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Refusing to take the route of his peers Topher James shunned the corporate world after a pivotal moment with his boss and began a journey of music, for a living, as a way of life. Realizing a common denominator of all the music he loved was melody, strong emotional content, and soul, he began writing in this style and studying the greats.
His first EP “Art & Soul” recorded in southern Ohio with Josh Antonuccio at the helm came out to great reviews: GroundSounds.com said it was a “…stellar 6-track EP rich with funky guitar licks, smooth horn section melodies, and lyrically rich storytelling…” IAmTunedUp.com called it “…a straightforward classy album. It accurately reflects Topher James’ personality – confident, opinionated and carrying an affinity for the finer things in life…The image of this new project is not pretentious – and neither is the music.”
Topher James and Biscuit Brigade has played many local and regional festivals and marquee venues. Coming out of Columbus, Ohio his band is formed by some of the best local musicians around. After the first EP Topher James left no time to waste starting on his second EP “8-Bit Soul” coinciding with a locally made video game featuring the band. The record was released March 10th at Strongwater. This record continues the sound but with a natural evolution incorporating gospel, vintage soul, and rich vocal harmonies.
“I really enjoy that old gospel sound and want to pay homage to vintage soul but bring some new flavor to it” James said of his unreleased material. “This may mean a twist on lyrics, or modern production, I want to pave my own path but bring about a feeling from the past,” said James.
The video game was designed by Columbus native Eric Brettschneider with custom music modeled after the first Topher James EP but “8-Bit-ified”. To achieve this task he enlisted musician Reptile Fiction aka Benji Robinson also out of Columbus. This kind of partnership is exactly what Art & Soul is all about, bringing Topher James’ two passions of visual and audio art together.