18-year old British singer-songwriter James TW has signed to Island Records and released today “When You Love Someone,” a powerful debut single and video. Inspired by a real life event, James says he wrote the song when he “was teaching drums to an 11 year old and found out that his parents were getting divorced before he knew about it. The first thing I thought was how are they going to explain it to him in a positive way and one where he would understand. I wrote “When You Love Someone” because I wanted there to be a song that he could listen to which would make him feel better about everything that was going on.”
Also announced today, James will be opening for fellow Island star Shawn Mendes at his sold-out headlining concert at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday, March 5th.
James TW is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano and drums) whose songs demonstrate critical elements of experienced songwriting that resonate with ease. His romantic lyrics offer a distinct point of view, conveying an incomparable wisdom about love, heartbreak and the world around him. Widely appealing but hardly typical, his songs have weight and a sense of staying power that is rare in today’s pop music.
In addition to his original song “Black and Blue,” James’ rose to prominence when his cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” dominated the Spotify Global Viral chart, reaching Top 10 with over 1 million streams. His cover of “Torn” continues to build upon past covers that James has posted on YouTube, which showcase his immense technical aptitude and skills as a multi-instrumentalist.
But James’ story, and his passion for music, really began in a small English village two hours outside of London, where he first began banging away on a drum kit at home. One of his influences for picking up an instrument came from his father, who played guitar in a wedding band as a hobby. One day, the band’s drummer couldn’t make it to a show. “It was either let the ten-year-old play or cancel the gig, “James remembers. “So they let me play and I just fell in love with performing.”
James’ natural gift for music grew exponentially, as he picked up guitar at age 12, and began playing piano the following year. His blues and jazz-infused style began to emerge, a sound that recalls John Mayer and Jamie Cullum, two primary influences. James can also deliver ballads reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s work, another artist who has impacted his music.
James TW speaks with authority and a sense of worldliness that is rare for some one of his age. He cites Bill Withers and B.B. King as inspirations and aims to emulate the vocal nuances of soul music and the guitar riffs of modern blues. A teenager in a business made up mostly of adults, James has a maturity well beyond his years, with the kind of exceptional talent and unrelenting drive that will ensure a long and successful career.