On November 16, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Hippodrome in Leicester square to watch up and coming artist Rebecca James play a collection of her songs. In a press release, James is described as “a Pop, urban, singer-songwriter who blends vocal harmonies with a modern urban sound. Throw in a twist of classical training and a taste of youthful exuberance and you have an exciting and dynamic pop star“. I think this description is incredibly accurate and actually exceeded my expectations.
James is backed by the likes of BBC 1Xtra, with her single “On My way” chosen as BBC introducing track of the week, as well as Digital Spy and Flavour Magazine. She already achieved so much within her musical career and it seems that the only way is up for this fast rising talent. “After lining up on stage next to some of the UK’s biggest artists at The Wembley Arena and completing her own national schools tour, this has already been an impressive year for the Welsh born singer, and with her mixtape due out November 2015 as well as other exciting things planned for 2016, it would be best to keep an eye on Rebecca James for the coming year“.
The venue in which Rebecca played was intimate but still full of excited guests that awaited her arrival. The build up began with DJ Guy D’Angelo who was playing some cool, classic beats to get the crowd pumped. The band started to set up and moments later Rebecca strode onto the stage exuding confidence and got straight into her performance. The set started with a beautifully cool rendition of her track “100 Roses” backed by a very talented band and soulful backing singers, which made the song come to life in a whole new way. James’ voice from the very beginning was stunning and portrayed passion and depth throughout the whole of the night’s performance.
She then went onto play “Problem” and as she announced at the concert, her next single “Taste Of You“. She then took time to do a cover of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”. Before performing the track she gushed about Elton and said that he had always been an “inspiration” to her. “I’m Still Standing” is a classic Elton track which you might think would be hard to recreate – but not for Rebecca. She made the song completely her own and at times, I forgot that it was even a cover. It was new and fresh and completely unique.
The second half of James’ performance included “Soldier” which featured Rebecca going to the piano and showing off another one of her musical skills. She said before playing the song that she had gone through bullying at school and that the song was about coming out on the other side of it all. Alongside this, she performed “We Run The Night” and “On My Way” featuring V Simmons who joined her on stage to create a mix of gritty Grime with James’ angelic vocals. James then closed with the intense and beautiful track “Fire“.
The night was incredibly impressive and what made it even better for me was that with all that talent she possesses, James still seemed so humble and grateful. She was constantly saying how blessed she felt to have such an amazing band and how happy she was to have us all with her and it was all said in the most genuine heartfelt way. Rebecca James is a multi talented unique artist that is creating a new definition of the term ‘pop star’. I think she will be the one to watch in 2016. You can watch a couple clips from the performance below.
Her song “On My Way” (Gifted Remix) featuring V Simmons is available for release on November 23. You can also listen to it here, as well the rest of the collection of her songs. You can also follow her on Twitter here.
Words by Kira Knight
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- WPGM Reviews: Rebecca James Live At The Hippodrome - November 18, 2015