James Bakian is a majorly talented and charismatic young singer/songwriter from London, UK. He’s only 14 years old, but possesses a phenomenal vocal styling with a maturity beyond his years. He writes all his own songs and music, and records all the instruments. He’s also a hard-working and prolific musician. James released his second EP Unstoppable – a really fine effort featuring six tracks – in late 2017 (which I reviewed), and in the first three months of 2018 he’s already dropped five new singles, the latest of which is “Ice Cold,” which debuted on March 30.
The new song is a bit of a departure from his usual soulful pop sound. James states that he’s been exploring R&B and lo-fi hip-hop, and boy does he deliver! The track is mesmerizing, starting off with sounds of static and a hesitating synth chord, then unfolding into a gorgeous soundscape of shimmering keyboard synths floating above a languid hip hop beat. James’ smooth vocals are captivating, and sound better than ever. He can seduce us one moment, then raise goosebumps with impassioned pleas the next. It’s a fantastic song, and it’s wonderful seeing his music and vocals continue to mature so nicely.
“Ice Cold” speaks to not allowing self-doubt and past mistakes to turn you into a bitter person:
Build up strength to live a day yeah
All you want is to escape yeah
Don’t let words intoxicate you
We all get deserted sometimes
We get disappointed with what we’re assigned
Can’t go without a complaint in your mind
Losing your patience is turning you blind
You need space to rewind
Cause you’re ice cold
And it’s making you bad but you deserve a chance
And we all make our mistakes but they are just mistakes
We don’t catch the message so we all get sad