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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: From Busking To The Big Leagues: Gavin James Tells All

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: From Busking To The Big Leagues: Gavin James Tells All

Gavin James is a 29-year-old singer/songwriter from Dublin, Ireland, and here at THP, we’ve been vibing to his music hardcore. He is captivating the nation with his sultry vocals and elegant lyrics.

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His latest single, ‘Sober,’ is the prime example of how talented and exquisite he is, not only as a singer but also as a songwriter. It’s one of those sentimental tunes about love and navigating a difficult, unknowing, almost one-sided relationship. It’s relatable for many and exquisitely written. Check out the acoustic live version below, or go stream the single here

About the single Gavin says:

Sober is a song about being in love with someone and then in the morning they all of a sudden don’t love
you back. It’s pretty much about their sobering reality that you are not for them and you’re left alone replaying the
relationship in your head … so you’re sad about it and you sing it real loud with a piano❤️

Gavin James on ‘Sober’

We were ecstatic when we got the chance to chat with him about the song, his time as a busker, and his ever-growing success in an exclusive interview – we jumped at the opportunity. So, if you’re just as excited as we are to pick his brain, then let’s stop talking and dive right into it!

You started your music journey as a busker, how would you say that experience compares to the industry grind? What did it teach you about yourself and your music? 
I was busking and gigs in pubs and getting paid in beers. I did like 5 years in Temple Bar; which is kinda like a pub scene where you do 3 hours set and do fifteen gigs a week plus some busking. It was mad, but it’s a great way to learn how to not be shit at playing. And it’s a great way to learn to play in front of people who don’t really want to listen to you ‘cause if you can get them to shut up for one song it’s grand.

Gavin James
Image Source: Jack Alexander/1883 Magazine

Your Boxes EP hit No.1 in Ireland last year, congratulations! What were you feeling and thinking in the moment you found out? 
I was great, we just put the EP out last year as it was difficult to schedule an album, so the EP seems like a great idea but also it also counted for the album charts, so I was delighted when it came in at No.1.

Nowadays, you have 1.5 billion streams, 6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and 32 international Platinum or Gold records PLUS you’ve performed for thousands upon thousands of people! That is incredible, what’s it like for you to think back on where you started and seeing how far you’ve come? Is it surreal to reflect on the path that led you to where you are?
I’ve been very lucky to have had the success to date, as I’ve been touring and traveling for promo continually for the last five years, it’s only since the lockdown that I have time to take a moment to look back at the journey so far, I can’t wait to get back out there. This week I do my first live show in Dublin in 16 months to 3.5 Thousand people, which is fecking amazing.

‘Sober’ is an honest and emotional song about being in love with someone who suddenly doesn’t like you back, was this based on a personal experience? How did the songwriting process go for this beautiful track? 
I’ve been very happy in my relationship for the past few years so when writing sober I need some inspiration, which came from a friend who was dealing with his breakup, so it’s all about what he was going through at the time.

We are suckers for a beautiful piano melody and the piano in this song is so stunning! Did you always know you were going to have piano included as a part of this song? 
Yes the song was written on piano and there’s been a few different versions, mainly as I’m not great on piano, I’ve been trying to [get] better over lockdown.

Gavin James
Image Source: Jack Alexander/1883 Magazine

 Which lyric from ‘Sober’ is your absolute favorite? 
“You bring the stars out and you make it rain for days” I like that lyric because its usually the hardest thing ever to write an opening lyric that summarizes a whole song. I think that does the job.

How important is it to you, while writing songs, to put a piece of yourself into the music, reflect who you are inside, and write relatable lyrics? 
Songwriting is my favourite thing in the world to do. I love that feeling after a day of writing, leaving with an idea or a full song and knowing that it’s something brand new, something that came from thin air and simply didn’t exist before. 

Whether that idea becomes a tune listened to by 2 people (my mam and dad) or sang back by thousands in arenas, I still love the basic idea of it being plucked from wherever these ideas for songs come from.

You always express yourself exactly as you are on your social media, do you feel like this type of expression creates a better fan/artist relationship? 
I just post what I like and it’s best not to worry about what people think just be yourself.

See Also

If there was one song by another artist that you wish you could’ve recorded as your own, what artist and song would you choose? Why?
I’m a massive Bob Dylan fan, he is a lyrical genius and his music still has meaning even today, so I would choose any Dylan song.

Well, there you have it, Honey Poppers! A big thank you to Gavin for chatting with us, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for you in the future! We suspect it’ll be BIG things!

What do you think of Gavin James and his new single ‘Sober?’ What was your favorite question and answer from the interview? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP! You can also hit us up on Facebook and Instagram!

Want more hot tea? Check out these other interviews!


Featured Image Source: Jack Alexander/1883 magazine via Gavin James’ Official Instagram

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