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Casey James ‘Never Been More Proud’ of New Music

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Casey James kicked off CMA Music Fest by giving back — both to kids and his fans. During the hectic week, he took time to play for children at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and get up close and personal with those dedicated James fans.

“It came about last year through essentially me and my manager sitting down and saying, ‘Is there something that I can do?’ because I’m a big fan of charity,” he explains about how the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital event, now in its second year, came about.

“This felt better to me than a lot of the things we looked at,” James tells Taste of Country. “And then when we started interacting with the folks here … I mean they really helped make this happen and they were like that last year as well so I was excited about working with them.”

Being able to involve kids is an added bonus for the self-proclaimed softy. “Obviously who doesn’t love kids and wouldn’t want to give to a children’s hospital? So it was a great kind of match up from the beginning and the fact that I can continue it this year means a lot to me ‘cause you know we haven’t had really anything really going since the last single and it’s been some time so to get something like this together was pretty huge.”

"It feels to me like an accumulation of my entire life’s journey — where I’m at right now, every experience that I’ve ever had, every failure, every success, every mistake, every right choice, every wrong choice, everything has all led me to this point."

Just because you haven’t heard much for the curly haired cutie since his last single, 2012′s ‘Crying on a Suitcase,’ doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. He’s been picking songs, perfecting tunes and getting ready to release a new album. He even let fans get a sneak peek of whats to come by playing them a few of the newly mastered tracks. James says he finally feels like this album is all him.

“I feel that this record is as close to me as anything could ever be. There’s so much to say about it, it’s hard to say in a few sentences but there’s no compromise I mean it’s all exactly what I want it to be and it feels to me like an accumulation of my entire life’s journey — where I’m at right now, every experience that I’ve ever had, every failure, every success, every mistake, every right choice, every wrong choice, everything has all led me to this point to make these songs and have them sound that way and I’ve never been more proud of anything in my whole life.”

His excitement about the new music is infectious and he was eager to share just how he feels about it all with ToC. “I get so excited,” he says with a grin from ear to ear. “Thinking about it, I start shaking and I hope that people feel that in the music when they hear it … I hope everyone feels that way when they hear the music.”

Judging by the reaction of a few very dedicated James fans, they do feel that way. They applauded each song — dancing and swaying to the ones they were allowed to hear.

“They each have their own space … each song has its own meaning, its own space, its own identity,” he says. “I could pick a favorite for this mood or that mood but I couldn’t pick a favorite off the album.”

It’s obvious that James feels different about his upcoming album than he has about any of his music in the past and that he’s grown as an artist. So, if he had to do anything different from ‘American Idol’ to where he is today, would he?

“Absolutely not. I’m that way in life. I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you if I had done anything differently and I mean even the mistakes I’ve made I’ve learned from them or at least I try to so I’m really happy. I got a chacne to raise money for a children’s hospital today that’s an amazing thing. I’m happy with where I’m at and I have the chance to do what I love so no I wouldn’t change anything.”

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