Ripon-born singer songwriter James King’s debut single Breathe has a strong environmental message – and he is marking its release by touring Yorkshire schools to spread the word.
The 20-year-old former pupil of Ashville College in Harrogate is an ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy and the project Eco Schools and his recording of the track, which written by Luc Floreani, has become the theme song for a campaign urging young people to recycle and cut energy use and pollutants for the sake of the planet.
On Wednesday King visits Ripon Grammar School and on Friday he will be at Belmont Grosvenor School in Harrogate, performing and talking to pupils.
“I’m not trying to tell them anything,” he says. “You’re on dangerous ground if you do that with children. I’m just trying to say environmental issues are still here and the environment we live in is not going to be here forever if we keep treating it the way we are treating it.”
King has already toured more than 50 schools across Europe for the campaign; he has also supported an orphanage project in Russia with 10 gigs.
He has found the response from teenagers heartening. “I went to a school the other day and the sixth formers supported it the most. I thought they might not care about much of the stuff I was talking about but they were really switched on and my Twitter followers went up.”
Teachers have also commented on how “professional” his appearances are now.
In the summer, King intends to release an EP of his own songs.
“Both Breathe and my own music are very important to me,” he says. “My own music shows another side to me. My actual music will be coming out in two or three months but I’ve decided to do Breathe at the moment”.
“I want this to really work. This makes a change – my own music is more for the listeners and me, really.”
For more details visit www.breathe-campaign-co.uk or www.jameskingmusic.net