James Crooks on Moving On

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James Crooks on Moving On

He’s worked with some of the best in Australia from featuring Asta and one half of Bliss and Eso on his tracks to co-writing with Thelma Plum and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Now it’s time for James Crooks to step into the spotlight with his debut EP. ‘Blame My Soul’ is a six track breakup diary, documenting and navigating the emotional turmoil of ending a significant chapter, but with a twist!

“I went through, like everyone does, a break up a few years ago and I had all of these emotions in my head and I wanted to release it in some kind of way through my music but not do it in a cheesy kind of way,” Crooks explains. “That’s why there is a lot of diversity on the EP with the different sounds and different songs and different stories to the songs. You can relate to it in your own way but it’s pretty much heart on your sleeve kind of thing but in a different way. Some of the songs are pretty dark lyrically but the production is brighter. It’s a good contrast really.”

That diversity comes in the form of tropical, upbeat electronic sounds and a wide range of vocal features. Crooks recruited the vocal stylings of powerhouses Dives for single ‘LaLaLa’, Tyne-James Organ on the title track, Paige IV, Sam Phay, BOI and Coast & Ocean on the chapters end, ‘Move On’, rounding out the strong EP.

“Each artist on the EP I know really well personally and some of the artists knew my situation and some of them haven’t. I was pretty open with them and they were pretty open with myself with past relationships or issues or problems… So it’s pretty sentimental for both of us and each song has a different vibe and I made sure I wanted to work with a certain type of artist for each song to suit that vibe. I think all of the features just smashed it and did really well with the delivery.”

Notably, the EP includes a track originally released in 2016. ‘Naturally’ featuring Paige IV, is Crook’s baby, the first song he wrote and the track that cemented a belief in Crooks that he could produce beats and write meaningful songs.

“For me that was the stepping stone of James Crooks. That was the first touch for me of music and I promised myself it would be on that EP. It was the first song I ever made and I just wanted it on there,” James laughs.

With the EP done and dusted, Crooks has been digger deeper into his self belief for the next chapter in his musical journey.

“I’ve been experimenting with music, I’m interested in seeing where I’m going to go at this stage. I’ve always worked with features but now I’m experimenting and thinking about stepping into the limelight of being a front man and being a collaborative artist myself,” he says. “For myself I always want to be collaborating with other artists, I think I shine when I work with features. But to be quite honest every time I’ve sang with these bands and doing music I kind of felt like all of the people were so great at what they did but I felt like I could do what they could do.”

Something to look forward to from the beat builder, but for now, ‘Blame My Soul’ will be hitting airwaves from the Friday 18 January 2018.

Written by Tammy Walters