Bailey James Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the
first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone
who has never seen or heard you?
Answer: I am a very old soul, and
a free spirit. I love antique finds and shopping at
thrift stores. I go wherever life takes me, and I embrace chaos. My music varies….some
sounds rockabilly, some has the Texas Swing sound, and some sounds country-pop.
The sound of my music is based on my mood, but there is a bluesy undertone on
most of it.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the
songs for your CD?
Answer: I try to write all my
songs, and usually half of them are mine. I feel when you write a song, and sit
there and make that piece of art, you emote to it better. But there have been
cases where someone showed me a song, and I just had to have it. Like my song
“Over The Moon.” I heard that, and knew it had been written for me.
Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about
this song that makes people want to hear it?
Answer: My brand new single “Kiss
Me Goodbye” is special because it tells a story, most every girl who’s been in
a relationship with a boy who can’t make up his mind, can relate too. Plus, it
reminds me of that Amy Winehouse sound that you never really hear on country
radio. When I wrote that song I told my story of a heartbreak, but I was at the
point where I didn’t really care anymore. It’s about standing up for yourself,
and not settling for anyone better than you deserve. It oozes confidence.
Lamitschka: Do you have
any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?
Answer: I’ve had many fans come
to me and say my music has inspired them, and made them want to reach their
goals. This always makes me happy. I had a fan send me a message on Instagram
once and told me my music saved their life. They said they had been thinking
about suicide, and my music stopped them and my message I send to my fans made
them not want to do it. I lost my brother last May to suicide, and it put a
hole and burden in my family that can never be replaced. Therefore, instead of
feeling sad all the time, I want to help others who suffered depression like him.
I post lots about my involvement with The Jason Foundation on my Instagram.
They are a foundation that brings awareness to teen suicide, and have
ambassadors like Charlie Daniels, and Rascal Flatts. I am their very first teen
spokesperson. This is absolutely an honor. I speak on my brother’s death often
everytime I sing the song I wrote for him called “The One.” So when that fan
sent me that message, I will never forget it. Every life I get to save, is one
less burden and hole in a family, and for that I am thankful.
inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
Answer: Patsy Cline, Hank
Williams, George Jones, Johnny Cash, all the greats. All the legends of country
music. My dad used to sing Johnny Cash to me in the car when I was little, and
it caught on. From there, my love for music grew. I love all genres of music,
but I found country to be my favorite. The first time I listened to Pasty
Cline’s, “Crazy,” it was like heaven. The storytelling in country music is completely
different than any other genre. I adore it. I love soul music too, like Etta
James and Aretha Franklin.
unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?
Answer: My style, and the way I
interact with my fans. I try to respond to all my fans, whether it be in
comments or in a direct message, as much as I can.
has been your greatest challenge in music business thus far?
Answer: My age. It’s a challenge and a blessing.
Being 15, I can’t play in bars or any place where they won’t let you play if
you are under 21. But it is a blessing I started out so young. So if that’s
been my greatest challenge so far, I’ll take the good with the bad. Some people
doubt me because of my age, but I just do my thing, and have fun.
What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and
achievements which you are proud of?
Answer:I performed at the Bluebird when I was 11
years old. My uncle played guitar, and we sang his song. That was so special. I
also loved when I got to open for Kelsea Ballerini, but my most outstanding
moment was definitely hitting #36 on the Music Row Charts with my song “Run
Girl.” MY FIRST SINGLE TO RADIO! And yeah, they tell me it was bigger
than I know because I was only 14.
is your biggest critic, yourself or others?
Answer: Sometimes others,
but that don’t bother me one bit. I am my biggest critic… I will re-sing
something over and over when I am in the studio until I get it right where it
needs to be.
Lamitschka: What’s the
best compliment a fan has ever given you?
Answer: The biggest
compliment a fan has given me was when they told me I saved their life. They
were battling depression and self-harm like my brother. I share my
brothers story regularly and our love for him and our battle beside him.
The story didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but like any story there is so
much that can be learned from it. Music created in the middle of great
sadness is the most powerful. We sometimes lie to ourselves about happiness or
love, but pain seems to me to be the realest of emotions and the easiest to
emote. I am not sure why I went in this direction, but if you listen to
all my music you will find not only pain, but joy and love and hope. I
don’t want my music to be about vanity or objects obtained. I want my music
to tell a story. A story of life, and growing up and falling down and
falling in love and hopefully someday of finding happiness and balance in my
life. So when someone tells me that my music has helped save them from
the darkness in their lives, it is emotional for me because in the end the most
important thing that I do as an artist is to connect with each and every fan of