Kuya James has today (September 25) released his debut album, entitled ‘ISA’.
The record follows on from the first three singles of James’ career, ‘Sabaw’, ‘Trust’ and ‘Why Dem Pills?’. All three hit streaming services earlier this year and all three feature on the album.
Stream ‘ISA’ below:
Aside from the opening track, each song on the new record showcases a feature artist performing alongside James. The diverse array of artists appearing on the album include Tasman Keith, Emily Wurramara, Caiti Baker, Serina Pech and Chong Ali.
Despite the broad spectrum of cultures represented on the album, the Filipino-born James does not necessarily think of the record as ‘cultural’.
“It’s music, it’s stories, it’s people expressing themselves and I hope the platform allows it to reach others,” he wrote in a statement on social media.
“I feel such a sense of peace knowing it’s in the world now.”
James hopes his album helps fellow Asian-Australians realise that there is a place for them in the local music scene.
“I want young Asian people and those of mixed heritages to feel like they are represented in spaces they otherwise might feel like they are excluded from,” James wrote in a press statement.
“I don’t want them to have to compromise any part of themselves in order to achieve their place in the game.”
James’ Lola, his grandmother, served as a major inspiration on the record, so much so that he considered using a photo of her with his siblings as the album cover.
“There are many stories in my album, but please listen to track 2 ‘ISA’ and think about the love that one human can have for another – the way some of the older people in our lives have looked at us and told us we can reach for the stars.”