May 19, 2016

Q&A Interview with British Pianist & Singer James Sayer

Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.
Today I want you to meet James Sayer. A multi-talented musician. He’s pianist, singer and songwriter from Birmingham today based in London.

James Sayers new single “Taking Back My Love” from his upcoming album will be out  on 20 May 2016 and available on iTunes. I had the chance to ask James some questions about his love for music and his recent experience on Tour in USA. Remember his name, because I have no doubt that he will become an international Star!

“Not everyone respects live music but you do usually always
find one person that will appreciate what you’re doing!
It’s that one person that keeps me going and on to the next gig!”
James Sayer
James you are one of those talents that I have luckily discovered on Twitter. According to your biography you have studied music. Jazz on saxophone and Contemporary piano. Maybe I’m clueless, but isn’t it exceptional to play these two completely different instruments?

Originally I started playing on Drums as a kid but it was the piano I really became fascinated with, listening to Elton John made me really want to play! My grandad was a Jazz saxophone player and I now use his alto saxophone. I have always enjoyed playing both instruments and they are so different, you have to use your brain in a totally different way!

James as a Baby with his dad
James as a kid

As if playing instruments is not admirable enough, you also write your own songs and on top of that you are gifted with a recognizable voice. In other words you are the full package! But nobody is perfect. So where is James’ weakness? :-)

Haha that’s very kind of you to say! I’m pretty obsessed with music, all I want to do is write, record and play live! I do have weaknesses and there are things about my music I don’t like but I think most artists think like that! Maybe my weakness is not practicing scales on the piano, enough! I’m more of a rock n roll kind a musician, I like doing stuff by ear and jamm in on the piano.

Tell me, who is James Sayer? If your family, friends and people who know you and work with you had to describe James to my Blog visitors, what do you think would they say about your personality? For example are you more the introverted and reflective guy or the extroverted and spontaneous? Are you more the serious kind of person or goofy?

I’m definitely the spontaneous kind of person! I think that’s why I love live music – it gives you that instant buzz! But then again, I do love thinking about writing a song, recording it and then hearing it finished – that is a process that takes a while. I guess I’m a pretty simple guy, I love my home comforts! I’m a bit of an ice cream addict (not very rock n roll, I know!). Being on the road is fun but I do love the UK – London really is a magical city and a place that is so great for live music! But I’m also a bit goofy – I get obsessed with TV programs like ‘Only Fools and Horses’, I watch episodes over and over again! But I am pretty normal, I promise! Haha.

James today

James you have relocated to London from Birmingham in 2012. How was it at first? Did London, the most exciting city in Europe welcome you with open arms? Or where there times where you questioned your decision and regret doing this big step?

It was really tough moving here at first – It’s a very expensive place to live, especially as a gigging musician! There have been times in the past where I’ve questioned if I can continue living here. But I know in the back of my mind, this is the place I want to be and it’s so great for meeting musical and creative people! It was extremely tough to start with but I’ve been lucky to find some great places to play.

Life as a musician is not always easy. I can imagine that playing live-music in pubs, clubs and piano bars where you share your songs, your lyrics and you soul with an audience, who’s not always paying full attention and showing the respect that an artist deserves can be frustrating. What keeps you continuing your work anyway and motivates you to what you do for living?

It can be tough at times but I feel I’ve been pretty lucky playing in some incredible venues in London. One of the places I’ve played at for a while is called ‘Players Bar’. It is such a wonderful place and the crowd are always amazing! I find playing live in any venue or situation is just such a great experience. I learned my craft singing and playing in pubs and clubs and continue to do so. I do go through gigs where it’s hard to keep your head up, not everyone respects live music but you do usually always find one person that will appreciate what you’re doing! It’s that one person that keeps me going and on to the next gig!
Your new and first single from your upcoming debut album is called “Taking Back My Love”. As a lyricist myself, I like to know how you come up with the lyrics for your songs? What inspires you? Where do you get ideas for new songs?
I’ve always been inspired by old skool music. I love old Rhythm and blues, Rock n Roll and Soul music. I just think it’s such cool music! Elton John, Stevie Wonder and bands like The Doobie Brothers really inspire me so much. Sometimes I just get an idea for a song and then the melody/lyrics seem to flow! I also write a lot of my songs with a producer called Alan Glass. Alan is a brilliant songwriter and we always have so much fun writing together – we wrote ‘Taking Back My Love’. I wrote the demo at home and then we got together and messed around with it a bit. The internet is so great, I’m discovering new songs every day but usually songs that were written 40/50/60 years ago, that I’ve never heard before! They all keep me really inspired!
I read in one of your interviews, that you usually write the melody first and the lyric comes at the end. The best songs written are mostly based on personal issues and creative people seem to be more productive when they are emotionally crushed by someone or something. What can we expect from your debut Album? What songs will we hear? Will you only write about personal experiences or also songs that reflect our society and address global issues?
A lot of my songs are about love and my past experiences but there’s one particular song that I’m really proud of – I wrote it about the Paris terror attacks in 2015. The song is called ‘Feeling Your Pain’, I wrote the song with my good friend Alan Glass and Bex. I felt a need to write something about it, basically saying ‘I know what you’re going through, I’m feeling your pain from all these miles away’. I like writing from my heart, I feel so much more connected to the song when I record it.
James Sayer with Ruen Brothers and band

James Sayer & George Ezra

2015 was a big year for you. You were not only on a US Tour for a month with the British band Ruen Brothers and British singer George Ezra, you even did a live recording session with the legendary producer Rick Rubin at Shangri La Studios in Los Angeles, where big names such as Mick Jagger, Ed Sheeran and Adele record their albums. How was the American dream in real? What was the most exciting experience during your entire stay in America and why?
The whole trip was so great from start to finish! The highlight was recording at Shangri La with Rick Rubin but there were so many other amazing moments, too! We played at Coachella festival in California. That whole experience was mind-blowing and playing on the stage there was incredible! We did spend so many hours on a tour bus – this was fun hanging with the band but also after about ten hours it was tough going – America is such a big country! I loved all the American food – Milkshakes!!! The crowds in America are so great – they love to cheer and dance. I can’t wait to get back there to do some more live gigs!
James everything seems to go very well for you right now. But if I was an Angel and would ask you right now and right here what is your biggest professional dream, desire, goal or wish. What would it be?
I just want to make music and perform live for the rest of my life. I’ve never really had any aspirations of being famous but I do want to make music that people can enjoy, so I just hope my music will continue to find more and more people!
As a musician, you must be very romantic, sensitive and sentimental. So my last question is what is your definition of Love in three words? What is your definition of Love in one sentence? 
Hmmm, interesting question! In 3 words… ‘Beauty, Friendship, Contentment’.
In one sentence… ‘To find the one person you can’t think of life without.

James, it was a pleasure to do this interview with you. Your song "Taking back my Love" is available from Friday 20th May 2016 on Itunes! Me personally, I love the song, the groove and of course your voice. I wish you the best of luck for your professional and personal future. I have a feeling that your name will become BIG in the music industry and look very much forward to see you performing live in London.
Lily Amis

Check out James single “Taking Back My Love” on Soundcloud

Download #‎TakingBackMyLove on iTunes - Friday 20th May 2016

Follow James Sayer on Twitter @JamesSayerMusic

Official website: 

Source Pictures: Many thx at James Sayer

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