Interview: Jarryd James (Chicago 10/21/2015)

Last night I had the great pleasure to see Jarryd James perform a short set and sit down for a few minutes to chat with him about his music. The Australian singer has already made a big splash in his native country, and he’s touring the States with Meg Myers in an effort to bolster his presence here.

I thought the performance was very good. Considering the surroundings he could have easily phoned it in, but as I learned during our talk he isn’t really playing to the audience. His pleasure comes from the performing itself, and he seems to get a pretty big kick out of it. He hits all the notes you’ll find on his album Thirty One (unless you’re outside of Australia and New Zealand. Then you get a shorter, self-titled EP for now). His band is well rehearsed, never trying to outshine James’ sweet vocals.

My biggest takeaway from our talk is that Jarryd’s just a guy doing his thing. He doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks, trusting his instincts to guide him instead of a gaggle of company men looking out only for the bottom line. He writes music that he loves, mixing classic soul and R&B with electronic flourishes to create a sound that is somehow of the moment and retro at the same time.

Take a listen to our conversation below. Jarryd will be opening for Meg Myers tonight at Metro (tickets still available) as well as her dates at The Pageant in St Louis and Fine Line in Minneapolis.

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