Words by Keane Fletcher

Break ups are hard y'all. But if there's a silver lining to going through all that heartache and mess, it's the wealth of material it provides (at least for artists anyway. Regular people will have to settle for therapy.) Case in point genre-melding singer-songwriter Frank James who's new track ‘STUCK ON YOU’ is a smooth nighttime groove that will have you drunk-scrolling your ex's socials in no time. Says James:

This song is about mourning a past lover/relationship and being 'stuck' on it. Trying to substitute the void with other things and people but falling short and ultimately making yourself feel worse.

His first single since last year’s meditative slow burn ‘Friday’, 'STUCK ON YOU' continues James' sonic evolution, surrounding his easy-going acoustic sound with resounding electric layers that drip with his distinctive mellow confidence. It's a genre milkshake and we're here for it! (Says James on the subject: 'It's not intentional to mix genres I just make stuff I like and what I like is almost everything.')

To celebrate the release of 'STUCK ON YOU' we caught up with James to talk all things music, inspo and advice for those of you feeling 'STUCK' on a past relationship. Check it out below!

1- First of all, how does it feel to be releasing new music? What’s changed for you since the release of your single ‘Friday’ almost a year ago to the day?

I can't tell you how much of a relief it is! I've been sitting on this one since 2019 so I'm very happy to get it out into the world. A lot has changed; I'm playing with a new live band now and I'm writing some different stuff to what I was when I recorded 'Friday'. Sorta leaning more into my R'n'B influences which just feels like the right thing to do.

2- Tell us a bit about your new single ’STUCK ON YOU’. Was it inspired by a specific person or relationship in your life? 

Yeah it is actually. 'STUCK ON YOU' is about a break up I had a few years ago. It wasn't particularly messy but it definitely knocked the wind out of me. Rather than dealing with it and accepting the loss I tried to fill the void with other things or people. In the end that never really works so I wrote a song about it - funnily enough - that helped me settle my grief.

3- Whats your process of writing and putting together your songs? Do you have a fool proof method that you’ve honed over the years, or is every time different?

This one came together in the studio, actually. I had the verses, the hook and the guitar riff but it was just a rough idea at the time. We had enough time to record one more song and it was between an uncooked  'STUCK ON YOU' or a song that we were super comfortable with and had been playing for months live. I'm so stoked we went with this one though it turned out great!. Big ups to my producer Mr Dan Frizza for suggesting we try to make something of this rough idea of a song. As far as my writing process goes it's always different. Usually it's just me tinkling around on my guitar and then something perks my ears up and I'm away humming, spitting out random lines. I'll always get my phone out in case I catch something I like. After about 10 voice notes and a few pages of random lines I'll have something that resembles a song then it's just a matter of fine tuning it.

4- More than once I’ve seen you described as ‘genre-mixing’. What does genre mean — if anything — to you? How would you describe your sound and where it comes from in your brain?

It's not intentional to mix genres I just make stuff I like and what I like is almost everything. Sometimes I'm listening to R'n'B sometimes it's hip-hop sometimes 80s rock ballads or 50s Doo-wop. I'd say my sound is melodic and soulful depending on the day.

5- It's hard to talk about the music industry at the moment without acknowledging the terrible effects of the pandemic. How have the last couple of years affected you and your creativity? 

Yeah it's a been a bit of a tough one for all of us. It has been positive for me creatively though. Slowing down and focusing on myself has been really good; I've been writing like crazy and can't wait to Jump back in the studio and get some of these new ideas down!

6- What are your plans for the future? Can we expect an EP or an album sometime soon?

No plans for an album anytime soon but will keep pumping out the singles and definitely have a body of work written that I want to record.

7- And finally, what would be your advice for all those people out there who are feeling ’STUCK’ on a past relationship?

Thats a great question! I'd say be forgiving of yourself and move on if it feels like the right thing to do. Some things aren't supposed to be left behind so maybe reach out to that person and see if you can't figure it all out or at least leave things on a lighter note :)

Thanks for stopping by Hipland!