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by Tori Sharp

'The Gates' are now open for Brave James.

For another edition of Facing Forward we met with Brave James to discuss his plans to shake up the music industry. These lofty ambitions to oust the overpowering hierarchy and drive diversification seem much less unattainable after listening to his soaring new single ‘The Gates’.

The Brave James project was started in lockdown by the London-based Australian artist and ‘The Gates’ is his third studio release. Citing James Blake, Tennyson, Jon Hopkins and Bon Iver as his inspirations, it is clear that the alt-pop, electro style has influenced his work hugely, but vocally, there is ’60s strength probably thanks to the fact The Beach Boys are an encouragement.

With BBC Introducing support for his previous single, this next hit is sure to be just that. With a maximalist style production, the track feels heavy and heady but with the lightness from vocals and lyrics it blends into a perfect summer sparkler. The debut album ‘BE BRAVE is set to be a fascinating exploration into diverse genre and inclusivity. 

What do you envision the future of music to look like? 

Diverse, inclusive, accessible, emotional.

What is one change you’d love to make to the industry?  

In a nutshell: To dispel power dynamics and embrace diversification…!

If you could collaborate with any musician in the future, who would it be and why? 

Today I would say Laura Mvula, Bon Iver or Baths… maybe all three together on one track, why not spoil myself. I would be so excited to see what sounds emerge from that clash.

Where would be your dream venue to play? 

Maybe the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve heard cool things about the Steve Jobs Theatre, particularly acoustically… There’s some architectural wizardry going on.

Who are you betting on for future stardom?  

Oli Rockberger, Louis Cole and Laura Mvula – their music resonates with me at the deepest level.

Where do you hope to be in the next year? 

I’d love to be touring my new record, ‘BE BRAVE’. And beyond that, to have the semblance of a follow-up record ready to share!

The next 5 years? 

I hope to continue creating, sharing and learning, and go from there.

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