James bench woods.jpg


I am an artist. Art calls to me in a way like none other. It’s a popular misconception that an artist creates art, but that’s just not true. An artist is a conduit through which art is manifested; art is beyond us, and it is through us that art is brought into the world. It’s also a misconception that one chooses to be an artist, but it’s moreso that an artist is chosen by the art. So then comes the question: “Why are you an artist?” Well I am an artist because I just am.


When working on various projects I do my best to put aside my conscious mind and let my subconscious work with the art to be formed. I often write my best songs directly after having woken up from a nap and I am still close to the unconscious, where the connection to art is the strongest. Being a producer as well as a writer, I work in the studio just as much as I do working on a piece of writing. The decision making process there is a little different; I can’t just turn off my brain and let things happen because I need my brain to do the technical work of producing and engineering. Instead it’s more a two-step process: I sit back and listen to a mix, trying to turn off my thinking and just listen to what the song is asking for, after that I give the song what it wants.

I am currently working on a project without a definitive name. The working title is “An American Tale,” and if I feel that name still captures the essence of the art then that will be the final name. Now what exactly is the project? Well it’s kind of twofold: a band and an album. When I say “band” it’s not necessarily a group of musicians who play together, but rather a name to give to the music. With a band name, the music is able to appear larger than when it is under the name of a solo artist. This project is an indie-folk project and draws a lot from personal experience and emotion as well as from literature, history, and the Bible.