James McCartney Interview: Inspirational Lessons in Life
James McCartney Interview: Inspirational Lessons in Life from a Rising Superstar
By Arvind Devalia
Who is the most inspirational person you have met in your life?
And what lessons in life did you learn from this person?
One of the best ways to improve your life and take it to the next level is to learn from people who have already done it or doing it now, or from someone who is about to take off in life within their own chosen sphere.
Sometimes in life you meet someone who you just know is going to make a big impact in the world – and one such person I know and have in my life as a friend is rising star James McCartney, who is both an accomplished musician and an artist.
I first met James almost 6 years ago and I have had the pleasure to see him grow and develop over the years, both as a person and in his profession.
He has really focussed on what he wanted in his musical career and all his hard work and efforts are now coming to fruition.
Last week I saw James perform live in London in front of a sell-out concert and he blew the audience away with his powerful and moving performance.
He even out-shined two all-time musical legends, Ronnie Wood and Sir Paul McCartney!
James is now on the threshold of a sell-out USA Tour featuring 47 dates over 2 months.
I had the opportunity to interview James and ask him to share some of his lessons in life with us – and here’s what he shared:-
1. James, welcome to Make it Happen! Thanks for making the time in your busy schedule to share your inspirational story with my readers. And congratulations re your forthcoming USA Tour and the release of your forthcoming album!
Please tell us more about your USA tour.
Thanks Arvind for the warm welcome – I am delighted to be here.
My USA Tour begins this Saturday 6th April when I play in Portland Oregon – I then continue around the country with a total of 47 gigs all around the USA in 27 States .
I am really excited about this new adventure and it’s great to know that the tour looks like it’s going to be a sell-out.
Next week, I am looking forward to playing at Coachella in California and from there to gigs in New Mexico and the rest of the country. I can’t wait to get going!
2. James, it’s all so exciting! I have listened to some of your new tracks and I also heard you live last week at your sell-out London gig, where your Dad joined you on the stage.
Please tell us more about your forthcoming album.
I can’t talk too much about the album as it’s not finalised yet! My first full-length album is called Me and for my first album I wanted to make a record that would be intimate, deeply personal, and honest
I wanted to create an album that would say, ‘This is who I am…both musically and personally. This is Me.”
I can’t say anything more – and I have to be a bit coy. There may be some surprises – so all I can say is watch this space….
3. Now James, 47 performances in 2 months – that sounds quite gruelling! So how do you stay energised and focussed?
For a start Arvind, I don’t see it as gruelling! I see my USA Tour as an adventure and the next step of my journey, both musically and as a person.
To support me in my daily life, I have already developed a solid self-care routine which involves healthy eating, regular exercise and of course meditation.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) plays a big role in my life as it has done for my father and the other Beatles. I meditate regularly – twice a day – and I have learnt 4 advanced TM techniques.
I find that just 30 minutes of TM refreshes me as if I had slept a few hours!
4. James, but why TM? There are such a myriad of meditational techniques and teachers out there that newcomers to meditation can get so confused! Please explain why TM and why it’s so special to you?
Firstly TM is a tried and tested method going back many decades, with millions of practitioners around the world. It helps you in so many ways such as de-stressing, relaxing, calming down and getting clarity of mind which helps in problem solving
My dad introduced me to TM after the Beatles went to Rishikesh and were taught by the man himself - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who developed TM and spread it all around the world.
As for regular exercise, I do the usual fun things – walking, running and cycling. I also have my favourite Yoga asanas (postures) as part of my daily practice and self-care routine.
Of course, the core of my self-care routine is healthy eating habits. I am very keen to always eat well – I have a vegetarian diet leaning towards Veganism.
Clearly what you put into your body is key to how you develop as a person and how you function!
“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavours, and furniture polish is made from real lemons” – Alfred E Newman
5. James, before we move on to your vegetarianism, let’s talk a bit more about TM.
We have often discussed your meditation practice and how it helps you keep going. Please tell us more about your daily practice of TM and how others can also do the same.
Transcendental Meditation is very easy to learn and apply in your life!
Firstly, learn TM from a trained teacher and there are now many TM centres around the world. Once you have learnt the basic technique, make sure you do it every day.
The key is this – you must make time for TM daily!
After regular practice, you will soon notice yourself becoming calmer and happier. You’ll also snap out of situations in which previously you might have stressed yourself out.
You’ll then find out why TM is different. But people have to find their own meditation and yogic path – it’s more important to choose a method that resonates with you and follow it every day, such as the one you yourself follow from Sadhguru.
6. James, let’s now move on to your diet. One of the many things about you that always resonated with me was your staunch vegetarian beliefs. How much did your parents influence you on this path? And why do you believe everyone should follow such a path?
As everyone knows, my mother Linda McCartney was a great advocate of animal rights – and she even founded a company marketing vegetarian meals – Linda McCartney Foods.
My parents taught me from a very young age to be compassionate towards all sentient beings. I know that this may sound very Buddhist, but that’s what I really do believe.
By the way, I have been influenced spiritually by all the major religions – and I take from each world religion what resonates with me.
And though I strongly believe that vegetarianism is the best way forward for the world today, it’s up to everyone to make their own informed decision.
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” — Sir Paul McCartney
Editorial note from Arvind:- Sir Paul McCartney is well known for his support of PETA – and I invite you to watch this special PETA video in which he provides the commentary as the meat industry is exposed for all its inherent cruelty.
WARNING:- This Video is not for the squeamish.
7. Now James, I have to ask you this – with such an influential, world-figure as a father and such high-achieving, high profile sisters, have you ever felt any pressure to also super-achieve and to make your mark on the world?
Firstly, I am so proud yet truly humbled by what my family has achieved, the contribution they have made already and the impact they continue to make on the world.
As for any family-pressure, real or perceived, that pressure really comes from me rather than anyone else!
My own desire to excel drives me to do really well in everything I do.
Quite simply, I want to make the most of my time here on earth. And I believe that everyone should also strive for excellence too.
8. James, you have a fabulous role model and mentor in your father, Sir Paul McCartney. To what extent has your father influenced and guided you?
Firstly, as I said earlier, I am so proud of my dad! Of course, he’s taught me all I know about music but much more importantly, he’s instilled in me how to be a good person, have high morals and help others.
My dad will always be a key and important part of my life.
9. James, coming back to you and your musical career – I guess what my readers may be curious about is what else would you have done if you hadn’t followed a musical career?
I grew up wanting to be an artist, and have always been interested in drawing, animation and sculpture so that’s something I am still pursuing – all forms of art.
10. James, I know what a keen painter you are and have even seen some of your work. Tell us more about how that came about. Any plans to follow a career as painter?
Yes, alongside everything else I do!
I really see my music and my art as a way of being of service to others. That’s what drives me forward in my career as both a musician and an artist.
“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love” - John Lennon
11. Great, we look forward to seeing your art in an exhibition one day soon! So apart from your parents, who else has made a big impact on your life?
Musically, I am so grateful and indebted to the other Beatles - John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Others from the world of music who have influenced me are the late and great Kurt Cobain, Robert Smith and Radiohead.
Gandhi and Maharishi have hugely influenced my philosophy.
And then of course there have been many special friends in my life, including those friends who greatly influenced my TM journey –David Lynch and Bob Roth.
12. James, one great thing about you is how you never take life seriously! Though you may appear a little shy and reserved, I know there’s a mischievous and fun side to you. And you are truly young at heart!
Please share a bit more about this side of your personality. Do you think people take life too seriously?!
Yes! It’s good to chill and have some fun! We never know what’s around the corner!
And why would you ever want to grow up anyway!?
13. We once discussed how having fame and a public persona is a gateway to making a positive difference in the world. So how do you see yourself changing the world in the future?
By spreading the words of my music – and by promoting the message of peace and love.
Although life can be rather complicated and challenging for so many people nowadays, I ultimately want to contribute in some big way to solving some of the major world problems we face today.
14. James, now we come to perhaps the most important part of this interview! You have such an inspirational life story and strong presence. So what 3 or more lessons in life can you share with Make It Happen readers?
- Help others – contribute and be of service
- Never give up – focus and take action to get what you want
- Focus on your highest good and finding inner peace
15. So James, as we wind up – where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Professionally, I want to release more albums and do a world tour. Ultimately, I simply want to follow my heart and also do more art, whilst at the same time make a positive impact on the world.
Personally, I want to become even fitter and healthier, and further develop my spiritual practice and growth. I’ll continue with my TM and want to complete the TM Sidhi program.
16. James, good luck with all those things. Very inspiring! And now we all have so much to look forward to from you. Before we finish, please share a little fun or personal anecdote which you have never shared with anyone else.
I would like to share something personal about my mum.
She once said to me to write and perform lots of songs – and I am so chuffed I am now about to do just that on my forthcoming tour .
17. James, thanks so much for your time and for letting us into your world. Any final words?
Thank you Arvind. It has been my pleasure.
My final words are this:-
Get the Life you Love and live it!!!
Apparently, that’s all you need to do – get the life you love and live it. Some smart guy even wrote a book with this title
Thanks very much James for that kind reminder of my book!
(Readers can get their own paperback or Kindle copy of “Get the Life you Love” from Amazon USA / Amazon UK.)
Now all my readers and I need to do is to wish you a wonderful and successful USA Tour – you are going to have a ball!
James, good luck and god bless.
Footnote from Arvind:- At the time of writing there were still a few tickets available for James’s tour but they are going fast. So dear readers, please check out the full details of James McCartney’s tour and grab this unique opportunity to see a rising superstar live in action.