The musical life of... James Arthur

The musical life of... James Arthur

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A few days ago, I’ve had the opportunity to chat a bit with a certain lad called James Arthur…  And of course I have an interview for you guys! But for the moment, I’m just going to give you some appetisers with my traditional Urban Soul‘s music quiz!

I got to tell you that, when I first thought of this Q&A back in 2010, I was initially planning for the artists to sing their answers instead of just dropping some songs titles (my biggest and craziest journalistic fantasy being to run an entire singing interview). But then I figured that not everybody would probably be up for it or that it could even just take too much of my granted time when trying to remember the lyrics. So I now have nothing but love for James because, surprisingly, he sang and rapped some sentences of the songs of his free will! I must admit this kind of makes me feel like uploading this part of our conversation on Soundcloud. What do you think, lovely readers? Just leave me a comment below if that’s something you would like me to do!

Lastly, I also find it pretty interesting that James repeatedly mentioned Macklemore & Ryan Lewis when I strangely had their names in mind all the time while I was preparing my questions (true story!). I just love the free spirits that they are, their cheekiness, and how they both mix different influences, and don’t take themselves too seriously (even if I did think James Arthur seemed quite serious in some interviews but we’ll talk about it later).


Last concert you attended?
It was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in London, Brixton Academy. It was a phenomenal show!

Last album you purchased?
I just bought the Eminem album: it’s incredible! I’m a huge fan. He’s my dream collaboration… (Maybe for the next album?) You’ll never know… I doubt it! (laughs)

3 songs in your current playlist?
I started listening to a couple of old bands I used to listen to all the time again. A band called Brand New(Yes I listened to some of the songs you posted!) Yeah, I’ve started listening to Brand New again, and Taking Back Sunday. Maybe I’m going through my emo phase again! I don’t know, I’m listening to my rock music a bit more again ‘cause I’ve just been embroiled in hip hop last year. All I listened to was rap music so I’ve revisited Brand New and a song called Jesus Christ in particular. (That’s the one I was listening to this morning!) Yeah, it’s a brilliant song! Also The Boy Who Block His Own Shot, Taking Back Sunday… Everything they’ve done. Can I just say bands? There’s a song I love from Taking Back Sunday: This Photogaph Is Proof. And Jay Z has been getting a lot of plays on my iPod! Not with the Magna Carta Holy Grail though – I love the album but I wanted to revisit The Black Album for a little bit. And then I’ll say Eminem, like there’s a song called Legacy out of his album that I’m loving right now.

Best song to seduce a woman?
Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye! (I knew you would answer that!) You know (he starts singing) ‘ting-ting-tiiiiiing’…

Best song to dance to?
(He starts rapping) ‘I ball so hard motherfuckas wanna find me’ (That shit cray!) You know that, ‘That shit cray’! (laughs)

Best song to wake up to?
What’s that song? (Starts singing… yeah, again) ‘Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning’… (I don’t know that song – ed. note: now I do and it’s Wake Up Boo! by The Boo Radleys). Maybe Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. (Starts rapping… yeah, again, and with a deep and low voice) ‘I’m gonna pop some tags’…

The song that lifts your mood?
My song! Get Down! At the moment. (I loooove that one! I wish it was the new single!) Uplifting, right? (Yes, it’s really nice!) This might be the next single, you never know…

The song that reminds you of your childhood?
Purple Rain or even… Oasis. I used to listen to Oasis and Stereophonics a lot as well when I was a kid. Also, I was a bit of a Bryan Adams’ fan when I was a kid! My friend is running away from me right now… But yeah, I used to listen to Bryan Adams quite a bit. It’s embarrassing for some people but I think he’s good! So… Fuck you if you don’t like him!

The song that made you feel like singing in the first place?
Probably Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.

The song you wish you had written?
(Laughs) I Will Always Love You: I’d be very rich!

The song that represents you (your way of thinking or your musical universe) the best?
Eminem, Brain Damage.


12/3/2013: By popular demand of the charming #JArmy on Twitter, here’s the audio of our little quiz. Enjoy!

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