Chart-Topping New Artist Coby James Releases First Of Three EP Recordings, Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A
Takes Over TigerBeat Instagram; Begins Tour With Danny Gokey April 8
Although technically still a new artist, James has already notched a No. 1 song as a contributing writer on Courtnie Ramirez's track, "Who We Are." He's also scored a Top 5 hit with "Born Ready," a song on which he serves as the lead artist, co-writer and co-producer.
Taking over leading teen publication TigerBeat's Instagram this past weekend, the Nashville transplant and North Carolina native's rare talent is set to be further showcased throughout 2021 across a trio of recordings, each possessing its own distinct sound. With this first EP, Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A, James unveils a four-song set of pop jams.
James' appreciation for pop music runs deep with a sound that melds a clear mix of beats directly influenced by current chart-toppers with his own experimental edge. Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A features "New Roots," reminiscent of Coldplay, "Castles," riding the resurgent '80s wave made popular by artists like The Weeknd and Dua Lipa, and "Simple," blending elements of Alec Benjamin and Justin Bieber while traveling into thoughtful, descriptive lyrical territory as James explores the cost of fame vividly set in the Hollywood hills.
"When you're chasing fame and chasing money, you lose yourself," he asserts. "It's a very real thing that a lot of artists and people in this industry deal with—slowly forgetting why they're really here."
Diagnosed with ADHD as a child, he additionally battled Lyme disease, as well as half a dozen other illnesses that accompanied Lyme. Treatment included large doses of antibiotics and up to ten hours a day receiving IVs. "I feel like I've definitely been through the wringer in a way," says James, "but God used those things that I went through to give me something to talk about and a layer of depth that I can dig into when I'm writing."
James' first self-described "happy song" on the new EP, "Golden," incorporates the uplifting vibes of the Jonas Brothers and Julia Michaels. He wrote the positive track with his longtime collaborator David Spencer shortly after he moved to Nashville and spent the next month sleeping in Spencer's vocal booth and eating dinner every night with the producer's family.
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