Music video: James Fauntleroy makes his solo debut with the weed head visual "Dying from crying"

James Fauntleroy - Dying from crying | Random J Pop

Singer songwriter James Fauntleroy is quite possibly one of your favourite hitmakers and you probably weren't even aware of it. But aside from featuring in the 'Written by' liner notes of many of pop and R&B biggest artists, he has also popped up as a featured artist on quite a few of your faves albums and again, you probabaly weren't even aware of it. Those male vocals that slipped in and out of songs on Rihanna's Unapologetic, SZA's Ctrl, Kendrick Lamar's How to pimp a Butterfly and Jay-Z's 4:44? His.

But now James is ready to fly solo and let he world hear and see his songs, as sung and depicted by him and him alone.

As has become more of a trend in R&B, James debuts his new material in the form of short movie, which is essentially a stitch-together of several music videos with an over arcing story and theme. Just as the likes of Beyoncé, Dawn Richard and Janelle Monáe had done before him.

To set the tone and expectation of what you're about to hear and see, think Janelle Monáe's Dirty computer. The three songs that we get with this visual are the title track "Dying from crying", "Heaven's gate" and "Cyanide".

A symptom of being a songwriter with a distinct style that really comes through in certain types of songs and then coming out with solo material, is that their shit gets flipped and comparisons get made to artists that they've worked with. "Dying from crying" sounds like a Chris Brown song. "Heaven's gate" sounds like a Frank Ocean song. And "Cyanide" sounds like it could equally be a Brandy or a Rihanna song. And the one blanket comparison that most may make is that all of the songs sound like Miguel, an artist who James hasn't even worked with. Because 'Hey'. We love a comparison.

The visuals were...distinct. James has said that weed is why we got these visuals and it kinda shows. "Dying from crying" felt out of place and looked like a Mega64 video, with all of the outfits, the samurai swords and the anime effects. It's charming for sure. Those that follow James will know that he's a complete and utter geek and that he's a massive fan of anime and video games. But it felt out of place in comparison to the two visuals which followed. And I honestly think if you're gonna go that visual route, you need to go ALL the way with it i.e Perfume's "Mirai no museum" or literally every Pamyu Pamyu video. Otherwise it looks like a cheap parody. And whilst on one hand I get that it was probably intended to be tongue in cheek, it sticks out because the tone is so different from the next two sets of visuals, which felt a little more put together and succinct in their tones.

Damn. I NEVER thought I'd be mentioning Perfume and Pamyu Pamyu in a post about an R&B music video. Welcome to Random J Pop, folks!

The one visual and song that stuck out to me was "Cyanide". I adore the song and the visuals were simple, but beautifully done. James also looks handsome and boss like in his Burberry coat and cape. The song and the visuals together? Chile, the whole fucking thing was mesmerising.

Dying from crying is tentatively the name of James' debut release, but that's about as much as we know about it. None of these songs are available for streaming at time of writing, which feels like a very odd move. Maybe he's going the Frank Ocean Blonde route with this shit. Whether Dying from crying will drop as one LP or be split across EP's is anybody's guess. There's always the chance we may never see nor hear anything at all, because we know how this music business be.