James Smith (Virgin EMI Records) is a 21-year-old pop singer-songwriter and guitarist from Essex who is most known from the British public for being a finalist on series 8 of Britains’ Got Talent. He auditioned for the show at barely fifteen years old with a very personal take on Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ – he got four yes-es and praise from all the judges, including Simon Cowell.
James now lives in East London and regularly posts covers on his youtube channel. He released his first EP, ‘Little Love’ in June 2018 and has since then played intimate shows in London, notably at the historic venue The Borderline which announced its permanent closure last year. In April 2019, Smith opened for James TW during his European tour, which got him a little more recognition. On stage, James first comes off as a little shy, making fun of his own songs, but soon gets everyone in the room hooked on his every word.
James plays the guitar and the piano and produces a lot of his songs in his home studio. Off stage, Smith is a really funny and energetic guy who doesn’t take himself seriously, as shown in the youtube videos on the making of his latest EP. ‘An EP By James Smith’ was released on January 24, 2020 on all streaming platforms and physically on vinyl on March 12. This EP includes four tracks: the heartbreaking Hollow, the emotional Rely On Me, a cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright and his latest single, Say You’ll Stay.
James mostly writes love songs, and more specifically songs about heartbreak. This particular EP was written over a two week period after James and his first proper girlfriend broke up. His songs tell heartfelt personal stories and are usually accompanied by an acoustic guitar. James’ soft voice carries you directly into his world and it is very clear that he pours his entire heart into his lyrics as well as his vocals. You can hear that particularly in Rely On Me, he deliberately chooses to keep the natural breaks in his voice so that it sounds more real.
Smith had his first small headline tour late 2019 and was meant to be touring more places in March and April 2020 but the global health situation made that impossible. This is actually a good thing for you since the tour has not been canceled but postponed, which means you can still get tickets to attend it! James Smith will kickstart the tour at the Scala in London on October 6th then will head to Cologne and Munich on October 26th and 27th, followed by Antwerp on the 29th and Amsterdamon the 30th for the final date. Don’t miss it! – Tickets available here.
Post written by Moïra Lilly.