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.
In 2014, James recorded a rapturously received hometown show at Whelans, a legendary Dublin venue that he used to sneak into when he was underage. The resulting album, Live at Whelans – released by Capitol Records in the U.S. and by GS Believe internationally – climbed to #1 on iTunes in Ireland shortly after the pre-order launched. It included his cover of The Magnetic Fields' classic “The Book of Love,” which reacted across Europe and America and was praised by Clash as “tender, emotional.” Diffuser.FM hailed Live at Whelans as “intriguing…an addictive first tug in what promises to be a lengthy assault on listeners’ heartstrings.” James is the first artist ever to sell out the historic Olympia Theatre in Dublin before releasing a studio album. While writing and recording his forthcoming debut studio album, he had a national TV performance on The Late, Late Show with James Corden and continues to tour Europe and the U.S., including support slots opening this past Spring for Kodaline and Tori Kelly and Sam Smith’s summer 2015 US tour.
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