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.