James Struthers, roll out!
The Winnipeg singer-songwriter is getting a lot of attention for his Transformers-inspired song You, Me and Optimus Prime.
The music video, which sees Struthers and the leader of the Autobots as best buds, has got more than 200,000 YouTube views earning producer Funk Factory Films a Western Canadian Music Award nomination.
“A lot of techies looked at. Actually, because it was Transformers, the main demographic for that video was middle-aged men,” Struthers, 23, says.
“We still got a lot of positive feedback even though that’s totally not the target demographic of my style of music. However, some people online were ripping on me, saying it looked like I was going to have sex with Optimus Prime. Also, the
Transformers purists were really tearing into me for using a Michael Bay version.”
Any publicity is good publicity. Speaking of such, Struthers was named Bell Media Emerging Artist of the Month for April, meaning his song What Are We Waiting For went into rotation on CHUM radio stations across Canada.
“I got really lucky,” Struthers says. “This DJ in Ottawa named Consuelo Bernardi fell in love with my music and wanted to be a part of the project, so she was pushing and pushing to get us this distinction. We didn’t even know she was doing it.
“Anyway, there’s an application process and she applied three times and finally it got through. I have to write her a song now.”
A man of his word, Struthers did write her a song. It’s called Consuelo and it’s on YouTube. As far as other new songs, the singer-songwriter is working on a full-length album with co-writer and producer Arun Chaturvedi.
Struthers doesn’t know when and how the record will be released, but he says he’s trying to strike a balance between artistic integrity and commercial viability.
“Feist is one person I look up, an artist that’s able to maintain creative control and still make catchy, hooky pop songs that have mainstream success,” Struthers says.
“Gotye has been on the Billboard chart for weeks, so there’s hope for sure. It’s a little harder, but you can do both.”
Struthers just completed a 45-date cross country tour and plays his “welcome home” show tonight at The Park Theatre.
He will be joined by a full band as well as opening acts Haley Cook and Tyler Del Pino. Tickets are $10 at the door. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Watch the music video: