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Get To Know: Dallas James

After a few monikers and scrapped projects over the last few years, the emerging artist Dallas James makes his grand entrance, firmly stamping out a place of his own. Confident in the sound he has been crafting over the last three years, he is ready to show his nostalgic, yet fresh blend of melodic emo-rock to the world in the form of his debut EP ‘Another day in paradise’ - out today.

“Music was always very present in my household” he tells me, fondly remembering the times he would wake up on the weekend to his dad playing vinyl, the sounds of classic pop and tunes from the golden era of rock, plus his mum’s super fandom of the Cranberries echoing through his home. Since then, music has become his ultimate passion, and the tool to become a more confident version of himself.

Another day in paradise, while positive on the surface, Dallas reflects on the negative undertones cloaked beneath the phrase. “You know… “how are you?” - “oh, just another day in paradise!” he laughs. Offering a taste of his new music last year with his breakout single ‘Stranger’, and the genre-bending ‘Oh Wow’ - the project is a time capsule created from the last three years of his life. From battles with addiction to problems with relationships, ‘Another day in paradise’ is an eclectic showcase of raw emotion born through hard times, blended with what inspired his love for music in the first place. “Going through some pretty hectic lows to now be sitting on a high…” he continues, “It means a lot to me, and hopefully people can hear that in the music - the stories I’m telling and the emotion behind them.”

We believe everything happens for a reason - and after numerous cases of trial and error, the exciting debut EP from Dallas James is proof of just that.

We sat down with Dallas James in celebration of his debut EP, and spoke about his early musical influence, the pressure of starting from scratch, and the journey of creating 'Another day in paradise'

GET TO KNOW: Dallas James

Who was the first artist you got into, and how did you find them?

The first album I remember rinsing back to front and learning all the words to was Scribe’s ‘The Crusader’, with P-money as well. Which was super cool and full circle because P-money is actually the one who ended up signing me. I think I got it for my tenth birthday, I got that one and Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’. I was into music before then but those were the first two I remembered getting as CD’s and rinsing back to front. I think there was also a Sean Paul single as well. Shortly after that I fell in love with Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers, that’s when I started learning instruments. I think the start of my journey is there.

What was it about those artists that spoke to you the most?

It’s hard to say because I was really young, I guess I would say the feeling and emotion behind the music. I really gravitated towards the heavy guitar and it moved me in some sort of way. There wasn’t YouTube and stuff back then, so you’re kind of creating your own image of them in your head… you see the vinyl cover and you hear the music - it definitely provoked a lot of emotion even when I was young, which I think carries into my music now.

If you could grab your old MP3 player, charge it up and press play - what song do you think would play first?

I honestly think that ‘Grillz’ song by Nelly… I remember at the start of intermediate school there was this girl, and we liked each other. We went away for Easter break and she made me a mixtape, and that was my favourite song from it at the time.

How would you describe your sound if it were a texture?

That’s a really good question… I think something that is smooth, but rough around the edges. Thrashing guitars, but mixed together well with nice drum sounds and baselines that give it that smooth feel.

Was it ever daunting to almost start from scratch with a new moniker?

It definitely was, but it was equally as exciting. I had taken a break from the public eye I suppose, but never from music. It was always daunting being a hip-hop artist in New Zealand as well, and then when new sounds started coming out I always felt like I was trying to achieve something that I wasn’t quite achieving. When artists like Juice WRLD came out and you heard the emotion behind the music, and the switch up with guitars… I started getting really into that, and it felt like a direction that was more organic for me.

Have you ever thought of a melody or anything while flipping burgers?

For sure, I have a crazy voice memo bank. One of the songs on the EP, the main melody was thought of at the old Parade while I was at work, flipping burgers. I quickly added a voice memo, and went to the studio the next day to flesh it out. It’s crazy to have that sort of technology with you all the time.

What are you most excited about the journey ahead?

I’m really excited to be more in the moment with music. Once this EP is out I can get music out without sitting on it for too long. It’s a time capsule of the last three years of my life. Going through my own personal struggles from things like addiction to relationships, getting through those things and becoming more confident in myself. Going through some pretty hectic lows to now be sitting on a high. It means a lot to me, and hopefully people can hear that in the music, the stories I’m telling and the emotion behind them. It’s called Another day in paradise, which is something to me that you say… you know, “how are you?” it sounds positive, but it’s got that negative undertone to it. I’m also super excited to play some live shows with a band, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m doing rehearsals at the moment and it’s been a great challenge. It feels so much more real when I’m hearing my music with a live band.

Have a listen to Dallas James' debut EP 'Another day in paradise' below:


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