Kodi James is a new Los Angeles based queer pop artist. His music takes inspiration from classic icons of the 70's & 80's with a modern and timeless flare. His debut single “Elizabeth Taylor” is making waves in the music scene because of the authenticity and originality that bleeds through the speakers. In every facet of his project, James prioritizes diversity and representation. Music has always been at the center of Kodi's life. He began singing in his father's church at age 5 and went to college on a near full-ride scholarship for Musical Theatre. Once at university, Kodi quickly realized his passion for pop music and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his project in which he aspires to breakthrough the industry and create music that caters to the queers, queens and everyone in between.
“Elizabeth Taylor” builds up well and leads with a fine melodic development towards what is a quickly recognisable and effective hook. Kodi James’ gives a slightly retro-pop-like aura, which works well to take the song away from simple pop and over into more alternative territory. Though the instrumentation is decidedly retro, the vocal helps drive the song through to it’s refreshingly contemporary fullness. In terms of the chord progressions and the riffs, the way the track builds up, everything has been well produced so as to reinforce the underlying passion and turmoil at the song’s core. “Elizabeth Taylor” is a notably catchy tune, one that intrigues well and begs for you to listen at least once or twice more after that initial introduction. The strong melody draws you over and the story-line holds you captive once you’re there.
Listen to “Elizabeth Taylor” here and read more with Kodi James below!
Hey Kodi! Welcome to BuzzMusic! How did you get started in the music industry?
Thank you! I discovered my passion for pop music about four years ago while at college majoring in musical theatre. My brother, who's a producer, was already in Los Angeles. So I quickly moved down here and we began working together. It's been a long creative development process, and I'm so happy and proud to finally have some content out.
Was there a specific event/person in your life that made you get into music/ start recording your material?
I grew up singing in church, school choirs, community theatre, etc. But what really triggered an interest in recording my own material was when I started getting booked for solo gigs. I found it so rewarding to tell my own story on stage rather than constantly portraying a character in someone else's show.
Who are you musical influences and how do they help shape your sound?
Growing up in the performing arts will always play a key role in shaping my sound and persona, but some major influencers and inspirations would have to be Cher, Dolly, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, ABBA, Kim Petras, Allie X, Muna, and Jack Antonoff. Quite and eclectic bunch, but there are different aspects about each one of them that inspire who I am as an artist. And while that may not be blatantly clear with "Elizabeth Taylor", you'll definitely notice it with my forthcoming singles.
What does “Elizabeth Taylor” mean to you? What do you want your listeners to take away from it?
There are a few messages within this song and video. The song intentionally challenges gender norms, visually and lyrically, and I hope that it resonates with the queer community specifically. There's also an arch and a storyline that we really tried to exemplify within the video of one realizing their self worth - realizing that we are all, in our own way, queens like Elizabeth Taylor. On a personal level, this project is like a first born child to me. I was so nervous putting it out into the world, but the reception has been so unbelievably heartwarming and encouraging.
Can you tell us what’s up next for you? We’d love to hear more
I do have a series of singles and videos in the works and will hopefully have my next song/video out within a couple of months. But in the immediate future, I will be performing a full set at DTLA Proud on 8/24 at 4:30PM in Pershing Square! Tickets and more information at DTLAProud.org
Connect with Kodi James on social media