January/February 2013 Lyric Spotlight Q&A: James Childs
“My Heart Knows Something That My Head Don’t Know”
Photo Credit: Shelly Eve
Tell us a little about yourself.
I moved to Nashville almost two years ago. I started off as a producer and have evolved into being a songwriter as well.
What inspired you to write “My Heart Knows Something That My Head Don’t Know?”
It’s about the concept of dreaming and how dreams can be a true indicator of what you’re feeling. A lot of times dreams can be random, but other times it can be your heart’s way of telling you about something. So I took that idea and ran with it. I created a simple story of a guy who was in love with a girl and things didn’t work out. He resolves to move on, but he finds himself dreaming about her and through that realizes that he still loves her. It’s a battle between his head and his heart.
What kind of work went into it?
I tried to chase down as many ideas as I could. It was not something that I took very seriously, but when it was all fleshed out I realized this might be a pretty decent song.
There were two different lines I was considering in the chorus. One interesting thing is that I did not have a bridge, and when I saw the contest I knew I had to finish it so I could submit it. I actually wrote out the bridge in the submission form – it just came in a flash.
How do you overcome writer’s block and other challenges when songwriting?
I tend to write in cadences in my head. I’ll have a certain cadence or rhythm that I am trying to fit words into. What I normally do is I write down every possible line I can think of. I will come back to them a few days later and a lot of times I will have a clearer outlook when I look at them again. I think a lot of times just taking a break, whether it is an hour or a couple days can really help.
How would you describe your songwriting process?
My process varies from time to time. A lot of times I start with a melody. I am primarily a producer so I think more musically and not so much lyrically. When it does start with lyrics it will be based on something I am feeling. I try to think of rhymes that aren’t too contrived. I would love to be one of those writers that doesn’t rhyme as much and has more abstract, non-sense lyrics. My ideas always seem to be a little bit more concrete and tangible. A lot of inspiration in the process comes from God and I give him credit.
How would you describe your musical style?
I can sing but I don’t really have huge aspirations to be a singer-songwriter in my own right. I mainly play in a band called Robinson so we tend to write a lot together. The songs that I do write and have written by myself tend to be indie pop-rock, in the vein of Death Cab For Cutie or Copeland.
Tell us about your band Robinson and the new EP.
We are a bunch of good friends and we formed organically. We just started playing together after a meal one night. From there we played each other our song ideas and it just gelled into us writing songs together. I recently produced our EP called Fits and Starts.
Where can people hear or buy your music?
Our music is on iTunes and Amazon. You can also download our album for free on Noisetrade. Our website is listentorobinson.com.