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Coby James Releases First Of Three EP Recordings, 'Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A'

Although technically still a new artist, James has already notched a No. 1 song as a contributing writer on Courtnie Ramirez’s track, “Who We Are.”

Coby James Releases First Of Three EP Recordings, 'Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A'

Chart-topping singer, songwriter and guitarist Coby James releases Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A today (April 2) from Centricity Music. Available now at digital retail and streaming outlets everywhere, the new EP is the first of a trio of mixtapes coming this year from this accomplished 19-year-old artist.

Although technically still a new artist, James has already notched a No. 1 song as a contributing writer on Courtnie Ramirez's track, "Who We Are." He's also scored a Top 5 hit with "Born Ready," a song on which he serves as the lead artist, co-writer and co-producer.

Taking over leading teen publication TigerBeat's Instagram today, the Nashville transplant and North Carolina native's rare talent is set to be further showcased throughout 2021 across a trio of recordings, each possessing its own distinct sound. With this first EP, Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A, James unveils a four-song set of pop jams.

James' appreciation for pop music runs deep with a sound that melds a clear mix of beats directly influenced by current chart-toppers with his own experimental edge. Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A features "New Roots," reminiscent of Coldplay, "Castles," riding the resurgent '80s wave made popular by artists like The Weeknd and Dua Lipa, and "Simple," blending elements of Alec Benjamin and Justin Bieber while traveling into thoughtful, descriptive lyrical territory as James explores the cost of fame vividly set in the Hollywood hills.

"When you're chasing fame and chasing money, you lose yourself," he asserts. "It's a very real thing that a lot of artists and people in this industry deal with-slowly forgetting why they're really here."

While his production prowess behind the board shines on these Mixtape Vol. 1: Side A songs, the astute listener will wisely take a deep dive into his lyrics. "I'm a storyteller," says James. "I want to tell my story; I want to tell other people's stories."

Diagnosed with ADHD as a child, he additionally battled Lyme disease, as well as half a dozen other illnesses that accompanied Lyme. Treatment included large doses of antibiotics and up to ten hours a day receiving IVs. "I feel like I've definitely been through the wringer in a way," says James, "but God used those things that I went through to give me something to talk about and a layer of depth that I can dig into when I'm writing."

James' first self-described "happy song" on the new EP, "Golden," incorporates the uplifting vibes of the Jonas Brothers and Julia Michaels. He wrote the positive track with his longtime collaborator David Spencer shortly after he moved to Nashville and spent the next month sleeping in Spencer's vocal booth and eating dinner every night with the producer's family.

James, himself, is golden, one of a kind. He's an anomaly in every way. As an artist, he's drawn to unorthodox modern pop beats. As a guitarist, he's driven by a singular instrument, intent on honing his craft until he's every bit the expert. As a 19-year-old on the cusp of full-fledged adulthood, he's a thoughtful extrovert, who admittedly eats, sleeps and breathes music. He occasionally surfs, too, but even on days when he's lucky enough to catch a wave, he's writing. And his music is proof that his work ethic is unmatched. He writes every single day-that's what makes him happy. It's a habit he's been cultivating since songwriting lit a fire under him at 15.

"I started this whole journey writing and producing songs in my bedroom, so for me, that's where I'm the most comfortable," he says. "At the end of the day, I'm still that same young kid in my bedroom hoping I'll create something the whole world will sing one day."

The additional EPs set to release this year will shine a spotlight on James' acoustic sensibilities, rooted in his masterful guitar skills; as well as his more artsy, experimental side-the side that isn't afraid to tinker in the studio.

Taking his new music and hit songs on the road, James will be joining Danny Gokey for the "New Day Tour" beginning April 8 in Indianapolis, IN.

Listen here:

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