About Close Kicks
Up and coming Canadian artist Darryl James, a.k.a Close Kicks, crafts powerful songs infused with inspiring themes. While spending the past 10 years writing and performing with The Strumbellas, Darryl has also been honing his craft as an artist that can record, produce, mix and collaborate across genres. Coming off of the massive success of his EP Dreamers, and first two singles “The House We Built” and “You Made It Home”, he has garnered over 250,000 streams worldwide and sync placements with major brands like the MLB, NHLAA, and Toronto Blue Jays. His next single, “Coming Up” is just another example of his drive and diversity as an artist.
“Close Kicks represents the connection when two or more artists bring out the very best of each other’s talents to create something extraordinary,“ says Darryl. “It came to me while reflecting on the magical moments when co-writing, and the connection that now bonds them for life.”
James’ story is one that often inspires those looking to follow their dreams. Having initially started his career in turf management and arboriculture, he always dreamed of one day pursuing a career in music. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, James is now a two-time Juno Award winner and iHeart Music Award winner, has written over 150 songs, and has co-written songs with The Strumbellas (“Spirits”, “We Don’t Know” and “Salvation” – over 500 million streams worldwide), as well other critically acclaimed artists including Jessica Mitchell (Celine Dion), Derek Hoffman (Arkells, Trews, Elwins), Keith Varon (Machine Gun Kelly, JAX), Sameer Cash (Sam Cash and the Romantic Dogs) and Grammy-nominated songwriter Erika Nuri Taylor (Fantasia – “When I See U”). Darryl has also earned producing and songwriting credits with the Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans, as well as Eli and The Strawman, Jeremy Voltz, and Martin Kerr.
In the midst of these incredible achievements, James moved back to his hometown of Lindsay, Ontario to raise his family and has become a champion for nurturing arts and culture in his community. He has performed at numerous events, done speaking engagements for aspiring artists young and old, and helped spearhead a two-night sold out fundraiser during the pandemic to save his local Academy Theatre. When Darryl puts his mind to something, the results are limitless.
Having recently signed as an artist to Glassnote Records (Mumford and Sons, Phoenix), and tech giant publishing company, Kobalt Music Publishing, James sits with a powerful team to begin propelling his musical career into any direction.
ABOUT THE SONG: “Coming Up” – streaming now, lyric video out on March 3, 2022
““Coming Up” is a song about perseverance. It’s a song about picking yourself up even when everything around you feels like it’s collapsing. It was written back in 2018 at a time in my life when I was feeling like I was being dragged down. I had flown to Los Angeles to do some writing and this was one of my first sessions. Cary Brothers, Cazz Brindis and I met at a beautiful home studio in Laurel Canyon and the three of us hit it off right away. As we got to know each other, it became clear that we were all having some difficult situations to overcome either personally or professionally. With that sort of connection, the ideas started flowing quickly and we put the finishing touches on the song in just a couple hours. Then, over the course of the last few years, we all produced and performed the song remotely. I started by building out some of the drums and percussion along with bass. With such a HUGE chorus, I recruited a group of talented singers from my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario (including my wife, Robyn) to support it.
I rented a local church for a few hours where I recorded the group vocals along with stomps and claps to bring a real collective feel to the choruses. Then, Cazz and Cary took the reins by adding the remaining instrumentation and vocals. Once completed, we felt like it needed something else in the bridge. Cary’s wife, Jessica Weiss (who co-composed the new Cinderella) did the string arrangements. That was the icing on the cake! And last, but not least, Cazz took on mixing the song and gave it that warm and fuzzy, yet powerful feeling! “Coming Up” was a song built through our common struggles, and was completed by all of us coming together to do something great!”
– Darryl James (Close Kicks)
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