Photo by Gregor Brändli

Photo by Gregor Brändli

There will always be a demand for musically crafted, emotional pop songwriters – on that we can agree, right? Even better if there is a young musician who not only translate influences from blues to jazz and african music into a catchy pop tune but who also can perform them himself in a suitable way. Up and coming Swiss singer JAMES GRUNTZ is a good example for that rare species.

With his latest album Belvedere, out last September via Bakara Music, JAMES – or Jonas, which is his original name – GRUNTZ already gained some attention outside of his homecountry Switzerland. In a month from now, he’ll also enter the stages of Germany’s most delicious showcase festival, the REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL. Therefore it was about time for us to gather some more informations on this promising young man. Read on about which song JAMES GRUNTZ, the boxer, would choose as an entering song, early blues exercises and why hopeful people are possibly the more happy ones.

How would you describe your music to our readers in one sentence?

My songs are my thoughts and feelings translated in music, and to translate them back to thoughts feels strange. Still I’ll try: My music is supposed to be the place you’d want to find yourself whenever you need a place to find your self.

What would be the perfect song for you to enter the stage?

If I´d be a boxer and my stage were the boxing ring, I´d enter with 50CENT’s Irregular Heartbeat blasting.

Which 5 tracks should start a mixtape to perfectly capture your musical influences?

How about
1. JOHN LEE HOOKER – Deep Blue Sea
2. ERYKAH BADU – Soldier
4. D’ANGELO – Feel Like Making Love
5. WILCOSky Blue Sky

Describe your earliest musical memory.

Me playing what I thought was the blues on my parents harpsichord.

Would you rather be a dragon or have a dragon?

Aaah, dragons are too dead and too unreal. I´d rather be myself, or a unicorn.

Tell us a mostly unknown artist we should definitely check out.

I could tell you about a bunch of bands singing in Swiss-German, but since you probably wouldn’t understand a word, I rather say: EMILY KING!

If this whole musician thing won’t workout – what would be your alternative dream job?

Doing nothing for a while would be great! Well, ok, thats already a big part of the musician thing. So I´d try to be a baker, bicycle mechanic or a judge.

What role play ‘hope’ and ‘passion’ in your life?

Passion, even though surely important and part of me and my life, is not a thing that one can deliberately declare as such, I think. So, I don´t know about that. Hope on the other hand is a thing I experience very consciously. Sometimes I even find myself thinking that people with hope are more happy than people simply satisfied. But of course I wouldn’t really know, since I don´t really know the latter.