in partnership
(Image courtesy of James Anaya & The Current)

Artist of the Week: James Anaya & The Current

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long has the band been around/writing together/performing?
The band as JA&TC has been around for about three years. As any living breathing thing, it’s changed a lot within those three years. From different members to different styles.

Tell us about the artistic process and the different stages that work into it.
It’s really within the more “random moments” - walking the cat, in bed half-asleep, or while I’m just decompressing on the couch. Next step involves getting my ideas on some type of recording device, my iPhones “voice memo” app works perfect. If something sticks in my head past that I’ll send it to either my bass player Craig Curran or my guitarist Alec Shaw to get their honest opinion. The next step involves me getting together with The Current and pulling together a unified vision. We always do our best to write FOR the song.

Where does your inspiration come from? What other musical artists do you take inspo from?
The origins of my inspiration have always been deeply rooted in roots Soul, Gospel, and Blues music. Growing up in a church where my mother lead the gospel choir has had a huge impact on the music I write. My step dad was a blues guitarist, so there was always music flowing in my home. Some of my all-time favorite artists and inspirations include but are not limited to Bobby “Blue” Bland, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Etta James etc... More resent artist who inspire include Michael Kiwanuka, Nathanial Ratliff & The Night Sweats, Lukas Nelson, The Black Keys, and Leon Bridges.

What kind of genre is your music? What kinds of things do you write about?
Simply, I’d say Soul/Rock n Roll. My ever present realist attitude usually has me writing about life, love and the lack thereof. These days I’m trying to write more uplifting songs, and that’s been a journey in itself.

Do you have one song that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
We released “Jimmy, Dream On” last year. It’s a song that’s meant to empower the dreamer, and encourage people to be themselves without limits or apology. If we can remind the dreamers that when they experience resistance, it almost always means they’re doing something right. Easier said than done. Dream On!

What experiences in your life have shaped your music/art?
Growing up in the church and having left that culture behind has been a wild journey of self-discovery. Leaving my friends and family in Southern California to live in the Northwest has also definitely shaped me as an artist. I’ve found my heart is most happy in the northwest.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find? What about upcoming shows?
My site! I’m also on Spotify, Apple Music, Iheart Radio, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I’m releasing a new single called “I’m Sorry, Love” at the end of November. James Anaya & The Current are due to hit SoundView Analog Studio in early December to record another single, and do more music videos. Also, we’ve been invited to do a special live video recording at Studio X in early 2020, which is a huge honor! Definitely keep your eyes and ears open for us!

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone.
Black, very black.