Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Simon James, I am a singer songwriter from the North West, writing country rock style music! I also have a band that I drag around to bigger gigs!
When did you first discover your love of country music and who is your biggest influence?
I went to Scotland and wrote a song with a guy from Nashville called Darden Smith, I played it at a local open mic night and my pal Lyndsey told me about the scene, I’m forever indebted to her!!! Definitely Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean… too many to mention!
Describe your sound in three words
Considered Country Rock?
Tell us about your first performance and what you’ve learned about playing live since then
My first live performance was when I was 16 in Bradford! Albeit not country but it was blues and rock, Ive played in bands for years, the biggest Ive done was a festival at York Racecourse for about 20,000 people… that was fun. Playing live is my safe place, it’s where I feel most comfortable, I love the vibe, the reaction to the music, making people sing and dance. Theres no better feeling.
Do you have a favourite and a dream venue?
O2 please… being honest, I don’t mind where I play, I love the small intimate gigs like Gullivers in Manchester, I love the established venues like the Underworld and the Garage in London. But my favourite place is festivals, I LOVE playing outdoors!
If you could open for any county artist who would that be and why?
Tough one… I’d say Chris Stapleton or Jason Aldean.
Do you have a favourite song to cover?
Funnily enough I don’t do covers, but I have just been asked to do one for the Yamaha heats for C2C so I’ve chosen a song by Ward Thomas, it’s rocked up and it really works…
If we were to come to one of your gigs what could we expect?
Great songs, lots of dancing, fun, excitement and love.
What excites you most about what’s happening in the world of country music at the moment?
The fact it’s growing so quickly, in a previous life I was Online Creative Director for Sony Music Europe and I had to identify trends and opportunities for the acts, I can see Country trending so fast now, there’s even clothing in Primark which is a very good sign!
Do you have any projects in the pipeline at the moment?
Millions… I run UK Country Live! With Luke from Full Circle Touring, We’re putting on a series of nights across the UK that promote the very best in the UK Country scene, thats going well. I also am writing my album which is fun, I spend pretty much everyday writing and promoting myself on all social channels so I’m always very active. Ive also been asked to play the big Country festivals this year so I’m rehearsing with my new band. Sounds friction awesome!! Cant wait to unleash it on the world 🙂 Oh and I’m sharing the stage with some amazing acts this year so really looking forward too that!