Louisiana native James Dupré’s eclectic career path has taken him from being a paramedic to a YouTube star to a Nashville singer-songwriter.
Dupré spent six years as a paramedic, but always harbored a love of music and singing. His musical aspirations got an early boost when a producer for The Ellen DeGeneres Show saw videos of Dupré’s cover songs on YouTube, which led to a performance spot on the show.
“I was just getting experience playing in bars and clubs around that time,” recalls Dupré. “I hadn’t been on local television, much less national television. She wanted me to be on the show the next week. It was a lot of fun. I dove in headfirst and it turned out really well. Music wasn’t a hobby for me anymore after that.”
Like many artist careers, Dupré’s has been filled with stops and starts. He moved to Nashville in 2011 and saw a deal on Warner Bros. Records come and go. Television brought another career opportunity last year. During Season 9 of The Voice, Dupré got a four-chair turnaround from the judges and joined Team Adam [Levine]. He made it to the knockout rounds on the show before getting eliminated. Though he didn’t win the competition, he says the experience was invaluable.
“I had just left a deal on Warner Bros., and someone asked if I wanted to try out for the show,” he says. “I said yes, and the relationships I made on the show with the other contestants, and getting to meet the coaches, was priceless. A mentor for Team Adam was John Fogerty, so that was a highlight, getting to work with him.”
Dupré co-wrote seven of the tracks on his latest independent album, Stoned To Death, along with writers including Jessi Alexander, Travis Meadows, Adam Wright, Jeff Hyde, Scooter Carusoe, and more.
Stoned To Death was produced by Jordan Lehning, son of producer Kyle Lehning (Randy Travis).
During a visit to the MusicRow office, Dupré previewed the project with a three-song performance, including “Green Light,” “Hurt Good,” and the title track.
“I first heard this song and was blown away by the lyrics,” said Dupré of “Stoned to Death.” “It reminded me of the hard-core country songs that I grew up listening to. I think Jordan did a phenomenal job on the production, and we liked it so much that we made it the title track. A title like that catches people’s attention and it’s a little dark for a title, but I kind of like it that way.”
In his review of the track, MusicRow‘s Robert K. Oermann wrote, “The title tune of Dupré’s upcoming album can be previewed on his website. And I urge you to do so. This is a singer who exudes charisma with every note. The song is stupendously well-written, boasting both perfectly executed turns of phrases and a beautifully swelling melody. Lehning’s slowly building production bonfire is magnificent. Sign me up for the fan club. Now.”
- CMA Honors Robert Deaton With Chairman’s Award - December 4, 2020
- Nashville Symphony, Nashville Musicians Association Reach Agreement - December 4, 2020
- Zach Williams’ “Chain Breaker” Is Most-Added On ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Radio Chart - December 4, 2020