Chicago based r&b artist combines new captivating E.P and music video with bold performances
Adapting to the ever-changing music scene is nothing new for Chicago r&b soul artist Brandon James. With the music scene shut down due to the pandemic, the artist has still found a way to continue on his music and performances. The artist has been a constant force in the Chicago music scene over the years organizing and performing at the monthly event “Soulful Sundays,” an event run at Reggie’s in the South Loop. The monthly event and the artist’s career were gaining wide popularity in the Chicago area before the pandemic. Brandon had planned to make 2020 the defining year of his career with the increasing popularity of ‘Soulful Sundays” and his planned album release in the summer of 2020 “Drifting.”
The state’s shelter-in-place order brought almost all businesses to a screeching halt. Shaken, but undeterred, the artist began to replan and reorganize. As the shelter-in-place order was relaxed, he began a more cautious but creative approach to his performances and career. With virtual performances and selective live events, Brandon joined the list of budding artists who refuse to let the circumstances hinder their careers.
Brandon released the three-track E.P “Drifting” on June 17th, 2020, to all major streaming outlets and directly on the artist’s website. The E.P was named, after the lead single “Drifting,” with a music video for the single premiered via YouTube on September 25th, 2020. His efforts recently caught the attention of the Chicago Tribune who covered the artist’s performances and release. The Tribune stated, “the ongoing shelter-in-place orders which have most severely affected the live music and nightlife industries, took an emotional toll on the artist. But instead of settling, he went to work on adapting his craft.”
Chicago native Brandon James was born “Brandon James Foster”. He states that he “started doing music as an outlet for depression early in life. I wasn’t very popular in school and I was considered a latchkey kid due to my mother’s work schedule and my father’s battles with alcoholism.” On a teacher’s suggestion to find extracurricular activities, he joined the choir. He finished the eighth grade with a determination to elevate his understanding of music and succeed with his music.
Constantly challenging himself to become better at his craft, he has taken voice lessons from Bobby Wilsyn, Ars Musica, and Andrew Schultze. He has played with Earth, Wind & Fire, and performed at some of Chicago’s most notable venues including the UIC Pavilion and the House of Blues. Brandon has also earned a degree in music performance and business from the Columbia College of Chicago. Forever seeking to share his story and testimony, Brandon seeks to inspire, touch hearts, and provoke thought with his music.