A rising prodigy in the making, James Deacon is making the most of his own awakening.


South African newcomer James Deacon is making huge waves with his debut single ‘Not Givin’ Up’. Through a long journey of determination, Deacon has over-come life-threatening incidents to propel his authenticity for honesty into his music.

With a soaring call-to-action sound and the decision to team up with Bad Future Records we decided it was time to get to know the multi-instrumentalist himself before the release of his forthcoming EP.

Hello James! It’s great to meet you. Could you give our readers some background of where you come from and how you came to find your journey into music?

I was born on the 18th of February 1997 in Johannesburg, South Africa. I began my journey in music at age 4 when I asked my parents if I could learn to play the violin. Then, after hearing The Jimi Hendrix Experience at age 10, I decided that I wanted to learn guitar and began singing around the same time. I taught myself how to play guitar by ear and started writing music on guitar when I was 16.

We cannot get enough of your debut single ‘Not Givin’ Up’, what was your inspiration behind the song?

Basically, the song is my way of urging people to do what they love no matter what, regardless of who you are or what it is you love. In my opinion, pursuing your dreams and your happiness is what life is all about.

How would you describe your sound as an emerging artist?

Alternative with deep roots in blues. One of my biggest influences is John Mayer and I think my sound is an amalgamation of all my influences interpreted musically in my own way.

Which artists have most inspired you current, and old?

Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Incubus, Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran.

How do you find your writing process? Do you tend to go from lyrics first or a beat?

It really depends on the song but most often I write with my guitar and try to create interesting chord patterns so that the lyric and melodic writing process compliments the foundation. Essentially, I try and write something that sounds good and focus on being honest in my lyrics.

Do you have any exciting surprises or new releases in store?
I have my first music video ever being released soon for “Not Givin’ Up”, and my second single is releasing on 24 May. The full EP comes out a few weeks after that.

Are there any festival appearances in your future, or festivals you’d like to play?

We have a few opportunities lined up, but nothing confirmed as of yet. I would love to play the huge festivals like Glastonbury, Rock am Ring etc., of course, and that’s where my sights are set. Basically, I would love to be travelling and playing my music to people all around the world.

How have you been finding the reaction to your debut online? Has anything surprised you?

The reaction has been amazing, and I am so humbled by people’s support and the love that is being shown. I’ve been surprised by the sheer amount of positive feedback I’ve received.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

The stigma that it is too difficult for someone to pursue music as a career and take a chance because if you want it enough and you work hard enough, anything is possible!

Finally, what do you see 2019 hold for you?
This is my year, I can feel it in my heart that every bump and every wrong turn I have made on this road has been worth it and this year will be the beginning of the rest of my life.