Cool Reuben

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REUBEN JAMES – 20 QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME?
Reuben James.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN THE BIO-PIC OF YOUR LIFE?
Donald Glover.

WHAT ARE YOUR LOCKDOWN CIRCUMSTANCES AND HOW ARE YOU HANDLING IT SO FAR?
With my family! Going really well! Playing lots of chess and I have a home studio so it’s nice to be settled.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING ONCE THE RESTRICTIONS GET LIFTED?
Going straight to San Diego to see my girl! And then book as many gigs in as possible! I miss playing to people in person!

YOU’VE WRITTEN FOR/PERFORMED WITH LOADS OF STAR ACTS – JONI MITCHELL, BONNIE RAITT, HERBIE HANCOCK, ELTON JOHN ETC – SO WHICH ONE GAVE YOU THE BIGGEST ‘DID I REALLY DO THAT?’ BUZZ, AND WHY?
Defo playing in front of Herbie was surreal for me… also Elton as well: that was a bit of a pinch me moment.

WHO WOULD YOU REALLY LIKE TO WORK WITH?
I’d love to work with Stevie Wonder! Also Emily King is amazing.

WHICH SONG DO YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN?
Waiting In Vain – Bob Marley

WHICH OTHER CURRENT SINGERS DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
There’s a guy I found recently called Ethan Gruska… his voice and piano playing is next level! I also love Bruno Major’s voice. Noname is also incredible!

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE EP?
This new EP Slow Down is a collection of songs that I’ve made as an escape for people to remind themselves to literally slow down. It’s a six-track EP of jazz-influenced R&B… featuring some of my favourite artists: Kevin Garrett, Jay Prince and Col3trane, to name a few.
I hope that people will enjoy the progression on my sound, as it’s developed so much since my debut record Adore. A lot more banging beats!

WHAT ARE YOUR NEIGHBOURS LIKE?
Previous Neighbours in West Hampstead were an absolute nightmare!! They hated the piano and any kind of instrument at any time of the day!! I was literally like… u know people usually pay for this right?! They were absolute squares, can’t stand em!
New neighbours in Birmingham are wonderful though lol, on both sides!

EVER BEEN IN FEAR FOR YOUR LIFE?
I was in brazil with my friend Luca and we took some random cab into the favelas to find some place he was meant to stay. I had all my luggage and was stupidly wearing a linen suit! The cabby dropped us in completely the wrong favela and we were stranded in the most sketchy hood… I wasn’t sure we were gonna make it out dressed how we were!

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS AND UNDERPAID STREAMING: THEFT, AN UNAVOIDABLE PAIN OR JUST FACTS OF A MODERN MUSICIAN’S LIFE?
Get a good lawyer… that’s my advice! Also do more live gigs! And know your worth!

SHOULD WE ALL STOP PLAYING R. KELLY’S MUSIC IN LIGHT OF THE MANY RUMOURS AND ALLEGATIONS, AND NOW HIS ARREST?
I think if there are personal songs that are special to you and there are specific songs that are important then I think that each to their own. If somebody wants to keep listening then it should be their prerogative.

AND WHAT ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON’S IN THE LIGHT OF THE RECENT DOCUMENTARY LEAVING NEVERLAND?
Same answer as the question above. I don’t see galleries and churches taking down the paintings of Caravaggio. I feel like art should be judged as art and if people want to listen then they should. Also there are artists like Jerry Lee Lewis or Elvis who was notorious for dating 14-year-olds but interesting how there aren’t questions about stopping listening to his music?

WHAT’S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT DOING YOUR JOB?
Being away from my loved ones when I’m on tour! Also finishing songs is quite hard when you’ve been sitting on them for a while.

AND WHAT’S THE MOST FUN?
Interacting with an audience.

SUGGEST A BOOK WORTH READING?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

AND A MOVIE WORTH SEEING?
Chef – all time fave feel good movie!

YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE TV SERIES?
I love True Detective at the moment… and also This Is Us.

WHOSE ALBUM ARE YOU GOING TO BUY NEXT?
Probably a Radiohead vinyl. I need to delve more into their catalogue

Reuben’s EP Brand new EP Slow Down is set for release on June 5. The single So Cool is out now – watch the lyric video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX_7r_pwfTk&feature=youtu.be