Alexander James wants to get back on the road and start performing his new material live.
The local member of the band The Times is a singer and a songwriter who has recently completed a demo with his band. And it was a long haul.
“We’re so sick and tired of recording,” James said. “We’re definitely excited to play some shows.”
After starting as a solo artist, James and his backup band decided to form The Times. Their demo is titled Rough Copies EP and James did the producing and mixing himself.
“The band I’m in now was my backup band for my solo project,” James said. “We decided to collaborate and put everything together.”
After growing up in the community and moving to East York, the talented 18-year-old James really began to develop his distinct sound.
“I don’t like categorizing the music I write,” James said. “I’m influenced by everything from hip-hop to rock, industrial, and electronica.”
However, he said that rock is the style that captures the music’s sound best. At the same time, James likes to write ballads, experimenting with a softer side of this genre.
At the moment, James is still an unsigned musician. With the current state of the music industry, getting signed by a record label can be extremely tough.
“With technology, there’s so many different ways to promote yourself,” James said. “It’s hard because you really have to be different and show what you have that others don’t.”
Jamie Appleby, director of marketing at Wind-up Entertainment Canada Inc., said that musicians should not be looking to get signed. He said it’s the reverse; record labels will find the band.
“At this stage, artists should be looking to develop their careers independent of record labels and people that offer them money,” Appleby said. “I think that artists just need to run their own course and the label will bring itself in at the appropriate time.”
Appleby said that what major labels look for is different from what independent labels are interested in. He said that major labels look for artists that are already established and self-developed.
“As an indie label at Wind-up, we’re looking for great bands with great music,” Appleby said. “We’ll chase whatever is great, we look for something that’s more unique and has some character.”
However at this point, James isn’t looking to just get signed. Making his music and sharing it with others is what is most important to him.
The Times are planning to do a tour in the United States in May.
“We don’t really care if we don’t make any money off of it, as long as we get to play shows and get some promotion,” James said. “It’s all about the experience really.”