Inspired #0041 - James Deacon
South African newcomer James Deacon has just dropped his debut EP ‘The Calling’. He took a moment to talk to us about Jimi Hendrix and how many times he has watched the Film Fight Club.
Who are you top three musical inspirations?
Jimi Hendrix - He is the reason I found my love for guitar. I was 10 and I had a discman portable CD player but no CDs to listen to, and then I found an unmarked scratched CD in an old box in my brother's room and it turned out to be Jimi Hendrix - Greatest Hits. I proceeded to listen to those 12 or 13 tracks on repeat everyday for 3 years without even knowing the artist's name. The first chord I ever learnt was the first chord from the song Purple Haze, and it took me hours to figure it out cause it's a weird blues chord and I had never played a guitar before or even ever played a chord because up until then I had only ever played violin. I have his signature tattooed on my left wrist. His music is the reason I first decided I wanted to be a musician.
John Mayer - John mayer is my hero. His entire career in my opinion has been flawless, his writing ability is second to none, his guitar playing rivals Hendrix. Mayer is the kind of guitarist that you listen to and then as the song finishes you stop and say "fuck I better go practice". He has been my greatest inspiration musically for the last 10 years and it's one of my dreams to one day work with him on a track.
Paolo Nutini - New shoes is one of the songs that changed my life. It's the song that got me a full music scholarship to highschool. I sang and my older brother played guitar for my audition and we must have done something right because I got a call a few weeks later to say I got the scholarship.
I love all of Paolo Nutini's music and the passion that he writes with and performs with. He is another artist that has had a profound impact on my life as a human being and as a musician.
Is there a certain film that inspires you?
Fight Club - I have watched fight club twenty-five times to date. It is without a doubt the greatest film of all time, end of story. If you haven't watched it, go watch it right now - it will change your life. It changes mine everytime I watch it. I feel that as I get older and as my personality develops I see the film and characters in a different light, so everytime I watch it, the meaning changes and the message changes. Honestly, it's incredible from beginning to end.
What city do you find the most inspiring?
Seattle Washington / Johannesburg Gauteng
Seattle is the home of grunge music and I have a deep love for all of those 90s grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam etc etc. It is also Jimi Hendrix's birthplace and that's cool.
It's always raining in Seattle and I love the rain.
I've never been to Seattle before but I hope to travel there soon. It's weird... I feel a deep connection with it even though I've never seen it in person.
Joburg is my home town - I've lived nearly all my life in Joburg and I love it. It's a crazy city, the music scene leaves alot to be desired and the traffic is pretty bad, but in amongst all the negatives there are beautiful beautiful moments to be had in this city and I wouldn't live anywhere else I don't think.
How would you like to inspire people?
By making good music. I don't like to think of myself as someone who inspires others because I'm super young and I'm still learning how to do this whole being alive thing, but I know that I love music and I love performing so I'm gonna focus on the stuff I love doing and if that inspires people, then great!