Today on our Hot Seat we have Jozsef James with us. He has released a new single “Blue”, produced by Danny Saber.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your music career.
Jozsef James : I wanted to be a musician from a very young age. I started off mainly in songwriting and production. I didn’t really focus on being a ‘singer’ until I was about 19 years of age.
I won a few international songwriting competitions and then met with a very well known Australia music manager who suggested I start a band and work on being a singer and performer. A year later I had formed a band named ‘MojoRising’ and we toured all over Australia. This was such a great time to hone my vocals and stage presence. You really learn a lot being in a band.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Jozsef James : My family always had music playing in our house and since I come from such a big family (4 sisters, 1 brother) there was the most eclectic mix of music on the stereo at any given point.
But, specifically I remember watching the front man for Aussie band INXS, Michael Hutchence perform on TV and knew I wanted to do that for a living. Seeing him command a crowd and make everyone dance was intoxicating for me.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release “Blue“?
Jozsef James : This is probably my favorite song I ever written so far. Both in content and style it encapsulates me in one song. It mixes my influences and I wrote it as a sort of secret code for the person I wrote the song for. I used the theme of the color ‘Blue’ to base on the person I wrote the song about. I love the build up at the end of the song, it’s got a James Bond style horn section mixed with funky guitars and huge drums.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Jozsef James : A lot of my fans and people I have played this song to have said this is their favorite. Which means I must have hit a chord of some sort with it. It’s been getting great reviews so far and my proudest moment was when two reviewers on the same day said it has elements of ‘Prince’ in it. He’s one of my favorite musicians, that was a honor.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, Working in studios or performing on stage?
Jozsef James : Definitely performing on stage. Being in the studio is fun, can be frustrating and tiring. But on stage your in the moment and have nowhere to hide. I love connecting with people in the crowd and love nothing more than to have a room full of people on their phones or talking instead of listening to the act on stage, and then by the end of my set I have their full attention and they are dancing to my music. Connection is key!
Twist Online : You had been a part of band “MojoRising” for 7 years. How was your experience with the band?
Jozsef James : They were some of the best years of my life. If I could write a book about being in a band in your twenties and the stuff you get up to, it would be on the NY Times best sellers list. So many laughs and life lessons you have being with 5-6 of your best friends experieincg so much together. We once drove from Melbourne to Sydney (should have been an 11 hour drive) and our guitarists car broke down twice on the way in the middle of the outback. It was well over 115 degrees (42 degress C). Long story short, it ended up taking us 17 hours to get to Sydney for a show. We didn’t speak to each other that night lol
Twist Online : What was the motive behind going solo?
Jozsef James : I didn’t have a choice actually. MojoRising disbanded after 7 years (respectfully and mutually). Music is in my blood, I thought, why not have a crack as a solo musician. I’m a songwriter, a singer and I can produce, so I pursued a solo career. The worst thing is I had really bad writers block for two years and didn’t write a song. I was depressed and almost gave up on music. This is when I locked myself in my home studio in Venice Beach and started writing my first EP ‘Keys To The City’ and the title track kinda explains it all in song.
I never looked back after that. In 2015 Danny Saber (who is no my current producer) saw me perform on stage in Los Angeles. We met after the show and we started the next day on a song called ‘Hypnotizing’. We have worked on 7 songs so together so far. It has been awesome workign with him, not only is he a killer musician, but he produced Michael Hutchence posthomous solo record.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new project?
Jozsef James : Currently I have written a whole albums worth of songs during this lockdown (I live in Los Angeles) and recently re-connected with my old MojoRising band mate and guitarist, Luke Finn. We have started working on demo’s for new material. I’m focusing on promoting ‘Blue’ at the moment and will be starting a new Go Fund Me campaign for my next record.
So much is in the works!
I plan on recording a new EP this year and hopefully once music venues open up, I plan on touring and playing lots of shows.