Exclusive Interview: Kris James Talks About ‘I’ll Be Here’

Hailing from Liverpool, singer-songwriter Kris James has recently released his highly-anticipated single ‘I’ll Be Here’ on May 24. This heartfelt single is taken from his upcoming debut album and touches the sensitive issues of mental health and depression. After achieving international success as the former lead singer of the boyband ‘The Scheme‘, Kris James successfully launched his solo career in summer of 2018.

Kris James’ critically acclaimed debut single ‘Eyes Open’ peaked at number 25 in the official iTunes chart where it held the position for 4 weeks. The highly-anticipated follow on single ‘Anymore’ debuted at number 1 on official iTunes in the genre of electronics. As well as a singer-songwriter, Kris is a respectable fashionista, frequently in the media spotlight and often spotted at London Fashion Week year after year.

At CelebMix, we had a chance to catch up with Kris James and talk about his latest release, music journey so far, near future plans and much more. Check out below to know more.

Hey Kris. Welcome to CelebMix. How’ve you been doing?

Hey! Great thank you, I have been in the studio all week working on new music so I’m keeping busy but lots of exciting music to come and I can’t wait to share it all!

Well, that sounds great. You’ve recently released your third single ‘I’ll Be Here’ which is a very catchy pop tune and touches sensitive topics like mental health and depression. Tell us more about how you came up with it.

I always wanted to create a record that everyone reached for help and to make them feel better. So after “Anymore”, my last single, which is about escaping the rat race of life to be under the stars with the person you love the most in the world, I decided to construct an album based on true events and things that I could relate back to. You can’t write or be passionate about something unless you have experienced it.

I went through some terrible days of depression and other mental health issues after putting seven years into a project and all of a sudden it’s gone because of other people’s actions I was completely lost. Thank God I was given another chance to make music and carry on alone.

So, ‘I’ll Be Here” came from that. I was going through such a bad time and decided later on to write about it and also to say that because I know what it’s like. I’m there for my friends who are also going through the same issues. We are now thankfully starting to talk more about this sad issue. People need to know there is always going to be someone there for you. Sometimes it might not even be someone you know. Just know that someone will be there!

The music video for ‘I’ll Be Here’ is described as ‘cinematic’ and looks fabulous while conveying your message. Who came up with this idea?  What do you want people to take away from your video?

I gave the production company my idea for the video which was a round circle meeting with people talking about their mental health and issues and maybe cut-offs to their times of hardship and worry. Anyway, the film company came back with something much better. It was similar to my idea only the people in question all get anonymous letters to their homes with a location where they all must meet. And then, when they all meet together. they play various games in order to make themselves happy again.

I want people to take away the message that no matter how depressed you are, there are always people to help and talk to. Never feel alone and I hope the video portrays that.

Watch the music video below:

You’ve already tasted the flavor of international fame being the front man for ‘The Scheme’ for 5 years before beginning your solo journey. How does working in a band differ from producing music solely, on your own?

As much as I loved being in a band, I really enjoy being a solo artist as when it comes to creating and producing the songs, they really all are about me and my own experiences in life. It lets my fans have a more personal bond and get to know me more on a personal level which I love.

How did you embark on your music career? If not a musician, what do think you’d be doing now?

I always used to sing as a kid at family gatherings. I would also visit old people’s homes in my teenage years to sing and spread the word. It made me feel alive. I actually always wanted to be a chef. I love Jamie Oliver, his food and that always inspired me to cook fresh, even though I’m guilty of loving a good Turkey twizzler. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone (laughs).

You’ve previously worked with some big names in the music industry and now the latest track is produced by Tom Fuller who’s well-known for his major works with David Guetta, Robbie Williams, and Amy Winehouse. How’s your experience of working with Tom?

Tom is such a talented producer, actually one of the best producers I’ve ever worked with. He really gets it and I’m very comfortable working with him as he knows my voice and knows exactly what he needs to do in order to get the best out of me. It’s great to be able to go into such an amazing studio and see and work with somebody like him he’s worked with some of the best in the business as you’ve already outlined.

Considering your past release and now with ‘I’ll Be Here’, do you think music, in general, has therapeutic benefits to treat anxiety, depression and helps a person to heal?

Absolutely, the main goal of writing music is to express your feelings and opinions. I know they say laughter is the best medicine but I know music is. It’s taken time for me to find what helps, and I suggest to anyone that suffering to take time out to listen to music.

Image: Kris James

Who are your major musical inspirations, dead or alive? Have these influences changed over time?

My major musical inspiration is Chris Martin from Coldplay. I think if I could collaborate with anyone it would be him! I have loved Coldplay since I was a little boy and watched the band go from strength to strength. The way he writes is second to none and I would really love to be in the room with him and be able to collaborate with such an amazing songwriter. It really would be my dream to work with him as I followed him and his band for such a long time and for me to end up writing a track with them would be the pinnacle of my career, to say the least.

You’re finishing up your debut album. Can you spill more details on how’s it going to sound like? When can we expect it?

I can’t spill everything just yet, however, I can say that we have decided rather than fitting into just one basic genre we would create an album with lots of different genres and sounds. So on this album, we will be crossing from pop to electro-pop to ballads. It’s all going be on there so I’m really excited to find out what the listeners think.

It’s set to be released this winter, we haven’t got a date just yet, however, the sooner the better as I’m so excited for everyone to hear what I’ve been working on.

What is the favorite part of your job – writing, recording or performing in front of thousands of people? Does it feel nerve-wracking?

I would say all three are pretty special, you get something from each. Writing you can express, it’s thrilling to see it all come together in the studio, and performing it helps me connect with my fans. I used to get nervous but now it is the best feeling seeing people in the crowd singing along to the lyrics you wrote. It feels magical.

What has been the biggest lesson that you’ve learned through all your years of working in the industry?

To stay humble. I meet other artists on a daily basis and it’s a shame to see people change. It’s so important to support and help others working towards their goals.

What’s next on Kris’ career bucket list? Any exciting plans for 2019 that you’d like to share with your fans?

The next thing on my career bucket list is for sure my album. This is such a big moment for me as it’s going to be my first! I’ve spent countless hours in the studio this year and there are many more to come so I can’t wait to get it finished and released for everyone to hear what I’ve been working on!

How do you unwind yourself while taking a break from working? Where can we catch Kris when not in the studio?

To unwind, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym recently, getting in to shape and it also helps clear my mind as writing is very full on. So it’s a great way for me to take some time out and clear my head ready for the next session!

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life in a flotation tank and could only listen to the entire works of five different artists to keep you company, who would you choose?

If I had to choose five, I think I would have to go with John Mayer, Chris Martin, Elton John, Adele, and Sam Smith.

Tweet us your thoughts on this stunning single ‘I’ll Be Here’ by Kris James at @CelebMix

Written by Khushboo Malhotra

Autodidactic Ambivert!
Music gives wings to my mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
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