Elliot James is a musical artist who hails from London, England, and got his start with the bands Hey Monday and Easton. Elliot often collaborates with Texas Drew and Jan Fairchild, and he controls a Spotify playlist called ‘Weak by Week” which releases a brand-new mix of songs each Monday. These songs are personally curated by Elliot who presently resides in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder of the record label Blossöm Records.

Elliot recently discussed his career and his latest project: writing his debut full-length album.

America, England, and the music industry

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you know you wanted to become a drummer and how did you find your style and break into the Music Industry?

Elliot James (EJ): I started playing drums in England, I didn’t know it at the time but looking back it seems my fate had already been decided.

My love for music and film was already deeply rooted then even at eight years old, but the reality of getting into it all seemed completely pipe dream material. Years of rock and garage bands and heavy touring accumulated to Hey Monday’s signing to Columbia and Pete Wentz label Decaydance. My interest in diverse genres is what lead to urban pop and hip-hop opportunities, but I think you can still hear the rock in everything I make. I’d never planned on starting a label, but as the industry and world at large saw so many movements it just sort of happened one day, and was an unapologetic excuse to put out all the other records around as I saw all of our peers passing on.

MM: How long did it take you to get big in the United States too and what are the big differences in culture between the US and UK?

EJ: It’s interesting because I feel like a lot of my bands and projects have seen a bigger/faster response in the UK and continued to, we were selling out tours in UK and Japan before the US took hold.

America continues to be a really interesting market for everybody, but I’d say the cultures are fairly accepting creatively of whatever we feel like risking. The UK is always willing to take a chance if the live show is on point. With Blossöm Records we’re focused on appealing to the listener + show attender, whomever and wherever in the world that may be.

MM: What were the challenges of moving to America and adjusting to the music industry here; is it much different from England?

EJ: I feel like the greatest challenges of taking on America is breaking beyond your scene, in England, it’s a small step if not the same step to breaking into BBC, Radio 1, etc. The mainstream has a knack of finding what it likes and fast, regardless of where it’s from, with the US it’s a coordinated team effort amongst our label and the others, distributors, agents and sync reps. We play chess and decide how we can make a hundred things all happen at the same time within weeks of each other.

Songs, lyrics, and new projects

MM: You have a playlist on Spotify, so how did that happen and what music do you go for?

EJ: Spotify asked us to start experimenting when they did, it was such a great and unique idea because I feel like many of us as artists were constantly trying to find a way to do it DIY but of course nothing out there worked at all.

I started "Weak by Week” because new music always comes out on Fridays, but Mondays are famous for being a drag. I tried to imagine how I could make someone in a cubicle feel new again with all the strange or classic finds I’m endlessly searching for.

MM: How do you get inspirations for your songs and lyrics and/or beats?

EJ: I’m forever trying to make what I’ve never heard. I think obsessively about what I would want to hear. I try not to over think lyrics, I usually end on some of the first things I sing, and if it feels right, I move on. It might not all be the greatest tactic, but it’s mine.

MM: Can you tell us about your forthcoming LP and what listens can expect from it?

EJ: If there was one album that we’ve taken the most risk on, I truly believe this is it. I’ve never felt this much harmony in mashing up the sounds and genres I’ve wanted to meld. We cover a lot of ages in sound and feel, as above, we did whatever we wanted Shamelessly without any regard for what an audience might think about it. Surprisingly I think the result made for something more listenable because there was never a moment in the production where we considered what was sensical. We mastered it at Capitol Records in Hollywood with Evren Göknar who understood exactly what we were trying to achieve, I couldn’t be happier with the final album, I’m really excited to perform it and for folks to hear it.

MM: Do you have you any other thrilling new projects coming soon and would you like to speak of anything more?

EJ: Just before I left for England we shot a video for my new single Fiend. It stars the Australian actress Natalie Eleftheriadis whom I just adore. Her slightest expressions are so verbal and deep to me. I can’t wait to release it. It’s shot by one of Blossöm’s greatest creatives and directors Joey Mercado whom I’ve worked with on many projects before. I love the way he directs and the performances he’s able to achieve out of people. We were set on making a one-shot video, by the time it started we all knew exactly which take was the one.