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James Durbin

  • Kelley James
  • ClockWork Soul
  • CoPilots
  • The Denver Young Band

James Durbin is known for giving metal a chance on Season 10 of "American Idol" and pushing to keep rock alive on his 2011 debut,Memories of a Beautiful Disaster. But take a deeper look inside Durbin's musical soul and for every Judas Priest song he loved, there was one by the Beatles. For every Sammy Hagar, there was a Michael Jackson. For every ounce of metal that soared through his veins, there were equal amounts of pop hooks, catchy melodies, and sing-along lyrics pumping through his musical heart. It's this musical juxtaposition of rock and pop that Durbin offers up on his eagerly awaited sophomore album, CELEBRATE.

At first listen of his second Wind-up Records release, it might seem that Durbin is taking one big courageous step out of the box. But, for him, it's really just a natural progression of who he is as an artist, based in the music of his formative years. "I was having an identity crisis!" explains Durbin, "worrying if it would be too heavy or too poppy. I was over thinking it, trying to blend the two just right. I had to take a step back and say, you know what? I’m just going to write like crazy and see what happens. It took a while – almost a year - but the music on CELEBRATE is the end result. It sounds like nothing I've ever heard before. But it sounds like me. It’s who I am now and where I am at as an artist, as a person, as a husband and father walking through life."

So, where did all of this come from? Who was the pre-"American Idol" Durbin when music began to shape him? The Santa Cruz, California-born and bred vocal powerhouse was raised by a single mother hooked on oldies and two older sisters hyped on New Kids on the Block. "I grew up with Motown and boy bands,” Durbin laughs. “I had Space Jam, Spice Girls, and *NSync CDs. I was super into Michael Jackson, too, and even sang 'Rock With You' for my sixth grade talent show. I had the glove, the jacket, and could moonwalk. It wasn’t until high school that I got more into rock and metal," he explains.

Post "Idol," Durbin had just a few weeks to record his debut, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster...


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