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Ten Questions for James Collins!

1. How old were you when you first started making music?
I only ever dabbled with playing guitar when I was a teenager. I was a late bloomer with regards to songwriting. Didn't realize I could potentially make a career or partial career in that industry until I was in my late 20s / early 30s.

2. Who was/is your biggest musical inspiration?
So many artists I gravitated towards, growing up. Artists / Songwriters like Boz Scaggs, Melissa Manchester, Chris Rea, Steely Dan, Shirley Eikhard and City Boy, to name a few.

3. Where do you make your home?
Oshawa, just outside of Toronto. Although, downtown Toronto was my home for most of my adult life.

4. Do you have any pets?
No, but I do visit my mother most days (she's walking distance) and I take care of her long legged chihuahua, "Little Man." He's so cute...he looks like a miniature deer.

5. What is the best concert/gig you have ever done?
I'm mostly a songwriter first. Don't really consider myself a singer per se... "smart enough to know what I can sing and smart enough to know what I can't sing," is my motto. That being said, I had a blast performing at my CD release party for "The Messenger." I owe a lot to the brilliant vocal coach, Micah Barnes, for getting me prepped towards that one....vocally and confidence wise.

6. What is the best concert you have ever attended?
The first concert I truly remember was Shirley Eikhard on a bill with a few performers in Oshawa. I remember being so in awe of her talent...even as a tyke. Hell, Shirley was just a kid herself, at the time. I remember getting her autograph. I wish I kept it. Years later, I would promote a few of Shirley's songs to radio, right after she struck gold with "Something To Talk About." Still love listening to "You're My Weakness," "Roll That Rock," "It's Understood" by Shirley. I even introduced Gavin Hope to Shirley's song, "If I Had My Way." Gavin ended up recording the hauntingly beautiful track. Shirley eventually told Gavin and I that it was her favourite cover of all of her tunes. Kudos to Dave Pickell for the production on that one. I still can't believe Shirley's gone. She truly was a beautiful soul. May she rest in peace.

7. Do you have an all-time favourite song?
There's just so many to choose from ...they're constantly changing too..."Lowdown," "Hard Times" "Lido Shuffle," "Look What You've Done To Me," "JoJo," by Boz Scaggs, "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" by Chris Rea, "Just Too Many People" or "Midnight Blue" by Melissa Manchester, "5.7.0.5" by City Boy, "Hypotheticals" by Lake Street Dive. An instrumental that stirs my soul is a track I first heard on The Wave... "Livin' Large" by Euge Groove. That's right up there with "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione or "The Theme From The Rock Files" by Mike Post for me, as far as instrumentals go. On the Canadian side of things, Monkey House's music consistently makes me smile whenever it pops up in my playlist. Don Breithaupt is one helluva brilliant musician, producer and wordsmith. His catalogue of music as Monkey House is awe-inspiring. "December Girls," "Too Much, Too Much," "Good To Live," "My Top 10 List" are just a few of my faves. Clever, clever, clever. (Pssst....I had the pleasure of writing "Wait 'Til My Heart Finds Out" by Carol Medina and Billy Newtown-Davis with Don. How cool is that?)

8. What musician would you still most like to work with?
Boz Scaggs. What a career! I've already had the pleasure of writing with Melissa Manchester.

9. If you weren't a musician what would you be?
Haha...not really a musician, but would like to be an actor....wait a minute, I am an actor...well, sometimes. I have a guest starring role coming up on the series, "SurrealEstate," which will air in mid-November. Wednesday, November 15th if there's no interruptions with the run of the season (Season2 / Episode 7). It's the most intense acting role I've had to date. The show airs in 160 countries around the world and will also be available on Crave. I have a small scene with Nicolas cage in the movie Dream Scenario (it's a really small part though) too.

10. What is your favourite thing about Vancouver?
It's soooo freakin' beautiful. I also love the laid back energy. I've had the pleasure of working in Vancouver many times over the years. One of my main co-writing partners, Dave Pickell, resides and records in Van. We've co-written songs by Gavin Hope, Carol Medina, VIP and Temperance...and many others, out there. I also co-wrote "Inside," my duet with Belinda Metz ...as well as my ballad, "Good Enough (To Love)" with Dave. The Nylons would later cover "Good Enough (To Love)"....ooh, you guys should take a listen to that one. I guess you could say, Vancouver is a great place to get creative too!

(Vickie van Dyke ~ middays / Photo with Kerrigan, me and James!)

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