Five Questions With Close Kicks

Up and coming Canadian artist Darryl James a.k.a. Close Kicks has unveiled the new single, “Coming Up”, a song about perseverance.

“It’s a song about picking yourself up even when everything around you feels like it’s collapsing. It was written back in 2018 at a time in my life when I was feeling like I was being dragged down. I had flown to Los Angeles to do some writing and this was one of my first sessions. Cary Brothers, Cazz Brindis and I met at a beautiful home studio in Laurel Canyon and the three of us hit it off right away. As we got to know each other, it became clear that we were all having some difficult situations to overcome either personally or professionally. With that sort of connection, the ideas started flowing quickly and we put the finishing touches on the song in just a couple hours. Then, over the course of the last few years, we all produced and performed the song remotely. I started by building out some of the drums and percussion along with bass. With such a HUGE chorus, I recruited a group of talented singers from my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario (including my wife, Robyn) to support it.

I rented a local church for a few hours where I recorded the group vocals along with stomps and claps to bring a real collective feel to the choruses. Then, Cazz and Cary took the reins by adding the remaining instrumentation and vocals. Once completed, we felt like it needed something else in the bridge. Cary’s wife, Jessica Weiss (who co-composed the new Cinderella) did the string arrangements. That was the icing on the cake! And last, but not least, Cazz took on mixing the song and gave it that warm and fuzzy, yet powerful feeling! “Coming Up” was a song built through our common struggles, and was completed by all of us coming together to do something great!”

Check out “Coming Up” below, and find out more about Close Kicks via his socials.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Darryl James. My solo project is called Close Kicks and my songs tell stories through the magical collaborations I have with other artists. You might better know my work as a songwriter and bassist in, The Strumbellas. And, can I tell you a secret, maybe two? The Strumbellas is the first and only band I’ve been in and was 30 years old when I started. And secret two, I released my first solo song at the tender age of 41. Never stop dreaming!

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

“Coming Up” is a song about perseverance. It’s a song about picking yourself up even when everything around you feels like it’s collapsing. This song was written back in 2018 and it was a time in my life when I was feeling like I was being dragged down. I had flown to Los Angeles to do some writing and this was one of my first sessions. Cary, Cazz and I met at a beautiful home studio in Laurel Canyon and the three of us hit it off right away. As we got to know each other, it became clear that we were all having some difficult situations to overcome either personally or professionally. With that sort of connection, the ideas started flowing quickly and we put the finishing touches on the song in just a couple hours. Then, over the course of the last few years, we all produced and performed the song remotely. I started by building out some of the drums and percussion along with bass. With such a HUGE chorus, I recruited a group of talented singers from my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario (including my wife, Robyn) to support it. I rented a local church for a few hours where I recorded the group vocals along with stomps and claps to bring a real collective feel to the choruses. Then, Cazz and Cary took the reins by adding the remaining instrumentation and vocals. Once completed, we felt like it needed something else in the bridge. Cary’s wife, Jessica Weiss (who co-composed the new Cinderella) did the string arrangements. That was the icing on the cake! And last, but not least, Cazz took on mixing the song and gave it that warm and fuzzy, yet powerful feeling! “Coming Up” was a song built through our common struggles, and was completed by us all coming together to do something great!

When it comes to the global pandemic, how are you keeping yourself out in the public eye while not being able to perform?

Since the start of the pandemic, I consider myself very fortunate because I have managed to keep myself in the public eye a lot, especially in my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario. Between organizing a two-night drive-in concert to save our local theatre, giving back to many local charities through performances ( and a stinking fish eating challenge) and creating a small local concert series, my goal has been to engage with the local arts scene and find ways to give back and connect more in my community. When we’ve been entirely locked down, I also really got to hone in on my performances, productions, and mixes of the many songs I’ve co-written over the years and now hope to release over the coming years. I’m super happy to have a little home studio setup in my basement. From a release standpoint, I was so fortunate to release a total of 3 singles and an EP in 2021. Creating “Close Kicks” has also given me the confidence to find new ways to be artistic outside of The Strumbellas.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so if you were able to work with ONE fellow Canadian artist, alive or dead, who would you choose?

My list is so long! There are so many Canadian artists I’d love to write with. Neil Young, Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Joni Mitchell or Buffy Sainte- Marie would be huge highlights! But, I’d also love to write with Donovan Woods, Dan Mangan, Charlotte Cornfield, or Rose Cousins. It’s an endless list!

What’s your goal for 2022?

My goal in 2022 is to take my new single “Coming Up” along with any other releases to where I hit one million streams between all the streaming sites! Alongside that I’m excited to start touring and releasing music again with The Strumbellas.

Connect with Close Kicks:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
TikTok

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