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North Shore ‘acoustic live looper’ voted among best new acts
As the youngest of five siblings growing up on the North Shore, James rarely got to choose which tunes were played.
They listened to The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and his percussionist brother was into funk and soul music like early Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder.
“This was a sure sign of things to come, as nature of these rhythms were ingrained into my brain,” recalls James, who has now changed his name to SpiritCool.
After years of touring with bands throughout Canada, the U.S. and overseas, his main challenge was coming up with a unique sound — one that was exclusively his.
But he managed to do just that and has earned himself a spot on CBC Searchlight’s “Top 20 Lower Mainland Best New Acts” by setting himself apart with an innovative acoustic live looping technique.
“Simply put, it is the art of ‘layering music’ to create an entire song. There are no pre-recorded backing tracks used,” says SpiritCool, dressed in his signature black pants, dress shirt, tie and hat.
To create and perform original, Top 40 and classic songs, he records a phrase of a song and then “layers” on top of each section.
“This is all completely live,” he tells The Outlook proudly of his hard work creating a unique sound, which is put together in his first album All The Pieces.
While in high school SpiritCool took theory and piano lessons in Lynn Valley then went on to video engineering courses in Vancouver and Calgary, as well as hours teaching himself the craft.
He joined several bands as lead vocalist and on bass, guitar and percussion and toured for years nationally and internationally, including across the U.K. and Japan, with members from Trooper, Prism, Poetic Justice and other bands.
“During the years of touring, many days were spent honing and practising a craft but in the wings, the journey to create one’s own sounds was my main objective.”
To hear SpiritCool’s music go to spiritcool.com.