James Sanger is on the looks for the most unique artists of our time
Credited with over 67 million record sales worldwide as an artist, an artist developer, songwriter, producer, programmer, engineer, instrumentalist or mixer, James Sanger is a music industry pro rocking 4 Brit awards, 18 Grammys and 2 Ivor Novello awards, 17 Top 10 Albums, 11 Top 5 Albums and 5 Top 5 singles.
In his portfolio you’ll find some of the world’s most respected and established artists like Madonna, Dido, Phil Collins Manic Street Preachers, Kylie Minogue, Mel C, Brian Eno, Keane, Sinead O’Connor, The Cardigans, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Alex James (Blur), The Pet Shop Boys, Joe Satriani, U2, KD Lang, Annie Lennox, The Cure and tons more.
James is now on the looks for the best talent in the new generation of artists, musicians, and bands. Here’s what he’s looking for in the upcoming artists of today.
What does it take to “make it” in the music industry today?
I think the most important thing is to be original. Uniqueness or individuality is attractive. Too many people wastе their time trying to copy other people. This is why so many mainstream songs sound the same and the music doesn’t age well. I like to make records that sound just as fresh today as they did when they were made.
What separates the big artists you have worked with (U2, Madonna, Phil Collins, etc) from the rest? What are the most important insights from your collaborations?
Most big artists are extremely professional and down to earth. Respectful and courteous and dare I say it ‘vibey’. The most difficult people I’ve worked with have ended up also being the least successful. I only had one person to be mean and weird to me in the studio, and in the end, she had an awful career. She recently changed her name and religion too.
What are you looking for in the artists you want to develop?
I am looking for the unique, individual, creative, driven and ambitious music artists, songwriters and bands. I want to invest my time in music that was made to move mountains. I don’t want to make records that are just hobbies that get shelved!!
What are the most common mistakes you see in musicians who want to turn from hobbyists to professionals? What should their main focus really be?
Money! People need to invest in talent and time. There’s’ no point turning up to a session in a 40k car and try and skimp on paying the people involved. The artists need to look after the people first. Invest in expertise.
What one piece of advice would you give from your experience to every aspiring indie musician out there?
Keep your outgoings down so that you can keep working on your music longer. Go for uniqueness over conformity. If you copy the music you hear today you’ll end up releasing a record that sounds a few years out of date!
Currently, James Sanger is looking to sign new artists, bands and songwriters to his development label and company. He’s opening a residential recording studio complex in France for special ‘10-day tryout writing sessions’. All of this is happening for free! The artists only have to cover their travel and accommodation costs. The studio is conveniently providing an Airbnb accommodation. Sanger is looking for unique, new and progressive music in genres like Indie, Rock, Electro, and Pop. As James says ‘The weirder the better!”