Interview with James Paton


First of all, can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your music?

I’m a Bristol born Singer, Drummer and Bedroom-Producer hailing from Chew Valley, over the hill from Cheddar (the holy grail of cheese…) in the South West of England. 

What inspires you when writing new music? 

All manner of stimulants have inspired me to write new songs in the past. I can be about to nod off to sleep when a melody will just appear in my head and I have to get up and flesh it out on the computer with all the harmony I’m hearing around it and often lyrics will just as sporadically present themselves, following the music. Often after getting home from a gig I’ve either attended or played.  A lot of my songwriting this year, cliché I know, has come from heart break.  

How has your music career changed in the past few years? 

It’s changed most dramatically in the past year since I 'upped sticks’ and left Chew Valley for the big smoke. I feel like I’m finally seeing opportunities that I’ve been working towards for the past 10 years or so. I’ve met so many more people that not only get what I do, but are on similar paths themselves and it’s so great to be part of a community. Not to mention, the mad experiences London has given me which has translated into plenty of new life lessons and new material!

If you could invite 3 of your biggest musical inspirations for cocktails, who would they be and why?

Lets go dead and/or alive, because Amy Winehouse HAS to be in there. Jazz/Hip Hop/Soul are probably my biggest genres of influence and she was an amalgamation of them all in such a refreshing vein, particularly in her earlier years around her first Album, Frank. And her songwriting was just incredible. And she seemed like she’d be a wicked cocktail date.

I’d have to get Anderson. Paak along because I’m obviously going to be a massive fan. Beautiful beat making, incredible drummer and great story teller. He also seems like great fun and can dance!

Then finally probably someone really chill and grounded like Tom Misch. Misch is not only a great songwriter but an incredible guitarist and produces the most beautiful sonic creations. He's one of the guys along with Anderson. Paak that have continued to inspire me to DIY the music! Plus, he could get the Guitar out and we could all have a cheeky jam. There’s a few more: Mac Miller, D’Angelo, Biggie Smalls, Charlie Puth. 

If your sound was a flavour what would that be?

Oh man that’s hard! So many flavours… Um… Something like a fresh home made sweet and sour but with added chili. Rich and hearty, sweat yet tangy and a nice bit of heat for that passion and exuberance that comes through from time to time! 

Thanks for having me!