Season 2 winner James Downham has been one of The Shot’s most vocal and active ambassadors since taking home the trophy back in March 2015. Since his winning performance of Tim McGaw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin'”, James has started a band, been writing and recording new music and has called The Shot the breath of air that brought new life into his passion for music. Here’s what James had to say about his experience on The Shot and where he’s been and what he’s been doing since the big win:
What was your favourite part of The Shot? What did you take from doing it? How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?
I think the best thing that I got out of participating in The Shot was becoming part of a community of people who are supportive of each other, who have a sincere desire to see others succeed, and cheer them on as they move forward.
The Shot was a true catalyst for my music career. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to do something I’d been yearning to do for a long time. Truthfully, there was nothing stopping me but myself and my own self-doubt. But joining a community of wonderful singers, artists, and fantastic supports from the community, and seeing others who were pursuing the same path, helped to remove the fear and the doubt.
How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?
I’d never participated in a competition like The Shot before. I honestly expected it to be very different. I thought it would be more competitive – as in, each participant looking out only for themselves, and looking to win. That’s not at all what I experienced. I think the difference was the coaching and mentoring aspect, and spending time with the other participants. The whole event was framed as a development opportunity (perhaps as much self-development as artist development). Regardless of the outcome, anyone who wanted to learn and grow as a person and as an artist had the opportunity to do so, and to make some friends for life.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?
Do it. Only good things can come out of it. Be prepared to work hard – during and after Season 6. The opportunity is whatever you make of it.
What have you been doing since The Shot?
Wow! I’ve now put together 2 bands (The James Downham Band and my newest project, the Durham County Band). I’ve released 3 songs to radio across Canada (2016’s “Don’t Talk To Girls” and current James Downham release “Fly Away”; current Durham County Band release “Valentine’s Day”); I’ve been gigging, recording, and having fun! Durham County Band’s album will be coming out summer 2018 and I’m really excited about it!
Where can people find you or hear your music online?
Search for artists James Downham and Durham County Band in all the usual places… iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Music, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and all the rest! www.jamesdownham.com and www.durhamcountyband.com