BSCkids recently got the chance to chat with singer and songwriter Lovely James! She just released her cover of Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband.” She spoke to us about her music career and her stint on “American Idol.”
In 2012 Lovey James began to record her original music with the help of Byrd. Her first single “Right Now,” was co-written with John Oates, who is best known as an American rock, R&B, and soul musician of Hall & Oates. She was later introduced to Steve Sundholm and they began to work and develop her next single “Nothing Can Stop Me.” PJ Bianco co-wrote and produced her third single “Stupid Boy,” to which Lovey recorded her first music video, picking up steam among her peers. She continued to co-write her next singles “Rule the World,” “Don’t Be Such a Chick,” and “Who You Are,” a song Sundholm helped co-write, carrying a strong anti-bullying message. During her time on “American Idol,” James made it to the top 20 contestants. In 2014, James is working on more original music to follow up on the success of her songs “Rollercoaster.” Through her music, she focuses on encouraging kids to be themselves, particularly focusing on the message of anti-bullying. James has traveled to elementary schools with “No Bull” to inspire kids to stand up for themselves and their friends. She has also participated in the Kidzbop “Save Text or No Text” cyber-bullying campaign.
BSCkids: Lovey James
Why did you choose to cover Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband?”
I’ve always been a huge fan of Meghan Trainor. When I first heard the song I absolutely loved it and wanted to put my own spin on it. So I did exactly that and covered the song and made a fun video.
Tell us about your experience on American Idol.
My American Idol experience was more than I ever imagined it would be. I got a chance to meet such amazing people, and work with some coaches that really opened my eyes to some things vocally, performance wise and more that I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own. The show was a great chance that confirmed for me that singing is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Were you and the other contestants friends while off air or was it always competitive to get to the number 1 spot?
Surprising as it sounds the contestants and I were probably friendlier than anyone would think. There was no tension at all between us. It was amazing to spend time with people who have the same passion and goals as I do. Yes we were all fighting for the same title but you would’ve never known based on the love and compassion that was shown when we were all together.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your first single “Right Now.”
My first single right now is definitely a funny memory. I was really young when I first recorded that song and had no idea that music was going to take me as far as it has. I didn’t get the opportunity to write the song but recording it was fun, and it was the start of what is still growing today.
Have you always known you wanted to be a singer and songwriter?
No actually. I started off as a competitive dancer when I was just eight years old. And at that age I thought I wanted to be a dancer for the rest of my life, but music accidentally fell into my life. I discovered the talent by accident and began taking vocal lessons, and really developing my talent. I loved singing and as I learned more and more about music and the industry, I became even more obsessed with the idea. I took it into my own hands and started social media, touring and performing at events, and eventually auditioned for American Idol.
How supportive have your friends and family been about your career choice? Do your friends treat your differently since you were American Idol?
My family has always been my number one support system, since day one and for as long as I can remember. After my freshman year a lot of my friends and I distanced from each other, mainly because they were not as supportive of my music career as I thought they would be. Since then I’ve learned to make friends in the music industry who appreciate what I do or are in the same boat as I am. But mostly I have learned that my family, sisters, and cousins are my best friends and always will be.
What singer or musician inspires you the most and why?
Some of my musical inspirations are Ariana grande, Jesse J, Tori Kelly, Meghan Trainor, and fifth harmony. I really look up to them because they’re all young female artist achieving their dreams of being professional singers. Not only that, but along with the fame comes the many eyes that look up to you on a day-to-day basis. You’re automatically a role model, and that’s exactly what these artists are to me. They prove to me every day that it is possible to chase you’re dreams at a young age.
If you could duet with anyone who would it be?
If I could do a duet with anyone it would probably be one of my music inspirations. Ariana grande, jessie J, Meghan trainor, Tori Kelly, or fifth harmony.
What is currently playing on your iPod?
I am jamming out to Tori Kelly’s new album. My favorite song right now is unbreakable smile.
What was the funnest part about creating the music video for “Stupid Boy?”
I think the most fun part of making the music video was all the cool outfit and hair changes I got to do. I am a huge fashionista and I’m totally into that stuff so being able to come up with a cute new outfit for a bunch of different scenes in a music video was right up my alley.
Which of your singles are closest to your heart and why?
I think the single that is closest to my heart is “Who You Are”. I wrote the song when I was having a difficult time with friends, after leaving public school. Like I talked a little bit about before, a lot of my friends at the time said that because I was choosing a music career I wasn’t going to have time for them anymore. But in reality they just did not want to make the effort to keep our friendship going. It was extremely hard for me to understand at the time. But everything happens for a reason and it only made me stronger. It also gave me the perfect excuse to write such an amazing song that truly inspires young teens just like me that go through experiences like that every day.
You were a part of the “No Bull” campaign; tell us why you think this campaign is so important?
The campaign is important to me for the same reasons that “Who You Are” is important to me. I found that when something goes good or when something goes bad you always have music to rely on. I love sharing messages through my music. The campaign was just another way that I could support such an important cause.
Do you have any advice for young singers and songwriters out there?
Absolutely. Coming from a personal experience I can tell you that the music industry is hard. There are millions of young teens who want to become a star. But you can separate yourselves from them and stand out by how hard you work. A label isn’t just going to come knocking at your door. It takes time, work, money, and effort to really sculpt your talent into something more than just that. Something that will want management and labels to reach out and put you on the radio for everyone to hear. Talent can only take you so far. It’s what you do with that talent, and how hard you work to showcase it that will really count in the end. Chase your dream. Stay true to yourself. Surround yourself with people that love and support you. And go for it 100%. No matter what anybody tells you never stop doing what you love!