Monday, November 16, 2009


Tuesday, September 25, 2007 

With his sophomore release Ten Songs About Love Melbourne-based pop-soul singer Eran James is feeling on top of the world. As well he might, with debut album Reviewing The Situation winding up in the hands of some big name US producers, it was Tom Nichols who took charge of this new release, as James attests: "He's an amazing songwriter and producer, he's worked with all these big names - Celine Dion, Kylie, J Lo - and he absolutely loved the first album. Tom got to work getting the musicians and the studio and before I knew it I was literally being flown to NY to start working on this project." Some of the songwriters Nichols brought in included Daryl Hall, Phil Gladstone (Save The Best For Last), Jesse Harris (Come Away With Me) and Ivor Novello Award-winner Wayne Hector, so clearly a man who knows what he's doing. Currently playing some shows back on home ground, James is again playing with the 8-piece band he used on his first album, an experience he says is a bit odd after his time in New York. "It was a fully crazy and amazing experience, it's not everyday that you get to go to New York and work with those guys, they're all pretty big cats. At the time I was taking it as it comes but when I look back now I think 'man, I can't believe I did that!', but now I've got to figure out how to fit the band on the stage at The Empress!".

Fronting a collective of heavyweight talent like that is not an easy task, and, though impressed, James wasn't intimidated. "Me and Tom picked the songs. He went on a writing trip around the world and came back saying 'I've got these world class writers who are willing to write for your record', and I said 'yeah man, go do it!' So he gathered a whole bunch of songs, came back to me, I had a listen to them and there were a few things I wasn't liking, I wasn't vibing out on, and - I'm a songwriter myself - I altered some things and put myself on the record, made it my own."

Though the album turns up on iTunes as 'Easy Listening', labeling of any kind doesn't bother James. "Hey whatever, if people discover the record and like it, I'm happy with that. I feel like I've made an international record. It has a big future, and in terms of style it ranges enough so everyone can understand and enjoy the record for what it is. Ultimately soul music and jazz would be my niche though."

Remarkably unphased by some of the compliments he has received (James Brown, after listening to some of James' own 100+ songs told him "Man you sound blacker than me," his producer Jay Newland claims "Eran is the authentic article, the real deal,"), it's his ability to not freak out and to hold his own that seems to be his hallmark. The death of his mother to cancer one month into the planning of the relocation came as a huge blow, but it's his handling that belies his years. "I wasn't in the best state of mind when I arrived in New York, but I knew ultimately that I couldn't stop and sit down and grieve, if my mum was here she'd say 'go for it, don't just sit there and let this opportunity pass, you only live once'. I was grieving a lot at the time I was recording, so the way I interpreted the songs, the way I was feeling changed. It had to."

With big names supporting him, a UK release and tour coming up, does he have any fear of exploitation, particularly given that he's not yet 19? "Not really no, I just do what I do." Clearly, that's pretty damn well.

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