artist, musician and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student Emmitt James
performed his latest extended play “Until I’m a Dead Poet” to a live audience
on Tuesday, April 30.
extended play is a musical recording that contains more music than a single,
but is too short to qualify as a full studio album.
performance featured live music: guitar, bass, drums, vocalists and a keyboard.
Each member of the band is a friend of James and committed to collaborate with
him on the project.
is made of sample bits. There are pieces of older songs that are looped with my
lyrics,” James said. “It’s about me and my upbringing, my desire to do music
for a living and be successful.”
many of the tracks, James features personal stories of his family, one
specifically about his mother as a poet.
“Coercion” tells the story of his mother and why he creates music. The lyrics
say, “My mom’s had a poetry book in the third grade— teacher took her stuff and
used her own name. In other words, my mom didn’t get credit for her artwork. I
do this for my family and put my mom first.”
embrace the ideas of my mother’s talent from when she was younger. She didn’t
make it as a poet, and now I’m trying to change that and be successful myself.
I want to make it big,” James said.
band member Tim McHatten explained his reasoning for collaborating and playing
in the band. He shares many of the same goals as James and the rest of the band
when it comes to playing music.
been challenging and fun. These are all life-based stories and lessons, and we
need to keep the message going and moving forward. I share many of the same
goals as Emmitt and the band itself,” McHatten said.
student and musician Joey Bonner also helped James during the show. The duo
wrote a song together entitled “Gold.”
starting the song, Bonner explained that he has Synesthesia, or the merging or
combination of senses or sensations.
Basically, he sees certain colors when he
sees certain numbers or letters, hears music or sees certain people. Bonner
sees James in gold.
about self-worth. It pretty much
talks about how people put way too much stock and care into how much people
value them. It’s about everyone realizing that each of us is valuable in our
own way, and no one can tell you otherwise,” Bonner said.
feels that it is important to have a positive message when you want to share
things like music with people, and that if you choose to create music you
should do it for yourself, not because someone else wants you to.
believes the message behind the music is more meaningful for everyone if it is
set out in this way.
is an inspiration. He pushes for not taking people for granted and making the
best of a bad situation,” Bonner said. “He has a dream, and from hearing his
lyrics and from having conversations with him, I can tell that he will stop at
nothing to reach his dream.”
the songs are about the desire to follow your dreams and being introspective.
This is the message that James and those who collaborated try to follow and
show their audience.
little things at the end of the day. These are the things that drive me,” James