Hamilton, Ontario-based singer/songwriter James Favron examines love gone wrong on his heartfelt alt-pop/folk single, “Lovers.” Written in the aftermath of the dissolution of his marriage, but without the outright bitterness that can often dominate the discourse of such changes, James insists the song is simply an examination of what led to the life-changing circumstances.
“The song first began to take shape in 2019 when my family life, as it was, fell apart,” Favron explains. “We spent the better part of a year living together after the split, and that involved both of us starting to see other people.”
The latter point is confronted in the song’s chorus, as Favron sings of watching himself go from the role of husband to becoming just “another number.” A simple, three-note guitar melody and simplistic drum beat virtually run the course of the pop ballad as Favron’s raspy vocals acknowledge he wasn’t completely blameless in the split.
The video for “Lovers” features Favron engaged in his daily routine at home mixed with his performance of the song. Set against a mostly neutral slate of colours, the video’s storyline closely mimics the arc of the song, with the climax of the clip arriving when the singer-songwriter begins packing his things to begin a new life, finally breaking free from the ghost of his past.
“The song is, really, my experience and processing the end of the relationship,” says Favron. “It’s a relatable thing for a lot of folks and I felt it was something wanted to give some air to, even just as an affirmation that people go through this kind of thing often and that, as impossible as it might seem, things will work out.”
“Following my divorce, I realized and rediscovered that I’m kind of a goofy idiot,” he says, laughing. “After my first child was born, I thought I had to kind of suppress that side of my personality to be a responsible adult. But I finally feel like I’m getting back to the core of who I am. Everything has come full circle, and it’s an exciting feeling.”
Congratulations on the release of your latest single “Lovers”. What can you tell us about the song?
I wrote the song in a complicated space, where my ex and I had ended our relationship but were still living in the house we owned together as we began the process of getting divorced with young kids involved. Originally some of the lyrics were much more specific to my personal situation but as I got into the recording I made some changes to tell a story that more people who had gone through any kind of breakup could relate to. I’m not really into bitter ‘I hate you’ break up songs, or self-loathing ‘I miss you so much but I know this is the right thing’ break up songs. I wanted to write something that was a little bit more matter-of-fact and self-reflective. We didn’t work, and we both had a part to play in that. Now we’re over and moving on to new lovers. It’s a very common experience and I think it should be ok to be ok with that.
How do you approach songwriting? What is your process?
I try to approach songwriting like a painter approaches a new canvas. Sometimes I have a story, or concept or topic I want to intentionally write about and that’s where I start. Sometimes I sit down with a guitar or my computer and midi-controller and start writing the music or beat. Other times I’m fortunate enough to be collaborating with someone who sends an idea my way and I get to add my flavour to it. Whatever the starting point is, my goal is to create a new piece of art that tells a clear story in itself, but also represents me.
What inspires you?
Inspiration is all around me! Sounds, colors, people, fashion, architecture, food, stories. The inspiration is always right there for us if we learn how to look for it and become receptive to it.
Can you tell us about the making of the video and how the concept came together?
Making the video was a ton of fun. I produced and co-directed the video along with my super talented friend Brandon Harding (B-ran). I’m a visual person so almost every song I write ends up as a music video inside my head and sometimes I am fortunate enough to bring that to life. The concept for this video was to visually close off where the lyrics of the song had been left a little open. ‘Even though we’re still in the same house, we both know this relationship is through’ implies that there is still closure to be found ahead, however, the video closes it off with me packing my things and ultimately leaving which for me was really important and necessary.
What role does Canada play in your music?
There is no doubt that Canadian artists have become some of the most influential in the world in the pop and hip-hop categories (Ever hear of Justin Bieber or Drake?). Canadian artists have shaped and inspired my music in ways I’m still a bit surprised by when I think about it. As a country, Canada still has a lot of growing up to do but we’re trying to learn from our mistakes and do better. I respect that and as someone who learns from failure more often than from success, I can relate.
What’s next for you? Any shows? Any new music to follow “Lovers”?
2022 will be a busy year for me. My next single ‘Enough of You’ is finished and will be released in June with a music video as well. I have six singles in the recording process right now and each will have a music video or accompanying visual art piece. My next show is on June 24th in Hamilton followed by a show on June 28th at The El Mocambo in Toronto. Thanks so much again for this interview opportunity and make sure to follow me @jamesfavron on social media so you don’t miss out on what’s coming next!