July 13, 2024


Born and raised in Waterloo, local indie musician Scotty James knows where he wants to be in five years: on your iPod.
At only 23, his positive attitude and ambition drove him to become Bell Media Emerging Artist in October and hit No. 40 on Canada’s AC Billboard Chart.
His single, Wanna Be Loved, which was released this past spring, made it to No. 24 on Canada’s Billboard Emerging Artist Chart. He was the only unsigned artist on the list. This past summer he opened for Sublime, along with Rome, Andrew Allen and He is We.
With no musical background, James taught himself to sing and play guitar.
“People told me I sucked so I gave up music for about three years,” said James.
“I took a trip one summer to work at the Delta Lodge resort at Kananaskis in Alberta and I brought my guitar with me. That’s when I started playing again.”
According to a Nov. 1 article in the Waterloo Chronicle, James kicked off his music career by going door-to-door and serenading people with his original songs, in hopes of raising enough funds to produce his first album.
This was how he met Johnny Ioannou of indiesolo.com, who became his first manager shortly after giving him $10 as he played on his doorstep.
“I was flat broke and desperate to get my music out.
“I had no choice but to grab my guitar and go door-to-door,” James said in a September 2011 press release.
With influences from John Mayer and Matt Nathanson, James produced his first EP, Crazy, in June 2011.
“My inspiration comes from past relationships that hit me hard, but mostly from my dad who has been fighting cancer for the past seven years,” said James in an interview with indiesolo.com “He is the strongest person I know and I let that encourage me along my journey.”
The local musician started from zero, with only 29 Facebook fans, no recorded music, no live show experience and no online presence other than an inactive MySpace page, according to the press release.
James understands that breaking into the music industry is “a battle and a half” but he tells his fans that “the key is to be persistent.”
This spring, James will tour high schools around the area and this summer he will have a beach tour, where he will
play shows on numerous beaches across Ontario.
“I hope to be someone that’s caring and gives back to the community,” said James.
“I want to be a role model, someone people can look up to.”