Interview: James Dupré Discusses Songwriting, Live Shows, and His Acting Debut with Randy Travis

James Dupré has been busy since he wowed judges on Season 9 of The Voice. He released his impressive debut album, Stoned To Death, last year, featuring the single of the same name, which has steadily been climbing charts. He made his acting debut in a film called The Price, playing the son of a country artist played by Randy Travis, and most recently, he took the stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for the Randy Travis Hero and Friends Tribute Concert.

“It was amazing and one of those nights that I’ll never forget,” Dupré says of the Randy Travis tribute show. “First of all, it was the first time I’ve played in a big arena like that, and [to be] on the lineup with people like Garth Brooks and Kenny Rogers and all those other great artists that I grew up listening to and loving, it was a huge honor to be able to be a part of that.” 

Though Travis and Dupré had met in passing, the film The Price was the first time they truly got to know one another. “That first day on set on the movie set I was kind of anxious about meeting him,” Dupré shares. “He came in and we were by ourselves for a few minutes and he pulled out his guitar and said, ‘Hey, come check this out, I just wrote this,’ and he showed me this new song he wrote. It was just a really cool ice breaker. He’s just a really down to earth, humble guy.”

Dupré has been hitting the road since the release of Stoned To Death. “Now that they’ve had some time to get the album and listen to it, the favorites are kind of coming out, the songs that people are requesting more,” he says. “It’s really fun to play and watch them sing along too. That’s such a great feeling – I think every artist and songwriter hopes that someday you’ll see people singing along to words that you’ve written.”

Dupré co-wrote the majority of his album, crafting a sound that perfectly pairs his smooth, expressive vocals with thoughtful and engaging lyrics. “I listened to Jackson Browne, James Taylor, The Eagles, and a lot of the older country songs, from Randy Travis to Merle Haggard and George Jones,” he says. “A lot of those songwriters were just on a different world. I’ve always loved listening to songs with great lyrics like that.”

“I never really considered myself a songwriter until I moved to Nashville,” he continues, “and I started writing with all the these other great songwriters around town and I learned things from them, picked up on techniques. I feel like I’ve grown as a songwriter over the past few years. Just listen to great lyrics and write with great songwriters and you’ll find that you’re getting better and better every time.”

Stoned To Death is the much-acclaimed result of those efforts. Grab the album on iTunes and stream below: