Kris James is back to prove that you can’t keep a good man down. ‘Naive’, his latest move to single-handedly reinvent the pop song, sees him maturing in his sound once again, picking up on current trends in music and crafting them to fit his own, singular vision.
His extraordinary tale is that of a fierce musical talent finding his way to the light, a backwards journey from pop stardom towards authenticity as singer of his own songs. Due for release on 5th June, ‘Naive’ is the perfect song to tell this story. “Guess I was naive / Didn’t spot the trouble / Now, hey, I’m fine on my own” sings James with a self-assurance we should all aspire to, owning up to his past mistakes with a shrug, and no more than a fleeting backwards glance. The exuberant instrumentation and Kris’ ever-impressive vocal performance really highlights the newfound confidence and carefree attitude which Kris James is now sporting.
Self-penned by Kris James himself alongside his co-writer Stewart Boyle, the track was written in James’ hometown of Liverpool and recorded in London at The Cabin in Tileyard. The lyrics truly represent a maturation of James’ sound, showing him to be something of a chameleon when it comes to reinventing himself again and again. Of the track, James himself says that the song is about being in a toxic situation where you don’t realise how badly the other person is treating you until you remove yourself from the situation. “This is a song for all the survivors out there who end up having the last laugh,” says James, “it’s a song about overcoming adversity!”
James started out singing John Lennon and Frank Sinatra songs in karaoke bars back in his hometown of Liverpool. After years of grafting, joining and leaving bands, and more than his fair share of near misses, James found himself on his own, without the safety net of a band around him. Kris James could have crumbled. Instead, he took the opportunity to rebuild himself from the ground up, and it was only here, when he was forced to strip back the frontman persona and stand on his own, that James found he was really able to begin to shine. ‘Eyes Open’, his first solo effort, crashed into the top 30 and launched his solo career. It’s safe to say he hasn’t looked back since.
Due later this year, Kris James’ debut full-length – The Highs and Lows of Love and Life – is set to be loaded with real stories from Kris’s life, crafted into songs that never lose their ease on the ear, whilst maintaining his trademark lyrical depth. ‘When I pick up an album, I want to love the whole thing, not just tracks one, four and eight. My mindset whilst writing was that if this proves to be the last thing I ever release, I want it to be a definitive statement; to be the best it can be.’ The Highs and Lows of Love and Life is that, and a whole lot more.