As a part of the coverage we're providing for the Canadian Urban Music Conference, we had a moment to catch up with artist Carlin James, who is doing some really amazing things right now. He's been working pretty hard the last few years at building his brand, and things are now really popping for him. He's got a hit single out right now with Cabana, and as you now know, he's taking part in the Canadian Urban Music Festival this October. Take a moment to check out our interview with Mr. James himself, where he talks about the things he's been working on, and gives us a sneak peak at what's to be expected with the upcoming conference.
Urban Grandstand Digital: Thank you so much for your time today. Talk to me about your involvement with the Toronto Urban music Conference?
Carlin James: Pretty much, we have our movement and our brand we’re trying to push. Right now, it’s Carlin James, which is me, the artist. Pretty much, we’ve been creating our brand for a couple of years now. Finally, we have the proper team, producers and manager. Now that everything is organized, this is where we really start pushing it. The conference is the first stage in a long career ahead of us. We’re trying to capitalize our home crowd, and from there expand into the U.S. and worldwide.
Urban Grandstand Digital: What importance do you, yourself see in this conference, and others like it? I think there’s so much to gain from an artist’s perspective. What importance does it hold for you?
Carlin James: You really get to understand where the industry is headed. It’s a great place to network. Not everyone has the time or connections to get out there with the people you want. With the conference, everyone can get together for that same purpose. You can network with like-minded individuals all toward achieving the same goal.
Urban Grandstand Digital: Were you at last year’s conference?
Carlin James: The last conference I was at was A3C in Atlanta.
Urban Grandstand Digital: So with this conference, what can people look out for, from an artist’s standpoint?
Carlin James: For one, I believe Canada is an emerging industry, especially for music and hip-hop. This is one of the best conferences, especially being held in Toronto where you can get your feet wet in an industry that’s emerging quickly into something great. Artists can expect to gain fans and connections in the industry. You can combine those with the American networking connections, and that’s very important.
Urban Grandstand Digital: I want to know more about your product and brand. I know your single “Cabana” is out there. How has that been doing for you, and then what else are you working on?
Carlin James: Cabana was an experimental track. Prior to that, I was not to heavy into auto-tune, and Cabana was my first stage in taking that step toward testing it out, and I actually got really good reception for it. That’s why we decided to push that as the main single. Sometimes, it’s not best to pick the single yourself. Sometimes it’s better to let the fans pick what they like best. Cabana was the song for us. Now we have a single that people are gravitating toward. We now just have to make sure we’re doing the right things to get it worldwide, as opposed to just having the local buzz here in Canada.
Urban Grandstand Digital: I would think there’s was more music coming soon, but what are we looking like in terms of timeline?
Carlin James: We have my first EP, “The Other Way Around”, and that’s expected to come out this fall. We have the video for Cabana, which we’re deciding is we want to drop it in the Fall, or maybe Summer/Fall, because it is like a summer track, but the alternative is we have another song called “Vacation” which is doing good. We may do a video for that to give people a taste of what’s to be expected, and then follow up with an EP.
Urban Grandstand Digital: I think that’s really awesome. I’m looking forward to the conference. It’s really an amazing thing, and you learn so much from the people involved. What are some of the things you’ve learned already, even just coming in?
Carlin James: I guess the main thing is realizing how this conference operates, as opposed to other conferences. Everyone is very hands on, and very interested in the artist’s best interest. They try to make it in a way that everyone can benefit. There have been others where you question getting your money’s worth. From the few things I’ve witnessed, there’s a lot gained in just showing up. There’s so m,much talent out here, and this is the time now where the conference is allowing artists to have an outlet for their voices and get their brands out there. i think the conference is great.
Urban Grandstand Digital: What other things are you doing right now?
Carlin James: I’m just trying to get my feet wet in the states. Right now, it just starts with the conferences, and starting to do shows in the states.
Urban Grandstand Digital: Where can everyone check you out online?
Urban Grandstand Digital: This was an amazing opportunity for me. I’ve been looking forward to our talk. Are there any final comments at all?
Carlin James: I would just say to make sure you look out for there EP, “The Other Way Around”, and look out for the single “Cabana”. I want to take a second out as well to say thank you for having me.