Upon first listen, it’s easy to see that singer-songwriter-guitarist Coby James possesses the instincts and song craft of a seasoned veteran. It’s when you learn that at the ripe old age of 18 years old, he also produces, writes and performs on all of his recordings that you truly grasp the vast potential in front of him. Indeed, the precocious gun-slinger has already performed on a national tour with Grammy nominated and Dove Award winner Danny Gokey (of American Idol fame), signed with indie label Centricity (Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz) and released two self-produced EPs. The self-described workaholic even graduated high school early to focus on a career in music.
James announced himself with debut single “Paradise” which calls to mind “Continuum”-era John Mayer- with its nimble Belief-esque guitar riff that opens the song. The refreshingly honest semi-autobiographical lyric delivered with the confidence and swagger of Ed Sheeran reminds the listener that all the trappings that life throws can’t compare to a life of purpose and fulfillment. The follow-up “Pressure” addressed life as a teenager finding his way in the music business. An openly devout Christian, Coby shares what drives him the most: “I want people to see my perspective as a teenager going through life. Hopefully they see where I find my hope and my peace and that God is where I find my strength.” Fan favorite “No Trouble” confronts bullying head on and cements James’ penchant for witty one-liners like the pre-chorus “say what you want but keep if on your chest, you might be insecure but I’ve got finesse”. Says James, “I’ve always been the outsider in my peer group. While everyone else was going to parties and playing video games, I was in my bedroom writing a lyric, playing guitar or producing a track. There were some who just didn’t get it and they would make fun of me. I wrote ‘No Trouble’ to say ‘no one asked you for your opinion so shut up and let me live’. I guess you could say that the song is for outcasts like me.”
When recent events indefinitely postponed a planned national unplugged tour, James took full advantage of the down time to pen nearly 20 songs including the pop gem “Born Ready” which releases via Centricity Music June 19, 2020. Where other artists struggle to find motivation amidst the chaos, James is thriving. “I started this whole journey writing and producing songs in my bedroom, so for me, that’s where I’m the most comfortable. At the end of the day, I’m still that same young kid in my bedroom hoping that I’ll create something that the whole world will sing one day”.