Small Town Guy, Big City Life

by Brooke Busch | Class of 2020 | Mar. 29, 2018

   Hudson High School Class of 2000 graduate, James Wilson, went from a one stoplight town to the city that never sleeps.

   Wilson had always wanted to be a musician. When he took a school trip he unexpectedly fell in love with ‘The Big Apple.’

   Living in a small town in Iowa, he faced doubt and disbelief when he told people he wanted to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician and moving to the ‘city that never sleeps’, but he never let it stop him.

   “I had mixed reactions from people,” said Wilson. “Some folks said go for it, some thought I was crazy.”

   The doubt did not stop him from going and pursuing his dream. He has lived in New York for fourteen years. Wilson started Paisley Fields (his band) five years ago after moving to New York. He moved to New York in 2004, when he was 22, after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa where he got his degree in piano performance in 2004.

   Wilson is the lead vocalist and main songwriter for his band,

Paisley Fields. They are a country band based in Brooklyn. They have released two EP’s and three singles, but they are getting ready to release their first album Glitter and Sawdust on April 27th.

   He realized that life in the city was going to be different and was going to take some adjusting.

   “I experienced some culture shock when I first moved here. Day to day life is vastly different from what I grew up with, so it took some getting used to.”

   Luckily he had friends already living in the city who gave him advice and helped him adjust to make his move easier.

Wilson is grateful to be doing what makes him happy, and constantly reminds himself how lucky he is.

   “I’m much happier making my living playing music than I was doing other work. If I get stressed or too busy I remind myself how lucky I am. It’s the best job in the world, and I’m incredibly grateful.”