Ever since first seeing Kid British support The Enemy back in 2009 I’d been a big fan of their music. Whilst collectively they were a great band individually they were equally as talented it’s little wonder then I’ve been keeping tabs on founding member James Mayer ever since he made the decision to quit the band. Ahead of the release of his debut EP We’ll Meet Again on April 17th AMBY caught up with Mayer to see how life as a solo artist is treating him.
AMBY: It’s been a while now since you left Kid British how are you finding life as a solo artist?
JM: Yeah time certainly goes quick. It’s a very strange feeling going from a band set up to a Solo artist, you have to trust your own judgement more when it comes to writing lyrics and melodies and just believe what you are doing is right.
AMBY: For anyone who doesn’t yet know you how would you describe your music?
JM: My EP has turned out to be quite laid back, people I have let preview it have said it’s got a “Californian” feel to it. I’ve not consciously thought about it too much, I’ve just made it and rolled with it.
AMBY: Your first EP “We’ll Meet Again” is due to be released later this month can you tell us the inspiration behind this record?
JM: The inspiration came from a tragic event which shaped and changed my life. My song writing changed a little and so did my voice, I became less scared of what I was writing and just penned how I felt. Every word I sing is either a memory or a story. The best songs come from the lows points of life in my opinion.
AMBY: What’s next on the agenda? Can we expect any live dates from yourself?
JM: Now I have my first EP finished I’m ready to play to people live. I’m currently building a little circle of musicians that will shape the sound of Mayer live. So keep an eye out for some shows in the near future.
AMBY: Your cover of Adele’s Someone Like You was amazing what current song would you fancy having a go at covering?
JM: I don’t stay up on current music and it takes something special in today’s climate like Adele or Ben Howard to grab me and maintain my attention. As a music lover though, the new Justin Timberlake album is ridiculous, I’ve followed Timberland’s production skills for years and it’s actually a work of art from a production point of view.
AMBY: Manchester’s a great place for live music are there any other local artists you think we should be keeping an eye out for?
JM: My music circle in Manchester is tight so I’m not up to scratch on emerging artists. People from my previous band are also doing solo projects so expect to hear a lot from us all.
AMBY: Watching you perform again with Kid British at their farewell show last year was pretty special. What is the most memorable moment you’ve had in your music career so far?
JM: Argh there has been so many, a lot of them blur into one big memory. The last gig was a weird one as something that I had already moved on from was coming to an end. It was great to be back with the guys though. Stepping on to the stage and performing at the M.E.N was a very memorable gig for me, but there is too many to mention.
AMBY: Describe your dream gig and who would be on the bill with you?
JM: My dream gig would be anything involving Bob Marley, that man was everything. As long as I got to spend some time in the dressing room afterwards and sit and have a conversation with him. If Janis Joplin was floating around too I’d grab a Brandy and Coke with her and make her sing to me all night. Oh and Pharrell Williams would 100% be in my band.
AMBY: What do you do outside of music for fun?
JM: I’m a laid back guy, give me a good film and a take-away and that’s all I require! But who doesn’t love a big night out? When I’m making music I surround myself with good people and when I’m not I try and do the same.
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about James Mayer that nobody knows?
JM: There’s a lot of things people don’t know about me, but on appearance alone you wouldn’t know that…..I am the slimmest Chocoholic on the planet. It will all hit me in a decade or so.
For a taster of Mayer’s upcoming EP We’ll Meet Again check out the following unplugged version of lead track My Letter.
Fi Carroll @dirtyroknroller