Who at the age of 57 releases an awesome new pop record? Is this not the realm of hormone-saturated youth? If one’s intention is bringing more love and beauty to the world, less around the need of the younger person to make their mark in the world, and this person is also incredibly talented, then, as a result, you get “Supernatural Glam”; an incredibly fun record of discerning complexity. To be around James Golding is to experience someone who seems magically connected, and that magic dust that surrounds him is wildly contagious. He is an embodiment of someone who thinks and takes actions without limits, someone who looks at the journey as the value. “Let’s do this, it will be fun” is something I frequently hear from him. Exuding a delight in the world, in all those he meets, and I never leave an interaction with James not feeling better about myself and the possibilities in the world.
He is a timeless, ageless spirit, filled with exuberance and also tremendous wisdom, a person like no other. Part of this is from his background growing up around the King’s Road in London and his father’s store with the rock stars it attracted. Part of this, though, is pure James, someone who seems to be of all ages, both young and old, both inspiring and inspired, someone out of whose mouth come the most amazing insights. There is a transparency to James, an unguarded demeanor that opens up those around him to see things in a different and better light.
Part of creating a record is the creation of a community. What does it mean to you to be connected to a community these days?
Community or “communicating in union” is essential! We are not alone, we are all interconnected in a delicate symbiotic relationship. Community is where we come together to share, express, listen, and reflect in heart-to-heart person-to-person bonds. To feel a part of something, a togetherness, transcending our differences to feel human in the greatest sense of the word. Although technology and social media connect us, it feels like we are even more disconnected than ever.
“My community starts with sincerely opening my heart to in some way encourage, inspire and uplift the person right in front of me and then builds from there”
My community starts with sincerely opening my heart to in some way encourage, inspire and uplift the person right in front of me and then builds from there. Music, in most instances, is a powerful force and influence for good that transcends boundaries and builds bridges of communion. As my life mentor puts it; “Art and culture are not just decorations. They are not just accessories. What matters is whether culture actually enriches the essential substance of our lives.” – Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, President SGI and peace activist.
What are your passions in addition to music?
Generally feel more passionate about creating and producing experiences rather than consuming them. Meeting, learning from, sharing ideas and experiences, with all kinds of people. I derive great joy in helping to support and mentoring people to transform their lives, fulfill their purpose and potential.
I do enjoy the occasional glam event and parties, traveling the globe, and advancing peace as a self-appointed cultural ambassador. In recent years I have made many trips to Asia —China, Japan, and Korea, opening up an East-West cultural and friendship exchange.
You grew up on Kings Road in London where your dad had a famous denim business. What was that like?
As a kid, I remember there was nothing inside my father’s store that did not glitter: the jeans, the shirts, the walls, the people, silver lights, and music played continuously, and there was no telling which stars would pop in for his sexy jeans, jeans which fit like a second skin. Kings Road, Chelsea, London was the epicenter of city slick, cutting edge music, art and fashion lifestyle, cultural movements and personalities defining the ’60/’70s British rock explosion, glam, punk, and ’80s new wave romantic expression.
My father Peter Golding (AKA “the Eric Clapton of denim”) is the fashion designer, beat traveler, and musician who created the original “Stretch denim jean” back in the 1970s. His clothing store ACE on London’s King’s Road was described at the time as the “hottest store in the world.” We served and dressed a generation of rock stars, actors, lords, punks and ultra-glamorous models from Queen to Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones.
What were you doing in your 20s and 30s?
I was at university in my early twenties studying social sciences, playing in bands, and chasing the girls. Then found and connected with a global movement working for the promotion of peace education and culture based on the humanistic philosophy and life-affirming principles of Buddhism. This gave me a daily practice/discipline and a more engaged, purposeful, empowered sense of self, mission, and outlook on life.
What do you mean by Supernatural Glam?
It suggests style, artifice, and surface can be equally as important as depth and substance. It’s about having the complete picture, experience, and bigger view of things — the best of all worlds. It is being able to cheerfully embrace, transcend, and expand our experience of reality rather than to seek to escape from it.
It’s about making the ordinary extra-ordinary! A fusion of “glam,” fun, upbeat, sparkly flamboyant, exuberance, sassy, fine, sexy, physicality, whilst deeply connected to the “Supernatural” which embraces the vastness of the heart. This is the profound, poetic, mystical, transcendent, soulful, greater spirit, and pulse that lies within and beyond!
The album sleeve note contains the quote; “More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all. From the time you read this letter on, strive to accumulate the treasures of the heart!” Nichiren Daishonin, from The Three Kinds of Treasure.
“I am not playing small anymore — loud and proud with confidence in my sincerity”
What does it feel like to be in the world you have created called Supernatural Glam?
It feels exciting! It’s a world of possibilities not bound by the limitation of our smaller selves — the only limits are in our mind. There is a saying that “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come!”
Now is the time! I’m not playing small anymore — loud and proud with confidence in my sincerity, and the crystallization of committed, painstaking work. It’s time to step up and out, share and contribute, encourage the world as a hero of art and humanity. No matter who you are, where you come from, your hang-ups and limited beliefs of yourself, it is the right time to enter an orbit of empowered infinite hope, uplifting, challenging, and liberating ourselves in mind, body, and spirit. Even more so now, as many of us have been literally locked inside our homes, behind our masks, and with a lesser view of ourselves.
How do you stay so chill, yet present? Are you a meditator?
Underneath the graceful gliding swan are the furiously flapping legs! I chant every morning and night with a very determined vocal meditation, evoking and connecting directly to the fundamental power and rhythm of the universe. This awakens my sun of hope and activates my inner highest life force with the wisdom, courage, and compassion to effectively face, enjoy and create value with daily life challenges.
Music and ‘Culture-Preneurial Projects’
The music has references to sounds from the past but is so of the moment. Who were some of your bigger influences?
The best of British: The Beatles, Bowie, Marc Bolan (T-Rex), Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), Bono and Blur, infused with the spirit of Bond, Beethoven and The Buddha. And that’s just the letter B for starters!
What are you involved in besides making music?
I have a few culture-preneurial projects that I have been cultivating. Live Regally, an edutainment leadership program and lifestyle brand empowering leaders of humanity. King James, a fashion and style brand for regal living. London Happening, a cultural exhibition and experience of London’s fashion and music and how it changed the world. I’m part of a heart-centered entrepreneurial community of leaders and change-makers called METAL. Also, I’m an active leader in a worldwide movement promoting peace, education, and culture: SGI (Society For the Creation of Value), supporting and raising our next generation as contributive global citizens.
And for those that want the full Supernatural Glam experience, can also soon buy a Supernatural Glam limited edition “Bundle” T-shirt /glam glitter pin/ and CD album!
You have mentioned that in the UK, a record is thought of as part of a larger expression by the artist that includes a look, something that is different from the process in the US. How would you describe the look around Supernatural Glam?
Everyone can wear clothes, however very few can dress! Music and fashion, although expressed on the outside, emanates from within. It is a look, attitude, a spirit often intertwined to give and evoke a multi-dimensional experience. Supernatural Glam is not just a look, but also a feeling and a way of being: bold, fun, flamboyant, sexy, sparkly, and celebrating the rich colorful, multi-faceted strands of a silky, magical, exquisite tapestry, called “life”!
“To live regally is a compass reminder to respect and honor the self and others and the inherent dignity of life”
One of your messages is around all of us living better, more regally. What do you mean by “Live Regally”?
In these times of uncertainty, where many are experiencing a sense of overwhelming powerlessness, loss of direction, and connection, to live regally is a compass reminder to respect and honor the self and others and the inherent dignity of life. It is to show up and share your light, live for the greater self, make each day your masterpiece, and lead by example.
Ultimately, everyone can become the king or queen of their destiny and create and live a better life where majestic curiosity and grace in service of others reigns supreme. To this effect, I spearhead and facilitate Live Regally roundtables, where I invite people to come, share, explore, and cultivate themselves to light up the world.
What are your thoughts on love, and how can we be better at it?
As my song “Onion Skin” states: “How can I love you if I don’t love myself?” Love is such a vast subject with many expressions and dimensions, sometimes seductively twisted and perverse. It starts with care, empathy, forgiveness, and an awareness of self and others, which extends to the world, life, and even the universe itself.
Love with a capital “L” expresses itself in our behavior as human beings in our everyday actions, underpinned by some sort of faith in our infinite potential and inherent possibility for goodness, in spite of ourselves.
“You have to start with the self, self-love and care”
You have to start with the self, self-love, and care: a process of inner transformation and revolution on the innermost depths of life. When there is a finger pointing there are three fingers pointing back! Just taking time to be still to create a space to appreciate, to observe, even if only for 5 minutes a day. It requires a determined sense of intentional responsibility (response-ability, the ability to respond well).
Rather than just reacting and being at the mercy of our impulses, grudges, grievances, and need to subjugate, control, divide, hate, and hurt each other, we can decide. As Leonard Bernstein, the great composer, reminds us; “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
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