James Davenport (AKA SHINNy) is a former professional boxer and rugby league player. He represented Leeds Rhinos and his hometown club Salford Reds. After rugby, James became a professional boxer and In his final fight, boxed at the MEN Arena on the undercard of the legendary Joe Calzaghe vs Jeff Lacy bout. After his retirement from professional sport, he dedicated more time to his band HANKyPARK who released three albums and supported Manchester legends New Order on four separate occasions. However, during this period he was struggling with drink and drug dependency.
James went into recovery at Smithfield Detox Clinic in Manchester, it was here that he decided to write a song inspired by the times he would struggle at Christmas. He started an online group and used it to promote the song and was surprised by the popularity of the group (over 110,000 members) and went on to complete a training course with Smithfield Detox Clinic to become a mentor.
Last year James released a solo Christmas single ‘Christmas Number 1’ under his nickname ‘SHINNy’. Christmas Number 1 was a huge campaign that was endorsed by countless celebrities including Vic Reeves, Jeremy Kyle, and Will Mellor. SHINNy performed the single at the MEN Arena as part of KEY 103’s festive show. He opened a bill that also featured Robbie Williams, Busted and The Vamps. Interestingly, he is the only person to appear at the venue as both a musician and boxer.
The video for the Christmas Number 1 was produced by renowned film and TV director Chris Green. It was incredibly popular and featured Bez, Tina Malone, Jody Latham and stars from Hollyoaks. Despite receiving limited airplay, the single peaked at number 24 in the run-up to Christmas and twenty percent of the proceeds were donated to MacMillan.
James now uses his online group to promote his music and to host a weekly show dedicated to recovery, anxiety, and depression. Christmas Number 1 will be released again this year (if only half of the online group members download the single, it will out-sell last years effort). On each of the ninety days in the run-up to Christmas, a new celebrity will give their endorsement to the campaign. The promo was kicked off by England striker Jermaine Defoe and has also featured sports stars Adrian Morley and Gary Lineker.
On New Year’s Day, James will release a new single to raise funds for Manchester’s homeless. It is a subject he is extremely passionate about, many members of his group sessions have had first-hand experience of homelessness. He will cover Heroes by David Bowie as part of a North West supergroup. Joy Division legend Peter Hook is one of the musicians that have already confirmed to play on the single. Following on from the success of Christmas Number 1, Chris Green has again agreed to direct the video. The influential online group ‘ l Love Manchester’ are amongst several community organizations that are giving full sponsorship and support to the track.