were Michael and Freddie. When I started playing drums in bands my influences shifted to punk, ska, hip hop, then through jazz I found the bridge to all genres.
How do you think growing up in Vienna influenced the sound that you produce?
I don’t think the city itself has much to do with my music, but it certainly helped that we have a great local alternative station - Radio FM4 - that showed a lot of support early on.
What was a fundamental track that led you to thinking about writing your own music?
One of my favorite songs growing up was Uncle John’s Band by the Grateful Dead. I loved the harmonies and chord changes, but especially the way my dad played it on acoustic guitar at home.
You’ve gained a lot of respect from people like Annie Mac, do you think it’s important to stay grounded even though you’re getting more famous in the industry?
In my experience, the most successful people in music are the one’s who stay humble and true to themselves. No reason to go through the roof just because some people like the way I sing and write.
How did it feel having Dillon Francis remix your track “Coming Over”?
It was exciting to have my song re-built by such a beacon of electronic dance music. I’ve always enjoyed his sound, and I love the version he made!
You recently dropped “Everyone’s Talking” from the ‘Pages’ EP, what was the creative inspiration behind the track and video?
The song is about phasing out the judgements of others - not overvaluing opinions based on social media profiles. The evolution of the internet has accompanied all my relationships, and I think it’s
important to talk about both sides of the coin.
Have you got any big festivals or tours planned for 2017?
Actually I’m most excited to get back in the studio in July! I want to release a second EP before the end of the year, so that means most of my summer will be spent indoors getting these tracks on wax.
Can we expect some more new music from you this year?
Absolutely - I’ve got a great collaboration coming out, as well as my second EP!
How would you describe your clothing style and where do you take inspiration from in your outfits?
I dress the way I make music, influenced everywhere from hip hop to punk rock. Sneakers, ripped jeans, hoodies, snapbacks, I’ve got it all.
Finally, who’s one artist or group that you think we need to watch out for in 2017?
Definitely keep an eye on Alice Phoebe Lou - South African artist living in Berlin with the power to change the world.
An artist I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on this summer, James Hersey will be playing The Barclaycard British Summer Time in Hyde Park on the 2nd July alongside megastar Justin Bieber and Scottish beauty Nina Nesbit. Find tickets for the event here and also check out the 'Pages EP'.