8:35 pm - 02/12/2018

Former Royal Pirates member James starts Kickstarter to fund first album

James, who is a former member of Royal Pirates and got his hand almost cut off in an accident, has started a Kickstarter to fund his first solo EP.

Ein Beitrag geteilt von James (@jamesjhl) am

Hey internet friends and family,

I am fighting for my life because no one else is going to do it. This is the only way I know how. I've written a bunch of songs over the past few years that never got to see the light of day over the course of my chaotic music career. So now I want to finally share my story in my 1st EP and make a music video! I need your help in order to produce this project to an industry standard.

I have uploaded a preview clip of the track, 'THE LIGHT' on my Soundcloud and will continue to upload other tracks being considered for the EP in the coming weeks.

My name is James and I used to play bass in a band called Royal Pirates. Actually even before that I was in a metal band called Azusa. I moved to Korea in 2012 in hopes of finding success through KPOP. Things were looking very good as I found myself gaining rapid momentum in the industry. My band was playing shows in front of thousands of people all over Asia. I found myself on variety shows I'd never imagined myself being on as well as shooting commercials with top celebrities of the nation.

I played bass for over 13 years. On June 10, 2015 approximately 7 PM, everything changed for me. The day after my birthday,a glass panel connected to a door frame slammed me into the ground in a freak accident at a restaurant in Hannamdong, South Korea. My hand was crushed and nearly chopped off, dangling by a piece of skin. My shoulder was also severely sprained and I had glass stuck in my head. I've had a total of 5 surgeries on my wrist with thousands of hours of rehab, but unfortunately doctors are telling me it will never be the same.

I have been committed to recovering and dedicated everything to getting back to square one. This entire process has been gruelling. The physical pain is one thing but the mental damage has been what was most crushing. Every single day I would walk into the rehab centre and prepare for an hour of crying and screaming as they twisted my stiff hand and now I can barely tie my shoes. I didn't sleep for 6 days at one point because the pain was too much.

I was dragged into the 3.3 album with my last band in an effort to be positive and overcome. But rock bottom was trying to please other people while my mom begged me to stop and focus on my health. I reached a conversation where I told one of my best friends, Brad, that I just wanted the pain to stop, to disappear, to die. I was taking so many sleeping pills just to shut my eyes. He finally told me that I needed to focus because there were many battles ahead and I would need to fight if I wanted to win. No more negative talk. And this is when I learned I couldn't live like that. It was either die or fight. So here I am.

I avoided doing one of these for a long time because I didn't want it to be a sob story. I hid the truth of my accident from so many people, including my family. But I am now living with chronic pain and eventually I will need a surgery that will fuse my hand in a permanent, immobile position. So I need to find an outlet; Now is the time to move on.

During rehab I tried to learn how to play bass backwards but i'm unable to do so because the nerves were severed I still cannot feel and hardly have any strength. I tried to learn to play the keyboard but my wrist is so unstable that it would feel completely sprained and become swollen more and more rapidly the more i played.

So I wrote songs.

It was the only way to distract myself from the grinding monotony of rehab. And now I am finally in the process of finishing them up.

Now that I'm doing this independently, I need your help!

UPDATE: His Kickstarter reached 100% of its goal within 11 hours. Congrats, James!

sources: james' insta, his kickstarter
shanny_w 12th-Feb-2018 08:04 pm (UTC)
OP, please put the embedded instagram post under a cut. THANKS!
goshipgurl 12th-Feb-2018 10:29 pm (UTC)
i hate that LJ changed the way they show instagram embeds 😭 they're all so huge now. i tried to edit the post with an old embed-code but it doesnt work. fuck you @ lj why you always ruin nice things
lovealwaysliana 12th-Feb-2018 08:23 pm (UTC)
Such a sad story. I will donate. I hope it helps.
teatarishidaiko 12th-Feb-2018 08:41 pm (UTC)
It's moving really fast, he's already more than half way there and it's only been a few hours... Can't even begin to imagine what it feels like to to have gone through what he has since the accident.
miss_suunshinee 12th-Feb-2018 11:28 pm (UTC)
so fast indeed!

he's about to reach 90% of his goal just now
sra_interesante 12th-Feb-2018 08:50 pm (UTC)
he's a real fighter 💪
its really inspiring to see him chasing a new dream after all what happened ... its a pity to know he cant play any other instruments

you arent a sob story James! you're winning at life!
petecarl 12th-Feb-2018 08:54 pm (UTC)
I feel so bad for him. I saw the picture he posted some months back on his insta of his hand/arm rotting, and ohmygod, I didn't realise how bad it was until I saw that picture. Losing the use of your hand as a person with a regular desk job would already be incredibly difficult, but it must be especially so for someone who can't do their job and passion without it. It's good to see that he's finding a way forward and that he seems to come to term with where he's at. Sometimes recognizing your limits gives you the freedom you need to move inside them, whereas sometimes trying to press beyond them just runs you into a wall.
xxhna 12th-Feb-2018 09:23 pm (UTC)
Sooyoung had this on ig story I think.. all the best to him though considering what happened !
mikachi613 12th-Feb-2018 09:25 pm (UTC)
I'm proud of him for overcoming such a huge loss in his life and channeling his energy into this project, especially since his posts on social media looked pretty dark for a while. I donated and really hope he meets his goal!
mntsuklaa 12th-Feb-2018 09:42 pm (UTC)
I watched the instagram-live he did after making the Kickstarter. He's such a sweetheart and deserves nothing but happiness.
I donated, from the looks of it he's gonna meet his goal real soon.
blades_of_gory 12th-Feb-2018 11:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad someone made a post about this. James has been through so much and has been brutally honest about it on his instagram. He deserves nothing but good things so i'm glad he seems to be well on his way to reaching his goal.
miss_suunshinee 12th-Feb-2018 11:30 pm (UTC)
wow! he's almost there ... in just a day

way to go James! keep dreaming and making music
vintage_boom 13th-Feb-2018 12:16 am (UTC)
I'm glad he got this funded. he deserves to have a chance to put out music. it must have been so damn hard to have the thing you love and do for a living taken away from you like that.
taengwoo 13th-Feb-2018 02:49 am (UTC)
does anyone know if the restaurant or promoter ever took responsibility for the accident? i never followed the story closely but i know that one of the most infuriating thing was that no one wanted to be responsible for his accident and that he ended having to do everything himself and pay everything out of his own pocket.

he seems to really love music so i hope he gets a second chance as a composer
goshipgurl 13th-Feb-2018 02:53 am (UTC)
judging by his captions on instagram, i guess no one really took responsibility, or the restaurant owner even denied anything.
nekobot 13th-Feb-2018 01:28 pm (UTC)
It seems like they haven't. I remember him saying something about him walking past the restaurant and seeing it busy and bustling while he (aside from never being compensated) isn't even allowed to name it because he can sued for defamation. Its such a ridiculous situation and scary to think people get away with violating building rules so easily because he could've actually died.
iftheshoefits88 13th-Feb-2018 03:18 am (UTC)
I had to wait to get home to pledge and by the time i did it, it was fully funded! I’m so happy he’s able to do this. After all he’s been through, he deserves this and so much more. I can’t wait to get updates on how everything goes!
aures 13th-Feb-2018 11:59 am (UTC)
how wonderful to see so many people backing him, almost 50000 dollar now, thats amazing
nekobot 13th-Feb-2018 01:25 pm (UTC)
His story is so incredibly sad, heartbreaking that he worked so hard and suffered so much and in the end still won't be able to get back to playing again all because of someone else's mistake. I hope he'll be able to write great songs and get another chance at doing what he loves the most. It's very inspiring to see how much he loves music and refuses to give up on it.
myungung 13th-Feb-2018 03:23 pm (UTC)
all the best to him, it's heartening to see so many people supporting him.
edanz_castle 14th-Feb-2018 01:51 am (UTC)
This is really beautiful to see. I'm very happy for him, knowing that he has faced so many challenges and have expressed his pain/frustration over everything that has happened. I am sad I just now heard about him raising money because I would have loved to help donate as a form of my support of him not giving up on his dreams. This is very heartwarming.
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