Guided Elevation: Piers James Interviewed

“In this life we’re all on a voyage to reverie; to our own happiness and success..."

Brace yourself. Listening to a Piers James project is like entering a whirlwind of genres hitting you from all angles to create a seamless, unpredictable, and surprising experience. A common theme in our conversation is elevation and with every project, that’s something the Ipswich-born, London-based artist doesn’t hold back on. Whether it’s the depth of his lyricism or sonic experimentation, Piers James has become a force to be reckoned with. 

Growing up playing piano and strolling around with his Walkman blasting some of London’s finest including Tinchy Stryder, Wiley, and BBK, it wasn’t until James stumbled across MTV Base as a teenager that he saw past the competitive grime sets and gritty bars. “I fell in love with the experience of music and writing a song. I began relating music to memory,” he says, referencing his biggest influence, Kanye West.

Gearing up for his new project ‘Voyage To Reverie’, it’s clear James’ talents exceed any expectations. What you can expect is a different flare, genre pivot or inflection. “I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a box. I don’t want to just be a rapper; I hate being called a rapper. I always say I’m evolving through my music. Each project is going to take you through my understanding, whether that be sonically or deeper lyricism.” 

He continues: “In this life we’re all on a voyage to reverie; to our own happiness and success. Not fame. Fame is something people make up to make it look better than what it is. Success is found within yourself. It’s about being able to break past your imposter syndrome. All you need is to believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, and believe in your music. The rest will follow.” 

Traversing R&B, soul, rap, and what Piers calls “real stadium stuff”, this project leaves no stone unturned. The sunlit West Coast-influenced track ‘If This Ain’t Real’ makes you stop and question if relationships in your life are sincere. Not the Disney outcome we all wish for, but the raw and unfiltered one. James notes The Neptunes as his biggest influence for this track when in production mode: “Having those chords and the way it feels, it has a real reminiscence of the golden age. I wanted to create a similar ethos.” 

Boasting an adventurous discography, this multi-talented artist is more than an artist to watch, but one to bank on. 

‘Voyage To Reverie’ is out now.

Words: Elle Evans

Photo Credit: Luke Rowan

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