Soul artist Brandon James chose to showcase his musical passions and goals in a new way, with his recent EP release titled ‘Drifting.’ The three song project propelled James into the next phase of his artistry as he worked to present, through music, the unfiltered ideas of love and vulnerability with which he has personally been grappling.
James told American Songwriter about the inspiration, process and goals behind the entire EP, as well as the accompanying music video to the title track, ‘Drifting.’
What is the background behind “Drifting?” Why did you decide to release it at this particular point?
Drifting replicates the feeling moving of back and forth between daydreaming of an idealized relationship rather than mourning a relationship. I wanted to take listeners on a journey to find their own path for their own ideal love. The reason why I released “Drifting” at this particular moment is because love is so beautiful and I think we all need to spread love now more than ever.
With “Drifting,” releasing as part of your latest EP, how do you feel this song is propelling you into your next stage as an artist?
This song shows a more intimate side of my artistry that I feel has needed to come out for a while. I really felt like I needed to be myself and be fully emotionally transparent with listeners and myself. There’s something special about being vulnerable because you find things about yourself that just need to come out. That’s where “Drifting” came from. Usually I show my high and explosive energy when I’m playing with the band live but that energy won’t happen for a while in person. This is more of a step to the side to move forward in the new direction.
What are your goals with the song, and how were you able to communicate them through the music video?
The goal of the song was to show that love has no barriers. Love should never have any barriers or judgement from other people. There’s been so much going on in the world and so much to come to terms with, sometimes it’s nice when someone tells you that being different is normal. I wanted to inspire people to dream because music is an escape or therapy for many people, which I feel deeply true. The music video is a world that I built for people to escape to so they didn’t have to worry about what was happening around them for at least 3 or 4 minutes.
You mentioned that you hope to show the “diversity of love.” Can you dive into that for me? What does that mean for you, both personally and as a musician?
I’ve always thought that the media has done a great job of normizing heterosexual love and relationships but we have evolved from that. Love is beautiful in all of it’s different ways. At this point, we should normalize what it looks like to be different rather than have the quote on quote “normal” portrayal of heterosexual love by the media. We as consumers should be shown something different to change the standard of gender identity and relationship based diversity. I aim to show diversity that I’ve experienced in my own life and with people that I love the most. Since growing up in Chicago, I’ve received push back for being different countless times and I want to show other people who look like me, that it’s ok to be in their own skin.
What do you hope listeners feel, are reminded and challenged in, as they walk away from both listening to the song and watching the video?
Perfect unconditional love.
What can listeners expect to come next from you?
I have some really exciting things coming up. I have a couple tricks up my sleeve. I am planning a live album with the band in hopes to bring that live experience that so many people crave and can no longer get in the pandemic. I am shooting some more videos and have 2-3 singles ready to release at the beginning of 2021 and into the spring.