Allow me to introduce James Egbert, a 24 year-old man from Colorado following a dream that leads to EDM stardom. So why haven’t you heard of him? Well James has been working in the music industry from some time now. His first work came as a "ghost-producer" where he would develop and tweak a sound for an artist but that never quite worked for James.
I came to realize that the music was never me and that it was actually my interpretation of somebody else.
And with that he began to pursue a career of becoming an artist. James didn’t want to be just some artist; he wanted to be original. Unique. Something new. And that came in the form of becoming an electronic artist.
Since then James has found himself sitting on Beatport’s “Top 5 Album Releases,” as well as receiving a lot of fan support on Soundcloud. His most recent EP “In The Beginning” is the reason. You can pick up via Beatport here. The album is very melodic but also heavy, not like dubstep heavy but like Porter Robinson heavy, something new and original like James wanted.
I had the concept that I wanted every original song on the EP to be vocally based, like the kind of thing that would bang out in a club, but you could also listen and sing along in the car or wherever.
To get a lot of the melodic feelings to tracks, you need really good vocals or vocalists, which the album doesn’t lack. James introduced us to several new electronic vocalists in his EP but there is one name that specially stuck out to us: Brittany Egbert. Brittany is James’s younger sister. When I asked about the work around that relationship James was quick to answer.
Working with family members is (and will always be) weird, just because there are professional guidelines that I like to stick to, but at the end of the day, they’re family.
With two of the six tracks featuring Brittany, maybe the album was an introduction into another artist’s electronic music career. Nevertheless the relationship between the two seems to be proving successful.
The future looks bright for young James Egbert. Yet there is always that lingering thought in the back of an emerging artist’s mind, competition. Today the EDM scene is taking over and at a rapid speed. No one knows where it is going to lead and for how long so everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of doing the cool thing and becoming a DJ. Leaving the chance of true producers and musicians, like James, to be missed/overlooked by listeners. When I asked about the growing scene he expressed just that.
It helps give an avenue for growth to new and emerging artists. The flip side to that is that the scene also gets flooded by anybody with a computer wanting to be the ‘next big thing.’
James has what it takes. The years of professional production, understanding the music, making it more than just sounds and the capability to understand the demand for unique sound. James Egbert will become a name that will be at the top of flyer with all of the other acts underneath. After conducting this interview with him, he convinced me. He has the drive and determination to make it, he really wants his music to be heard in the masses, heard in front of thousands of fans screaming his name, the true dream come true for a musician. And I don’t doubt that time will come.
James left the readers who are pursuing a DJing career some advice.
Want it. Dont do it just because of all the recent success stories this EDM scene has seen or because of the idea that you could be the next ‘rock star’. Love the music; love to perform in front of people. Truly want it.
Here's the rest of our chat with James, enjoy...BTW, here's a preview of "Legion" by James Egbert that'll be out on Bazooka Records May 28.
Is there anyone that you would like to work with or remix for in particular?
I actually had the oddly random thought this week that I'd love to remix a band like My Chemical Romance. The goal I have in my music is to capture emotion, and they've had a number of songs over the past few years that have captured an incredible wealth of emotion. Remixing EDM artists can get tricky at times just because of the genre similarity, so I'd love to have the opportunity of remixing a rock artist or something that's a little further away from this scene.
Is there any artist or DJ who has influenced your unique sound?
There's definitely a couple. Early last year as I was still in the start-up phase of this project, I read an interview with (I believe) Wolfgang Gartner…I feel like it was one of his early Beatportal interviews. Anyways, whoever it was, the advice to new producers was to dissect the music you respect and let it teach you. So I took that approach with the music of Wolfgang Gartner, Dirtyloud, Skrillex, Mord Fustang, Porter Robinson, and I picked up a variety of production techniques from each that have molded me into the artist that I am today.
What do you have to say about the man Mr. Soony Moore also known as Skrillex?
I've been a big fan of Sonny on multiple levels for a long time and as I've been getting to interact with him more, I'm all the more of a fan. Earlier, I mentioned going through the rock phase of my life, then the Portrait of a Friend phase, and to be where I am now musically, I feel like I can really identify with him and his musical past. Music isn't just about one genre; I believe that good songs can be transferred across different genres. I believe that good songwriters and good musicians go beyond a single genre of music, and I've seen him share the same belief multiple times in his music. He's also one of the nicest guys I've met in this industry, always taking the time to interact with every fan he possibly can. It's obvious he's doing this for all the right reasons.
What is your favorite scene to play, club, festival, underground?
It's really all fun for me. I love the intimacy of smaller clubs but the size of festivals is incredibly surreal. Regardless of the venue, for me, live performing is all about making the personal, looking-in-the-eyes connection with the people who are listening to my music. It's an incredible feeling.
Where are you most excited to play at this coming year that you haven’t already played at?
I don't have any current bookings in either of these cities, but I really can't wait to play NYC or Chicago. I actually haven't played most of the larger cities in the Northeast US, so I'm looking forward to meeting all my listeners from that side of the country!
Touring across the US already opening up for some of the biggest names, which stop do you think was best thus far for you as an artist?
I think they've all been really amazing. Watching as the number of people in the audience who know my music grow has been a surreal experience. I think the best experience for me has been playing the Boulder Theater with Wolfgang Gartner. It was a sold out show, and the crowd was just going nuts all set long. It was the first time I've experienced looking up from my decks at a sea of people.