We'd like to introduce you to our first 'Fortnightly Five'. Every fortnight we'll be posting up a series of 5 questions, answered by local people involved in the arts in some way. You'll get the opportunity to hear about what people are up to locally and how you can support them.
First up, we spoke to James Vince, owner of the YouTube show Live in The Living Room.
1. Tell us a little about what you do?
My name is James and I run the successful YouTube show called ‘Live In The Living Room’ which provides unsigned acts with a platform to promote themselves.
How the show works, is artists and bands perform acoustic sessions in my actual living room in Ashford or in their own living rooms if they come from far away. So far sessions have been recorded in my living room, kitchens, practice rooms, hotel rooms, venues, front porches and even a sweet shop. Sessions have been virtual since the pandemic started.
The show has been going since 2011. The 10th ‘birthday’ will be in May this year. I was inspired to create the show by Radio 1’s Live Lounge and thought how cool it would be to do a version of that show in my living room with unsigned acts.
The idea sat on the back burner for ages until local artist, James Kirby invited me to an open mic night at The Windmill and I got to know lots of local acts. I then decided to give the show a try with acts that I knew from The Windmill open mic nights and the rest is history.
2.Do you have any influences or role models?
Radio 1’s Live Lounge initially inspired the show when it first started back in 2011. I would say that NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk concerts’ is a role model of mine. I would like the show to be as successful as them and feature the same level of acts that they do. The dream is to have a show where unsigned acts and big, popular acts would play.
3. What is your greatest or proudest achievement to date?
I have many achievements I’m proud of. With everyone’s help, I’ve managed to feature over 1000 acts over 44 seasons, I’ve managed to bring the show to the USA and it has now spread into 27 US states (over half the country), I also managed to get Koe Wetzel (a massive artist in Texas) on the show thanks to the Texas Music Takeover tour in London. That was a big win. The show is now potentially the biggest unsigned music show (in terms of acts featured) in the country. I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved with the help and support of everyone.
4. Tell us an interesting fact or funny story about yourself?
Well an interesting fact about me (if you can call it interesting) is, I’m the creator of a music show but I’m not actually a musician. I don’t really have any funny stories about me but I have loads from the show over the years. For example, an artist once introduced his songs used soft toys and one artist came on the show drunk once (at least I think they were drunk).
5. How can people find out more about Live in The Living Room?
You can subscribe to the Live In The Living Room YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/LFTLR. Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thisisLITLR and follow the show on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thisislitlr or @thisisLITLR. For more info about Live In The Living Room head to www.liveinthelivingroom.co.uk.
Our next Fortnightly Five will be published on Friday 29th January. If you'd like to take part in any of our future features please get in contact with us through the Facebook page facebook.com/ashfordcommunity or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org