Already on his way to becoming one of 2015’s international crossover-stories, Gavin James is a 22-year-old artist who grew up in a Dublin suburb. The son of a postman, music was arguably in Gavin’s blood: his maternal great-grandparents were both famous Irish Opera singers. James began playing guitar at age eight. After years of playing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin covers in the garden shed, he joined a band while in his teens and, upon drawing the short straw, was drafted as its singer.
Inspired by local heroes like Damien Rice and classic soul artists such as Sam Cooke, Gavin played marathon three-hour shows at Dublin’s pubs during college, often performing seven nights a week. His original material soon began to draw an impassioned following. James’ very first single won Ireland’s answer to the Mercury – the Choice Prize for Song Of The Year. Say Hello, James’ Irish debut EP, charted for more than six months, leading to a string of sold-out headline dates and supporting tours with such artists as Lianne La Havas, Beth Orton and Marina & The Diamonds.
James’ distinct vocals and impassioned delivery have earned him a rapturous following overseas, and now, his impressive touring stints this year alongside Sam Smith, Tori Kelly and Kodaline have accelerated his fast-growing fanbase. “His unassuming manner and straightforward approach to play was no indication of the kind of voice that would come out of this man: the kind of soul and depth that James produced with just his voice and a single acoustic guitar was on another level,” exclaimed Creative Loafing.