Artist Spotlight – James Cottle
When you think of world-renowned DJs, you think glitz, glam and divas
The reality is most international DJs are more similar to the guy you knew growing up in comparison to the mega stars, especially when they are still growing within the scene and James Cottle is on the rise. Spanning over a decade behind the decks, James is now starting to see the benefits of his work with more international bookings, and his tracks being played by all the big players. But if you passed him in the streets, you would not know of his talents, as he would probably be talking about some random Netflix show with his mates. That honest quality of humbleness is nice and refreshing in this egotistic scene, but this is what makes James a talent to work with.
Easy going with the flow, James is letting his work talk for him, and it is talking.
Keep your eyes out for his name, because he will be on a lineup near you and you will not want to miss him.
Thank you for taking the time to sit with me today. On Facebook your profession is an International DJ/Producer, but you are still just a regular guy who goes to the movies and watches TV, such as Bad Boy and The Stranger. How do you manage balancing the regular world and the world of music?
Hi Danielle, it’s a pleasure to meet with you again after initially meeting you at the Heavens Gate show at Ibiza Trance Event 2019. I manage the regular world with the world of music by making sure I always have regular time off. It’s easy to forget to rest and see your friends,family whilst chasing your dream. I am beginning to learn that when you don’t have breaks, you actually become less productive, but it’s taken quite a while to realize this.
Family is very important to me, they have supported me a lot over the years, my aunty even helped me purchase my first set of decks and my grandma helped me buy my first MacBook Pro to produce on 🙂
Your first track of 2020 is now out on Vandit Records called, Interpersonal. How did this track come together? What was your inspiration for the track? The track just recently cracked the Beatport top 100, how often do you pay attention to the polls? In your honest opinion, do polls matter?
This track came together over the Summer and Autumn of 2019, I wrote the main idea back in April, left it there for a while I was finishing other projects. The main inspiration behind this track comes from the wonderful people I’ve met in person but also online. Since I’ve started as DJ and producer, promoters, DJ colleagues, journalists, mentors and supporters and some of them have grown to become close friends, others bring a sparkle of light even though we only connect once or twice a year. I value each of these interpersonal connections and I’ve dedicated my first single this year to them.
Yes, I do pay attention to polls and I think they matter, as I believe promoters and clubbers pay close attention to these as well. When releasing a new record, I want it to chart as highly as possible so it’s seen and heard across all corners of the globe and as mentioned earlier it’s a great way to grab the attention of promoters and clubbers. YouTube is another great way to be heard and also in recent years the introduction of Spotify has helped artists a lot, the aim here is to get your single added to the HUGE playlists like Dreamstate and Trancemission to gain exposure.
You were announced to be playing at Shine Ibiza, on July 30th, and that lineup is stacked! How nervous are you to be sharing the stage with Paul Van Dyk, John O’Callaghan, and Will Atkinson? This is not your first time playing in Ibiza, but why is Ibiza special to you, and to so many trance and music fans? Have you been bit by the magical Isle?
I am VERY excited for this show and of course a little nervous, I think it’s because I care so much. Ibiza is so special to me because my parents brought me on holiday when I was 12 years-old. Fast forward a few years later and I visited the island with close friends where we visited Cream Ibiza and the rest is history!!
I have made so many lifelong friends. I made my debut there performing at Tropi Trance Bar in 2013, the following year I played at Super Club Eden and later on the world’s biggest Club Privilege. Aside from trance, I have attended many great parties. One of my fondest memories was going to Richie Hawtin‘s Minus show at Amnesia in 2009 and also attending The Zoo Project regularly :).
I am a bit of foodie and Ibiza certainly has a plethora of amazing restaurants to choice from, my favorites being Villa Mercedes and Mint Lounge.
Over the years, you have received a lot of support from PVD. In a recent interview you did with TranceFarm, you mentioned a set where you followed the legend doing a live set. What are your thoughts on performing live? Is this something you would like to see yourself doing in the future? Why or why not?
Yes, I have which I am grateful for.
I think performing live is a great concept, it gives artists the opportunity to be even more creative on the fly.
In that same interview, you mentioned that the first 4 tracks you play following a big name is crucial. Can you please elaborate more on that? Do you find it easier to open for a big name or following a big name? And do you have a preference?
Yes, I feel you need to have a plan of action for the first 10 to 15 minutes of your set when following or big name or in particular playing at that time of night to ensure that the driving energy continues.
My preference is to follow a big name rather than warm up.
Your first gig was in 2009. What are some of the key differences that you see in the overall trance and music scene from 2009 to now 2020? Do you feel you have progressed at a good pace over the past 11 years?
I feel have progressed at a good pace. I bought my Pioneer CDJ 800’s in 2008 and landed my first gig in a local bar in 2009 about a year and a half later. I then played a series of gigs at Goodgreef, Digital Society and Eliminate in room 2 or 3, while big acts like PVD, Eddie Halliwell and Giuseppe Ottaviani headed up the main room. At first I didn’t really understand the importance of production to help develop your career, I just wanted to DJ, then in 2012 I decided to seriously take of music production.
In 2014 I scored my main room gig at Digital Nightclub in Newcastle UK warming up for Eddie Halliwell playing a blend of techno and progressive trance. Then in 2016, I managed to get my first track signed and it was by PVD and Vandit Records. Then once I signed my second track to Vandit, they asked if I’d like to release exclusively for them and things snowballed from there, collaborating twice with PVD and playing Ministry Of Sound in London, Shine Ibiza, Winter Vandit Night Berlin etc. I think it’s safe to say it’s been quite a natural progression.
Finally, if you could only live by one motto, what would it be?
Always look at the glass as half full.