Behind the Track

Behind The Track: Valace

21st June 2019

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What was the inspiration/is there a story behind your track?

I like writing about big city life through the eyes of my generation. This song is a romantic tale about two people who meet in the first verse, and break up in the second. The chorus conveys a sense of trying to find your place in the world, something I see a lot of people my age struggle with. We have the world at our feet, yet our future seems overwhelmingly uncertain.

What did your process involve?

When it comes to songwriting, I try to make a bigger picture come to life by completing the puzzle track-by-track. The songs I write all reference each other, and in doing so they create a cohesive story. My goal is to add a layer of authenticity and interest that to me is missing in a lot of contemporary pop music.

I came up with the hook at a gig at the Prince Albert pub just over a year ago. The title of the track brings to mind Atlas, a character in Greek mythology who had to carry the world on his shoulders. I took some inspiration from his tale.

Do you have a favourite line/section of the song?

The opening lines of ‘On My Shoulders’ pays homage to everybody who’s ever been corrected by their parents. I wanted this song to engage with my own generation, and everybody has been told off by their guardian at some point. These lines wrote themselves really. The metre just fit and it all fell into place. I thought it was quite an unusual and funny way to start the song. It’s an instant mood-setter.

Can you describe your sound in three words?

Bright, searching, sophisticated.

What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM Brighton?

There is a genuine feeling of ‘hard work pays off’ at BIMM. Nothing gets handed out on a silver platter, they make you sweat for it. But in the end, they made it possible for me to go and record ‘On My Shoulders’, as well as another track that will be released at the end of this summer.


James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.