Since it’s the middle of the week, those mid-week stressors are in full swing. It’s not a secret that great ways to relax are by listening to music or even practicing yoga. For Hoboken locals in need of a serious de-stress session, James Calleo is your guy. As this week’s Hoboken Guy of the Week, read on to find out how this musician and yoga instructor who has been entertaining Mile Square locals for the last few years on both the mat and the stage.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a local musician and yoga instructor around the area. Writing and performing music is my passion. While strongly focusing on my original musical endeavors, I play solo gigs at local bars and restaurants as well as private parties and weddings. I also have been performing bi-weekly in yoga classes for the past four years with local instructor Meghan Kramer. I received my yoga certification two years ago and have been teaching 8-10 times per week in Hoboken since.
Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration and motivation?
My mom and dad are amazing people. Always encouraging my growth. The kick in the ass I needed was this one time in college, I asked my parents why they didn’t support my music. They told me, sitting on the couch and playing guitar doesn’t deserve encouragement, but if I really go for it, they’d be there for me. Also my sisters. One is crushing the ER out in St. Louis, through insane amounts of dedication and hard work, while my other sister has found success in food/set styling and photography. Check her out @mylavenderblues. And finally Meghan Kramer. She’s always smiling and keeps me in check.
What are your goals for this year and what are you passionate about?
My goals are to keep growing as a human being. To smile every day. To keep waking up in awe of the world and inspired. To stay driven in my creative pursuits of happiness.
I’m hoping this is my year to perform at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
Typically, I wake up with the sun. Grind my coffee beans and make fresh cashew milk. Do a couple cat-cows. Then it is off to the waterfront with my pup Milly. So far, so good. I roll into to take or teach a yoga class and then head to the climbing gym for an hour. When the afternoon hits, I’m practicing my guitar and vocal chops. In the evening, I prep to play music out [live]: two days a week in yoga classes and roughly one to three gigs Wednesday through Saturday. I teach yoga at Asana Soul Practice and Real Hot Yoga and every first and third Wednesday at Departed Soles Brewery in Jersey City. There really aren’t any lows to this career path. When you are truly passionate about what you do, all of it is worth it. Technically, I have not had a boss for 3 years now. And whether it is yoga or music, I get to be in a constant state of playing.
See More: Yoga Studios in Jersey City
What has been the highlight in your career so far?
One cool night in April 2016, I threw a CD release party at the “abandoned” Church of the Holy Innocents. One hundred fifty friends and family came out to celebrate. It was the start of something really beautiful. The constant support from the local community as well as my family is 100% the most rewarding aspect of my path. On a daily basis I get to kick it with like-minded people…and never have to know their job title.
What do you like to do on your days off?
On my days off I love to go hiking. I try my best to get out once a week for a 5+ mile hike with little Milly and my Bonnie, Meghan. If I’m local, I’m usually playing music, doing yoga, or sitting under a tree doing all the above.
What advice would you give to someone trying to pursue your career path?
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. The only way to guarantee failure is to quit. The moments that feel great, are worth the struggle. Realize that there will always be a critic, but if just one person is picking up what you’re putting down, keep going.
Also, if you don’t like what you are doing, find something that drives you. Put your hands in a bunch of things. The whole “mastering” thing is a bit suffocating. Keep a fresh outlook on life by trying new things on a regular basis. When is the last time you have really stepped out of your comfort zone? Even if it’s dancing sober.
Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites
What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?
Karma Kafe. I choose to eat with my hands in public when I can.
What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?
What do you love most about Hoboken?
Hoboken maintains a peacefulness while being a stones throw from the most epic and populated city in the country. That calmness that hits after the first breath getting off the path.
What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?
I love to take it easy around the madness. A nice jaunt down the waterfront, a bike ride to Liberty State Park, and then crushing some Bang Cookies. In the summer, all of the wonderful outdoor events. I wish there was more!
How long have you been in Hoboken?
I am going on my seventh year in Hoboken when I thought I’d never come back to Jersey.
What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken or JC?
The waterfront parks.
What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?
The Gravity Vault and any dumbbell free sources of exercise.
Where do you go out with friends in the area?
Honestly, my going out involves playing or seeing music. In this case, the Fox & Crow, Elysian Café, Grand Vin, FM Bar, Northern Soul, The Hutton, and Low Fidelity to name a few. If it’s not music, the food and vibe at Antique Bakery is really unique.
What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City?
More creatively vegetarian restaurants. We tend to think vegetarian can’t be fun or flavorful. Something like the Garden Cafe in Woodstock, NY would be amazing.
Is there anything else you want to share about yourself?
I will be performing at the Fox & Crow regularly, on the second Thursday of every month from 8:00PM to 10:00PM. Playing a set of original music and a carefully selected set of another’s music. Valentine’s Day will bring the 60’s + 70’s soul of love alive. And at Elysian Café on second Saturdays. Look out for the monthly yoga and live music jamboree with myself and Meghan Kramer at the Antique Loft. Next one is February 21st.
You can check my schedule out at www.hisnamewasjames.com.
Thanks for chatting with us, James! Stay tuned to see who we feature next week <3
What other local guys should we feature? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate someone!