Two years after his debut, Jim Allio (aka James Anthony), stakes his claim on his own musical sound with his sophomore set, 'Second Chance.' Written, sung, produced and arranged by Jim, the 13 songs (with a few bonus surprises) are a dynamic mix of the trip hop lounge blend he began to explore on his 'Better Late Than Never' CD, with bold elements of jazz, salsa, dance, alterna pop, rock and nu wave thrown explosively into the caldron. Advance listeners have commented on the variety of sounds and killer beats here, as well as recognizing the musical journey you will go on. Plus the songs are so damn catchy! My journey to becoming a songwriter and recording artist began probably when I was a young boy singing along with Lesley Gore and The Supremes in front of the mirror in my downstairs bedroom. Decades later, a friend sold me a four-track recorder and I began fooling around with doubling my voice and singing harmony in a two-dude duet. This led me to take a voice class from Lucy Kinchen at Laney College where I began to connect my spirituality with singing. I became friends with local Oakland hiphop producer, Skarlo Paine, and he would play me tracks from his debut CD as we drove around The O. I would riff over the tracks and eventually Paine asked me to contribute lyrics and vocals to one of the tracks, which became the song, 'Help Me' on his record. One thing led to another and I was singing back up on Cuneo P's dance-metal recordings and doing duets at Laney with local jazz chanteuse, Paula, still taking voice class. Skarlo suggested I take some of the lyrics I'd been writing for years and think about doing my own CD. Together we collaborated on 'Better Late Than Never,' with him creating the tracks and the two of us writing the songs and doing the vocal arrangements. Gradually over the course of 18 months, the project came fully together. Originally, the plan was to do 'Second Chance' with Skarlo Paine, but it didn't work out. He did do a bit of sweetening on the first track, 'Damaged Goods,' but I ended up doing all the production and arrangements myself, learning as I went along and honing my skills. It was a thrill to create these songs, sometimes starting with lyrics, sometimes a title, sometimes a track and working things out a bit at a time. I strove to be lyrically honest and musically true to myself and my influences and current interests, and I'm very happy with and proud of the result.
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