KRIS JAMES learns to let go while releasing his long-awaited debut album.
“It’s about finally being ready to let go,” muses Kris, when asked about why now was the right time to go through with the release of his self-titled debut album. “I could sit around for ages making sure that every single moment is completely perfect, or I could put it out into the world as it is.”
Letting go is a major theme of the record, from toxic relationships and stale friendships to the actual process of letting this collection of songs out into the world. “Getting ready to release this album was a learning experience, and I do feel like I’ve learnt a lot about trusting the process and taking that final leap of faith.”
Over the years, Kris James has encountered, and overcome, the dissolution of his band, The Scheme - just when they were beginning to gain traction - something that has taught him a lot about how determined you have to be in a cutthroat industry. “Working in the entertainment business you have to develop a thick skin because it’s inevitable that some people just won’t like what you’re doing. My philosophy is that whatever happens is going to happen so you just have to seek out the best of every bad situation - in my case, music! Going through breakups and heartbreaks sucked, but hey! I got a whole album of writing material out of it.”
It’s this positive attitude that keeps Kris on the straight and narrow in the face of challenges and adversities. That and his regular workout schedule. “I work out a lot! Physical health helps me to balance out my mental health; it’s an opposition thing. But I’m also just a positive guy - I’ve had a lot of knockbacks in life and I’ve grown used to brushing things off over the years.”
Constantly keeping the positive in clear sight has helped Kris to dig deep into his past emotions when songwriting. “I’ve learnt a lot in life and love and I wanted to share some of those lessons.” Love, heartbreak, toxicity and all the complex emotions surrounding them are all there, in Kris’ album. The album details the last few years of Kris’ life, “with all the hindsight that I’ve gained since then.”
Expect Swiftian levels of post-relationship dirt dishing and older-and-wiser reflections on all that comes with it. Like the upbeat ‘Naive’, which tackles betrayal with a refreshingly nonchalant attitude - “yeah it happened, I’m over it, and “I’m fine on my own,” sings Kris defiantly. “Songwriting for me is as much about processing my past as it is about entertaining,” he shares “and I like to think that I can do both at the same time!”
As we speak, Kris is on the brink of performing these new songs live for the first time, at an album launch in his hometown of Liverpool. “I think it’s always interesting to see where live performances take you and your music. It brings a whole different energy to each track and seeing what the audience reactions are like can point you towards new interpretations you never thought of before. It stops the songs from getting boring!”
When asked how he relates to his music now, versus how he felt when writing the songs, Kris smiles. “I think the overwhelming feeling I have is one of pride; just reflecting on the journey I’ve taken to now get to this point - a whole album of mine is out in the world! That’s amazing to me, and I feel proud of what I’ve achieved.”
As for what’s next, he is frustratingly cryptic. “There are some super exciting developments to reveal on that very topic actually! I can’t reveal all just yet, but what I can say is that you absolutely won’t be disappointed!”
I suppose we’ll just have to keep up with him on social media - @mrkrisjames - to stay in the loop. In the meantime, stream Kris James the album on Spotify!