James is one of the most talented artists around the grid. He is passionate, and derives his energy from the crowd. If you accidentally find yourself at one of his live concerts you will be captivated by his voice and his whole stage presence.
CeciliaRosalie: James thank you for agreeing to this interview.
James: Thank you for considering me. It's a pleasure to get familiar with SLE readers :)
CeciliaRosalie: Tell us a little about yourself so our readers can get a sense of who you are. Let’s kick off with what brought you to Second Life?
James: I began performing in Second Life during the winter of 2008. I first joined to chat and to meet people. But I found it difficult to get my head around the SL viewer and wasn’t able to really connect with other people so I didn't log in again for a few months. A Skype friend suggested that I should try singing in SL. Now I come to SL to perform and I love it!
I’ve come across many talented musicians in SL and I’m humbled to perform on the same stage as many of them. Moreover, I’ve developed deep friendships with people from around the globe and I’m blessed to be surrounded with such love and support. My fan group subscription is currently over 1,400 including my Subscrib-O-Matic.
CeciliaRosalie: I think most of us are rather daunted by the steep learning curve that is necessary when we first join Second Life. I remember all the cute little buttons frightened me too! (LOL) It certainly seems as if you have connected with people now! So what is it about singing in SL that has you so enraptured?
James: I'm not a professional musician. I write songs and perform in order to connect with others and bring them together through music. There's healing in a song.
I've been singing since I was a child. I was always the loudest singer while performing in school and church plays and I always felt happier after singing. I've never sung or performed professionally but I always feel like a Rock Star in Second Life because the venue audiences are extremely supportive.
CeciliaRosalie: A natural talent then. Please tell us about your first time singing in SL, how was it?
James: My first venue performance was at The Drunken Clam. My Skype friend got me all set up with a stream and helped create my avatar, then he basically pushed me out onto the stage.
Suddenly I was receiving tips, it was a thrilling moment. I made enough to buy new clothes and eventually enough for a new skin.
CeciliaRosalie: What qualities do you think someone needs to be a successful singer? Have you ever had voice classes SL/RL)?
James: I’ve never taken singing lessons. Singing just came naturally for me. But, the vocal chords are muscles so if you practice regularly then eventually your performance improves. I’ve noticed that if I take a break from singing then my voice gets weaker.
James: Well, my listeners always have a blast at my shows. They say that I'm humorous and flirtatious over the mic, haha. I always try and engage with my audiences and bring them into the performance. I think it's important to create smiles and get the venue chatting and talking amongst each other to help build community.
CeciliaRosalie: What was the funniest thing that ever happened when you where on stage?
James: We laugh a lot at my performances . . . But there was a time while I was playing and another great SL musician, Suzen Juel sent me an enormous penis and I accidentally attached it to myself while playing. We all got a kick out of it and I just started singing improvisational lyrics and created a fun song about it during the moment.
James: Mostly I sing romantic ballads but always mix in my original songs and several upbeat songs. I sing many radio favorites from Guns n Roses, Nora Jones; John Legend to Radiohead. I try to stay up to date with the most recent pop songs too.
CeciliaRosalie: Do you mix sets or is each performance dedicated to a specific genre? And what about taking requests from your fans?
James: At each venue performance I sing a different set of 10 to 12 songs. I enjoy mixing up genres and being creative. Many people make requests and I always love to sing them if I know the songs. I sing over 150 cover songs and I have about 100 originals that I pull from too.
CeciliaRosalie: Where we can find you to enjoy one of your live concerts? How can club owners reach you and book you if they are interested?
Seaside Lounge - every Thursday evening at 7:00 PM
Under The Willows - every other Friday at 6:00 PM
Nashville Music Park - the first Friday of each month at 7:00 PM
The Gallery Rouge - the last Sunday of each month at 12:00 PM
Please contact Meredith Aviatik for booking AcousticEnergy Nitely (James Olmos)
CeciliaRosalie: Is there anything in particular that would you like to share with our readers James?
James: My audience are a very diverse group. They are more than a group of listeners, more than fans, more than avatars; they are my friends. Without these friends my songs are empty. I need their ears and hearts to explode life into my music, and to fill the space between the melodies.
I’ve developed deep relationships with them over this past year. Some have left and some have endured with me. Such is life in both worlds. I've laughed with them, shared tears, listened as they spoke about their break-ups and encouraged them while singing at their weddings. My love for them is deep and I'm in continual awe as each attends my performances over and over again.
I love this group of friends and I try and say 'I love you' to them as often as I can, in and out of performances. As I mentioned, my audience is a very diverse group - diversity with one common ground - a beating heart that animates each avatar. And I get that. So I sing to their hearts.
CeciliaRosalie: Thank you for your time James, I wish you all the best with your promising career.
James: The pleasure was all mine. Thank you very much.