James Ian is a soul singer-songwriter whose music melts his listeners with the quiet intensity of his voice & lyrics. Never loud, never vulgar, the power in his music comes from the sheer depths of his emotion, brought forth with penetrating poignant lyrics & a voice of honesty & unabashed sincerity. Always uplifting & inspirational, his songs capture the spirit of a man who wants to live every moment of life, giving brutal honesty & immediacy to his music. Never letting precious moments pass without due respect, he absorbs every moment, every feeling with fascination, curiosity, & soulful deliberation, all of which spill lusciously into his voice, lyrics & every musical instrument he plays.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 30 - 60 minutes
What to Expect
The J.I. Experience
Soul Artist James Ian is an R&B singer, songwriter, composer whose music melts his listeners with the quiet intensity of his voice and lyrics. Never loud, never vulgar, the power in his music comes from the sheer depths of his emotion, brought forth with penetrating poignant lyrics and a voice of honesty and unabashed sincerity.
Yet remarkably this powerful performer has a muscular disability that sometimes makes it difficult for him even to lift his own guitar. Nonetheless, he is indeed a heavy lifter, a true superman, when it comes to lifting people's spirits! Listening to his music, people's spirits soar as high as a mountain. For his Muscle is in the Music, and all his labor goes into it. It is a Labor of Love, the title of his latest EP.
Once he has a firm hold of his guitar and starts singing, few in his audiences would ever know that he has a disability. Few performers exude such mellow power as this musician. Indeed, any hint of muscular weakness is well hidden by his charm and charisma and soul-singing talent, overshadowed by the power of his message, his humor, his demeanor, and his sheer physical presence.
For James Ian has had a lifetime of experience burying "disability" with artistry and finesse, turning challenges into extraordinary musical accomplishments. Watch James at a concert and you'll see a genius of conquest and confidence, built out of a determination not just to be good at what he does but better, light-years better, than anyone else. It's in his voice, at the studio, on his EPs, in person, and on stage.
His single-minded determination is driven by an appreciation of his mortality and good fortune. The reality that he may one day not be able to walk because of a degenerative neuromuscular condition – Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 3 – gives brutal honesty and immediacy to his music. Just as he may walk slowly, he also moves – emotionally, rhythmically, soulfully – with an insistence never to let precious moments pass without due respect, absorbing every moment, every feeling with fascination, curiosity, and soulful deliberation, all of which spill lusciously into his voice, lyrics and every musical instrument he plays.
Inspired by the R&B hit makers like James Brown, Al Green, Lenny Kravitz, Maxwell, John Legend, and John Mayer, James has created a style of music that mesmerizes audiences. A fan favorite at music festivals and local bars along the west coast as he performs back and forth between San Diego and Los Angeles, James is establishing himself as the future of his genre.
After completing his soul EP, The Labor of Love – a collection of songs that were all written, arranged, sung and recorded by him and for which he played all the instruments – he caught the attention of indie label 8412 Music. Representing James and promoting his remarkable story, they will be releasing his debut album this year.
The songs he writes capture the spirit of a man who wants to live every moment of life. Always uplifting and inspirational, his songs cover life itself. Some are about overcoming challenges and losses, others about romance, but always they reveal a silver lining in the end. Not preachy, they tell their stories with a bit of mystery and a whole lot of soul, using metaphors that make the listener think as well as feel.
Listen to James Ian's Labor of Love and you'll discover a soul-stirring phenomenon driven by a life-long determination to face and conquer challenges with humor and perseverance.
1. The Words
2. But It's Not The Same
3. Consume You
4. Prove You Wrong
5. Talk of the Town
*An option for acoustic covers as well*
Influences & Inspiration
John Legend. John Mayer. Maxwell.
San Diego, CA
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