New York born, Sydney bred dark-pop artist Valencia James is making music for those in need. With a catalogue of music inspired by real life events, Valencia is on a mission song by song to give listeners something real, something organic, something true.
Although her music may stem from moments of doubt and sadness, the empowering songstress aims to cast light on even the most difficult of times. Her stunning vocals create an honest and relatable sound, allowing others to connect on a personal level. Described as 'strong, mysterious and authentic', Valencia oozes confidence through her compelling music.
Following the release of her debut single 'Flames', which garnered both critical and commercial acclaim, Valencia is back with the highly anticipated 'Dreamers'. The single is an anthem reminding us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and is another example of the songwriters' praised edgy-pop style and powerful lyricism.
Valencia reveals, "I wrote Dreamers at a time in my life when I was learning how to dream again and believe for dreams that I had forgotten about. It's kind of that song where I was just like, 'Why can't I do all the things that I want to?' I had just come out of a period of depression about my future and this was my song ... let's all just start dreaming again and going for what we want in life".
Featuring dreamy synth-pop soundscapes, haunting vocals, and oscillating rhythms, 'Dreamers' creates an uplifting ambiance with an undeniably catchy melody. Valencia shares, "I hope people listen to the song and remember to dream again, to hope again, and to believe in themselves again."
With the aspiration that her music will encourage others to believe in themselves, Valencia preaches that we can do whatever we set our minds to and that we have more in us than we think we do. 'Dreamers' is currently available worldwide.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Valencia James: I would describe it as dark pop which really just means the sound is a bit darker, but not necessarily the message of the songs. I still like to bring light into the darkest areas of life and seasons.
Question: What inspired the song Dreamers?
Valencia James: I was in a pretty low time of my life when I wrote Dreamers and it was really just a pick me up and reminder to start dreaming and hoping again. It really helped to get me out of the low state I was in.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Valencia James: I definitely love the recording process and I get really nervous about the live aspect until I'm in the middle of it and then I always remember how much I actually love performing live as well.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Valencia James: Wow. That's another hard one. I'm actually not sure, but so far I believe "Flames" is really fun for me to perform.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Valencia James: To be honest, I'm not always motivated to write so that's when self-discipline really comes in handy, but I always have hundreds if not thousands of titles or ideas written down in journals on my phone so it always motivates me when I read a song title or concept idea that I'm really drawn to or inspired by.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Valencia James: So many at the moment, but I've really been loving One Republic/any Ryan Tedder songs at the moment. He's always been a favourite songwriter of mine and he's been absolutely killing it at the moment with all of the songs he's been writing for other artists and releasing for himself under One Republic. I've just been really challenged by his ability to write so many good songs in such a short span of time. It's encouraging and inspiring to see.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Valencia James: That's a tough one, I kind of feel like I found myself here because of all the artists and songwriters that have gone before and given us songs that you always remember the first time hearing it and how you felt. Honestly, there's nothing quite like that feeling. I really think writing is addictive and I don't know if I could ever stop even if everyone told me to. It feels like it's second nature and I believe I owe that to all the artists and songwriters who made me feel something so strongly in the past that made me want to do the same for listeners.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Valencia James: There are honestly so many at the moment, but I'm definitely into all of Ryan Tedder's songs at the moment and he's been someone over the last nine years or that I've been so inspired by so he would be my first choice.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Valencia James: Probably believing in myself and going with my gut. One thing you realise right away in the industry is that everyone has an opinion whether they're professional or not. Everyone has their own preference and their own thoughts and you're going to hear about it when you're writing music. You have to know why you do what you do, which feedback to take on board, and how to navigate all the opinions. It's not easy and I still struggle through it all, but I'd like to think I'm doing better at navigating it all a bit better than I would have even a year ago.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Valencia James: I try and create my own structure when I'm working from home on music. I like to plan how many new song ideas I want in a day, which older songs I want to go back and work on, which songs to demo on guitar, sort through all of my songs on a daily basis to always see where my gut is at with them, and then working on producing the songs I feel the strongest about with other collaborators/ producers. And then some breaks in between to go for a work out or a walk, and maybe even a movie or a quick shopping trip to get outside and around people.
Interview by Brooke Hunter