Tag: James Downham

Where Are They Now? Winner of Season 2 James Downham

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

Where Are They Now? Season 5’s David Boyd Janes

David Boyd Janes is on a mission: to bring country music to Toronto.  As City Boy Country, David’s energy and enthusiasm for his music was evident the moment he walked into the audition room and carried him into the finals of Season 5.  Having just returned from recording in Nashville, we asked David about his experience with The Shot and what’s next for this passionate performer:

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?

“This one is almost impossible to answer as I have so many favourites!  I will try to keep this reasonably short.  I love how personal the whole experience was!  From the first day of auditions, the judges offered a meet and greet at the end of the day!  Season 2 champion James Downham even showed up to greet us. As an aspiring country artist, I was so thrilled to meet him. The show really helped reignite my passion for music and encouraged me to get back out there and pursue my dreams and passion.”

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

“I really appreciate that The Shot legitimately gives everyone a Shot!  Regardless of age, style, or genre of music, everyone got their ‘Shot’. I personally connected with the whole cast and crew.  It felt more like “artist development” then a competition to be honest. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about learning and growing!  Best group of people.”

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

“This is simple.  DO IT!  Do it now!  The Shot changed my life and launched my music career into outer space!  No one is going to do the work for you. YOU need to put the time and effort into it. The Shot is a platform to help launch your career and get you the exposure needed to get the ball rolling.  The Shot was EXACTLY what I needed. It gave me the chance to get back out on that stage, find my purpose, my passion and reignite my drive to make music my full time job!  The entire crew, behind and in front of the cameras, was incredibly supportive and became more like
family as we got closer to the top 10 finale.”

What have you been doing since The Shot?

“So much!  I haven’t stopped since I left the stage.  During my intro video I said “I would walk away from everything I had today to start making music my full time job”  I did exactly that!  Funny enough, my first song in the top 10 finale was “Walking in Memphis” by Lonestar.  Now, I’m just days away from Walking in Memphis for real!  C.J. Allen (Judge) and Rick Barker (Founder of Music Industry Blueprint, formerly manager of Taylor Swift), gave me the best advice!  “Hire a band and treat this like a business”.  That’s exact what I did!  After a meeting with C.J. a few days after the finale, I went home and began my search.

3 months later I’m so proud to say I’ve put together and hired a 7 piece county band.  I’ve written 15+ original songs, and 7 of them are being recorded down in Nashville at Blackbird Studio early February.  Our single will be released to radio early April and we have our eyes locked on doing a showcase at this years CMW (Canadian Music Week) held in Toronto.”

Where can people find you or hear your music online?

Our Instagram is updated daily and can be found at: @cityboycountryband
Our website is: www.cityboycountry.com
Our Twitter is: @1cityboycountry

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