If you've been lucky enough to catch Shawn Mendes on tour this time round, you might just have found a new fave popstar-type in the form of James TW. Remember, that guy we were ranting and raving about recently? He's 18, his debut EP First Impressions is out rn and, yeah, we're all sorts of obsessed.
ANYWAY, since we're so heavily invested in the fella we thought we'd go along to his first proper headline show at London's O2 Academy Islington and TRACK HIM DOWN. We had permission and everything, like. We didn't just stalk the poor fella. That's probably illegal or something.
Yup - just before James hit the stage we hung out in his little backstage area and had a chat about everything from the Shawn tour to his own plans for 2016. Wanna know what went down (oi oiii)? Avert your eyes below, then. We spent a long time typing this up.
'Ello, James. How's this Shawn tour treating you?
It's an amazing experience. I was a performer before; I was a drummer. Performing was my first love and I'm becoming better because I'm playing every evening in front of a different crowd.
As a support act it's kind of harder than being the headliner, 'cos you have to sell yourself and I'm figuring out ways to do that.
So how did you guys end up becoming BFFs?
I'd heard of Shawn but didn't know he knew of me. I was in New York meeting up with labels and Shawn just tweeted me out of nowhere to his gazillion followers saying 'I really like your stuff,' then he DM'd me and asked if I wanted to meet up.
He's from Canada, I'm from London and I didn't think it was ever gonna happen; but we were both in Manhattan at the same time and did meet up. I played for him, then he brought in his label team and I ended up signing to the same label as Shawn.
It was literally from the one tweet, and now I'm on the tour.
Amazing. Your EP's called First Impressions, but what do you want people's first impression of you to be?
I just want to get people engaged and stop them in their tracks a tiny bit like 'this kid's eighteen years old and he's writing songs about divorce and relationships.' I just want them to be inspired if their guitarists, songwriters or singers. I want to motivate people.
What else have you got planned for 2016 then, Jimbob?
I'm recording new music in June in LA, that'll come out later this year. Then I'm gonna do the American tour with Shawn; so loads more dates and people to play in front of. Then I want to do my own tour around Europe and that takes us to December, which is kinda crazy.
And finally, James, how would you describe your sound to someone who's never listened before?
It's really traditionally singer-songwriter with some electric guitar and jazz and blues thrown in, I'd say.