The Next Pioneer in Country Music: Timothy James

Timothy James, a traditional country artist who is ready to be a pioneer in country music.

Hometown: Lincoln, CA

Genre: Country

Influences: Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Elvis Presley, George Strait

Favorite Venue: The Country

Timothy James is a country artist from California who is keeping the traditional country sound in his music. At the end of 2016, he released the debut Comin’ Home EP, after being on tour with over 100 shows. You’ll be seeing a lot of Timothy James this year with some singles being released, along with his next EP.

Is there a different direction you want with your next EP?

“It’s going to be a little more me. I like to categorize it as a rock and pop sound with country roots. Comin’ Home was thoughtful and artistic, also kind of dark. This one is a lot more what I did well when I played live at shows last year. My singles are planned to be released months before the EP comes out for everyone to jam out to at any part of the day. Florida Georgia Line and Cole Swindell do a great job with it. I want people to get fired up about my music. Overall, it’ll be more upbeat and fun.”

Comin’ Home, the first EP Timothy James released, includes “Tennessee”, “Comin’ Home”, “Little White Dress”, “Stray Kitten Burn”, and “She’s on Fire”. You can listen to all of these on Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon. Buy Comin’ Home on iTunes.

What are the stories behind Comin’ Home?

“There is a lot of truth in this EP. ‘Tennessee’ is a song I wrote before the 2nd time I moved to Nashville. It’s about dealing with the leverage between relationships and a music career. ‘Stray Kitten Burn’ is actually my producer’s song. It’s a creative story of a long distance relationship with a girl in London. She was burned because they were apart. He also plays the guitar solo in that track. ‘Comin’ Home’ is a collaboration between me and Jeff. It’s about giving up what is most precious to get what you want. I’ve never been afraid to be upfront about what I need and want. There are things you give up to get that lifestyle. At the end of the day on your deathbed, it’s about relationships and making them work. I’m here and I will never give up. You gotta find the person who is willing to go the journey with you and not make you choose.”

How did you get into country music?

“My mom was a big country music fan. We moved to Texas when I was a kid and she had all these cassettes of country artists. I didn’t know anybody so there wasn’t much for me to do. I would listen to her library of music all day. I was playing every song and analyzing the lyrics. One time we were camping with family and I sang “Paradise Knife and Gun Club” by Lonestar in front of them. It was the first time I performed for anyone and I won’t forget it because I was so stoked!”

Who do you look up to most in Country currently?

“I really like Garth Brooks. He’s a pioneer and does everything diberately. I try to make decisions based on that as well. I take everyone’s opinions in consideration but I like to make my own decisions for my music. He doesn’t release singles, he releases albums. I hope I have the courage to be as strong in my career. Also, Luke Bryan is a genius from a marketing standpoint. No matter what happens on Spring Break, you’re going to remember his Crash My Playa. Luke made that a once in a lifetime thing. I’m a fan of innovative, out of the box ideas. I like pioneers who do what they want to do and succeed or fail because its what they chose, not because someone told them to do it that way.”

Where do you see your life in 10 years?

“Happy, healthy, and sexy. I’ve never thought success of being a monetary thing but I see myself being comfortable. I’ll live in a house 15 miles away from a major city because I’m more of a country boy. I imagine I’ll be on tour, digging life, and doing what I love. I don’t see any awards or number one songs because I’m not someone who is interested in a lot of that.”

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in music?

“The minute I walked away from the best opportunity I have ever been given was when I got my publishing deal. Always be true to yourself and don’t compromise with things you don’t want to do. You’re the only person who knows what’s best for you so be mindful and thoughtful about all decisions you make. The second you try to write a hit song and stop telling the story, you lose why people want to listen to your music. I love country music because we are telling stories.”

Timothy has been covering classic country songs every Tuesday in his social media campaign, Take Me Back Tuesday (TMBT). Here are some of his covers:

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