Original Version: “Too Bad”

Forthcoming EP, Revelation, due in 2018.

Gladius James is a triple-threat musician who sings, writes, and produces his own material. Following the release of his vibey, slow-burning debut single “Too Bad,” he has now dropped an acoustic version. The track is about the sex appeal of confidence, and the acoustic version drops the glitched-out, pop-industrial beats heard on the original. Instead, there is a heavier focus on his soulful voice showcasing his diverse performance styles.

The track features such come-ons as “I’m about to mess your hair up/Kiss that lipstick off.”  “The first thing I think about when I listen to ‘Too Bad’ isn’t the sonics,” he says about the original. “It’s that it has movement. The song is so intense like that, because it came so quickly to me.”

Gladius James is a stealth provocateur who, like Prince, is self-aware enough to expose masculinity’s seeming contradictions—its strength and vulnerability, its passion and tenderness, its liberation and imprisonment. They do apply to his life, but he really sees them as universal forces. “A lot of the problems in the world,” he notes, “start with the psyche.” His moniker, the Latin word for “sword,” follows in kind. He liked how it could also be read as “Glad-I-Us.” The first syllable, he notes, “is strong, and the end is soft. I created a world around this idea: a spiritual warrior that goes into battle with demons to be in peace with yourself.”

Gladius James will release his debut EP, Revelation, in early 2018.