Bradley James Skistimas is something of a rarity within today’s music scene. Over the last decade he has successfully peaked his way in and out of the limelight as an unsigned indie artist with his one-man acoustic pop project Five Times August. Now Skistimas multitasks under two very different styles with the debut release from Music By Bradley James, a modern take on the 50’s and 60’s... more
Bradley James Skistimas is something of a rarity within today’s music scene. Over the last decade he has successfully peaked his way in and out of the limelight as an unsigned indie artist with his one-man acoustic pop project Five Times August. Now Skistimas multitasks under two very different styles with the debut release from Music By Bradley James, a modern take on the 50’s and 60’s crooner sound, and also readies for a new pop/rock Five Times August album for 2014.
Rooted in Dallas, TX, Five Times August began under the influence of songwriting troubadours John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Dave Matthews. Skistimas, who was 18 at the time, began recording home demos and utilized the web to share his original music. The name “Five Times August” came to promote his songs rather than his actual name considering “Skistimas” would be a confusing mouthful for some. The band title is derived from the songwriter’s birthday, August 5th.
When a music supervisor at MTV discovered the song “Better With You” via CDBaby.com and licensed it for use on the widely popular reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, major online notoriety ensued. Almost overnight Five Times August became an Internet sensation. More licenses during the second season of Laguna Beach followed along with several other popular television programs. To date, Skistimas’ songs have been featured on over 80 TV shows, commercials, and films.
Following the initial flow of licenses, online popularity pushed FTA into Myspace.com’s Top 10 Unsigned Artist Charts (Worldwide) for well over a year. Simultaneously began an almost non-stop six year tour schedule that lead to playing in every state of the U.S with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. Five Times August was voted one of the Top 5 college acts in America two years in a row by Campus Activities Magazine.
With the release of The Independent, Five Times August became recognized as the first unsigned act in history to have an album nationally distributed through the nation’s largest chain store, Walmart. This was followed by further distribution in Best Buy chains as well, a testament to FTA’s hard work, growing popularity, and innovative thinking.
Support for the next album, Brighter Side, included tour dates with larger national acts like Dashboard Confessional, Augustana, Matt Kearney and Jon Mclaughlin. Press highlights would include features in People Magazine, Billboard, Guitar Player, USA Today, and About.com’s “Artist in the Wings.” Additionally, FTA made it’s national TV debut on the CBS Early Show, and the FOX Business Network’s Nightly Scoreboard would include Bradley on an industry discussion panel with KISS’ manager Doc Mcghee and Billboard Magazine editor Jonathan Cohen. Five Times August also appeared on an episode of the acclaimed PBS series Sun Studio Sessions, with a full half hour devotedly entirely to an in-studio performance at Memphis’ legendary landmark.
Five Times August was also the earliest project on Kickstarter.com to successfully raise over $20,000 and with help from fans reached the goal in under a month. The funding helped release and promote the album “Life As A Song” which was produced and mixed by Andy Zulla (Kelly Clarkson, Rod Stewart, NBC’s SMASH). Notable players on the album would include drummer Ed Toth (Vertical Horizon, The Doobie Brothers) and bassist Sean Hurley (Robin Thicke, John Mayer.)
2013 saw the release of Where Did I Go? – Music By Bradley James, the songwriter’s first departure from his modern acoustic pop of Five Times August. The E.P. pulls influence from the classic sounds of 50’s and 60’s orchestral crooner pop, soul, and jazz, ala Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke, and ties in melodic tongue and cheek lyrics. Notable players for the project include keyboardist Rob Arthur (Peter Frampton, Five For Fighting), legendary drummer Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Paul McCartney), and Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Billy Joel) who mixed the six tracks.
Skistimas is currently writing for a Bradley James follow up as well as a new Five Times August album to be released in 2014.less