Back in 2013, a Korean-American rock band by the name of Royal Pirates debuted into the world of K-pop with their first official digital single Shout Out. The future of the group was huge, they won the support of many fans and were on a one way trip to success. But sadly a devastating freak accident changed everything.
Back in 2015, the day after the band’s bassist James Lee’s birthday, the band was coming out of a restaurant in Seoul when a glass panel connected to a door frame slammed James onto the floor. The panel not only crushed James, which severely sprained his shoulder and left him with glass in his head, but it also severed his hand to the point that it was hanging. After five surgeries, thousands of hours of rehab, and with the stress of doctors saying they may need to amputate due to complications (necrosis of the hand), James realised things would never be the same again.
Although James fought as hard as he could to keep the band together, and even featured in Royal Pirates 3.3 album and music video for Run Away, the pain was too much and the decision was made that he would leave the band and concentrate on fully recovering. With everything that was happening, PTSD and depression was taking a hold of him. Through a conversation with a friend, he finally opened up about his thoughts and feelings. As James has stated in his Kickstarter post, “It was either die or fight. So here I am.”
To distract himself from rehab and the chronic pain in his daily life James turned to the one thing that was his escape – writing songs. To make things work he is calling fans and music lovers to help make his next adventure a positive one. Starting a Kickstarter, James is asking for support to make his first solo EP titled The Light, which will also include the creation of a music video. Although James admits that his goal of £20,000 is a tight budget for the long run, he stated, “Either way, I’m determined to finally create and present my story, my way.”
The goal was £20,000, but within half a day that goal was reached and at the time of writing, the project has so far earned over £38,000 in pledges. In updates on his Kickstarter page, James has expressed his gratitude and explained how he is now brainstorming more ideas to give back to those who have supported him. There are still 29 days left, so if you want to show your own support, or want to know more information, then go visit James’ Kickstarter page