Photo Credit: Miles Addy (@milesxaddy)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // May 22, 2020
James Vickery is genuinely one of the most down-to-earth souls we’ve ever come to know, and just listening to one of his heartfelt tracks will have you making the same conclusion. With the makings of a true R&B virtuoso, Vickery is certainly destined for success and his otherworldly new EP, Overture proves exactly that. An enthralling collection of six tracks, Overture serves as Vickery’s breakout moment into London’s R&B scene.
On Overture, James Vickery shared,
“I decided to call the EP ‘Overture’ as it means ‘an introduction to something more substantial.’ An album is soon around the corner.”
To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with James Vickery about being deaf in his left ear, live shows, and of course, Overture.
HH: What many people don’t know about you is that you were born deaf in your left ear. How would you say you’ve learned to not let this hinder your musical ability?
JV: Being born deaf in my left ear, I grew up speaking very quietly so I had to go to vocal coaching from an early age to learn to engage my diaphragm. It was in these lessons that I actually discovered I could sing, so I owe it all to my impairment! Also being deaf in one ear allows me to hear myself better when I sing (stick one finger in your ear, and try singing – you’ll see what I mean)!
HH: How did your life change after the video of you performing “Until Morning” for COLORS went viral?
JV: It changed everything! I was suddenly exposed to a huge international audience, and was able to start playing shows/festivals internationally straight away. Before then it was just my manager and I, then suddenly I had record labels and publishers wanting to sign me. I was very lucky that I was able to choose a wider team that was passionate and lets me do what I want to creatively!
HH: Your new EP, Overture, is everything we could’ve asked for. Can you describe the creative process behind it?
JV: After I signed my record deal, I spent the best part of a year in Los Angeles, working with many new producers and trying to establish my sound. It was a long process, but I now have my select guys who I am working on the debut album with!
HH: Whether it be “Something Good” or “Spanish Rose,” you never fail to impress us with your stunning vocals. Do you have a favorite track off the EP?
JV: “Turn Me On” is my current favorite off the EP, but “Something Good” is one of the most special songs I have ever written.
HH: Your ‘LIVE From London’ series features you performing with a full band across your gorgeous hometown. What inspired this fantastic idea?
JV: I love performing live. To me, it’s as important as the records are. So I wanted to create a concept where I can bring you my new music and live performances at the same time with a full live band, in unique locations around my hometown.
HH: If you could perform a headline show anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
JV: My family is from South Africa, and last year I played two festivals there at Rocking The Daisies and In The City. It felt like a homecoming and was so special! So I would love to return post-pandemic and play a headline show!
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
JV: Dylan Sinclair – “Home”
Pip Millet – “Ava”
Alex Isley, Jack Dine – “Gone”