James Cottriall Biography
I grew up in the countryside of Warwickshire, England, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon. I studied German at the university of Nottingham and that is where the story really starts. As part of the course, it is necessary to complete one year abroad, in this case in a German-speaking country. I chose Austria and after an extremely chaotic and stressful 38 hour flight from London Heathrow I found myself in the historic capital city, beautiful Vienna.
In the spring of 2007 I had my first ever solo concert. After my next door neighbour heard me singing Snow Patrol’s “Run” in the shower, she challenged me to perform in the bar where I was working as a waiter. I didn’t trust myself to perform any of my own songs, so I played one hour of covers. It was a success and turned into a weekly event. Before long, I started playing “Sunshine”
(which is the first song I ever wrote), “Goodbyes” and “Unbreakable”. From that day I have never looked back. I always work my hardest to achieve my goals and am not afraid to take risks to get there. I am hungry to prove myself to those I love, but even more to skeptics. I am incredibly fortunate to have a loving family, great friends and fantastic team around me.
I learnt a lot about myself when I made my first ever demo album. At first, it was very strange to listen to myself playing but it allowed to understand what I was trying to say even more. I could hear when I was singing with passion and when I was not. Scott Segal, who provides the piano on the recordings, helped me tremendously. Scott lives in Viriginia, USA, and has a great home studio. During the day I would record the guitars and then when he got home we got down to the piano sections. He would change, put on some hilarious “I’m in the zone!” hat and off we’d go. Some five hours later we would sit down and see what we had achieved that day and always felt proud. The twelve songs we made together became “Chapters of Innocence”, an intimate selection of demo recordings, including early versions of “Unbreakable” and “Goodbyes”. This album is no longer available and is the first chapter is James’ career.
Everything changed in 2010. I released my debut single “Unbreakable” on April 9th and it excelled even my wildest dreams and reached number 1 in the Ö3 Hörercharts (Most Requested Charts for Austria) and is still in the Top 40 Charts after 13 weeks. The song is also featured on the Ö3 Greatest Hits vol. 50 alongside the likes of Robbie Williams and Pink! And to put the icing on the cake, the song has been nominated in the category “Song of the Year” at this year’s Amadeus Awards! You can help me win by simply voting on www.amadeusawards.at/voting.
The second single, “So Nice” was released on August 6th. Following the hurt and anguish of “Unbreakable”, “So Nice” focusses on a new love, happiness and a fresh start in life. It’s all about starting each day right and not getting caught up in the stress and pressures of everyday life. Run away from it all and do what makes you happy! The song entered the charts at #24! This was a rare achievement, because in the same week “Unbreakable” was at #25. That means both singles were in the Top 40!
The debut studio album is being recorded right now. It is a busy, but extremely exciting time and the songs are sounding really fantastic. The album will appear worldwide on iTunes and in stores across Austria.
Naturally, any musician is influenced by the music he listens to. In my case, Sting, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Bon Jovi are at the top of the list. All legends in music history, but other influences include Snow Patrol, U2, Placebo, InMe, Jason Mraz, David Bowie and Bob Dylan. At the end of the day, just give me some good music and I’ll be the guy with the biggest smile, especially on a hot summer’s day!
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