Sign of the Tines #3: Reuben James

“The Rhodes feels so warm like a big hug… it’s like what love sounds like in my mind.”

From writing and performing with Alicia Keys, Sam Smith and Disclosure, to playing at the Grammy Awards in LA, Reuben James is one of the most promising UK music stars in ascendance.We caught up with Reuben and found out how the Rhodes electric piano became integral to his musical journey.

Rhodes: When did you first play a Rhodes piano?
Reuben James (RJ): I used to play a Rhodes at the Yardbird jazz club in Birmingham when I was a teenager, this was my first jam session experience getting my chops together, I always loved getting up to play cause it was my only chance to play a Rhodes. 
Rhodes: What is your favourite track that features a Rhodes or your favourite Rhodes player?

RJ: Herbie Hancock on Stevie Wonder 'As' - especially the outro of that song - makes me so happy! That is some funky groovy sh*t!
Rhodes: What made you fall in love with the instrument?
RJ: Definitely listening to Robert Glasper - ah Yeah…. The Rhodes feels so warm like a big hug…. It always feels so smooth, it’s like what love sounds like in my mind.

Rhodes: Do you have a favourite Rhodes model?
RJ: I toured playing a Mark II about 10 years ago! I’d love to own one one day.

Rhodes: What are you currently working on?
RJ: Working on my third project release - mixtape coming early next year. 

Watch Reuben perform his single ‘So Cool’ on Mahogany here


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