Who is IanJames? This has been the question posed by many music enthusiasts after hearing this up and coming young artist perform. Shunning the easy familiarity associated with music genres, IanJames has fused his acoustic sound to combine Funk, Jazz, Folk, Gospel and Soul with a hipster/urban feel to it. His refreshing new sound is reverberating around the northwest as he is quickly becoming a favorite of live music patrons.
In some ways everything you need to know about the 24 year old is in his music. Though his full album has not yet been released, multiple singles and a 5 track EP which has been sold at music venues and will soon be available through iTunes which has kept the singer creating, writing, arranging and recording all of his own music. In recording “Lullaby” Ian tapped into a sensitive, soulful side, creating a track that carries the listener into a near state of ‘Zen’ in which love is epitomized through a lullaby. Popularity among Myspace listeners, the song garnered over 7,000 plays over the course of a 5 month period. With the ability to switch to an up tempo beat, IanJames recorded “Tonight” while singing a smooth melody and chorus line that gets you moving and shaking.
IanJames’ musical diversity can be attributed to his parents. “Growing up my house was always ﬁlled with music, mostly my parents music. They played a lot of the greats… (ie. James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Motown and other classics)” states IanJames. He was introduced to the piano at a young age, but was only taught lessons for a couple years. Finding the teaching to be too slow and rather boring, he skipped lessons and began playing with whatever was on pumping through the speakers, be it a record or the radio. This is how he developed the ability to catch on to music and play by ear. He also asked his father to show him some chords on the guitar. His father obliged and those humble lessons have turned into a lifelong fascination with music and the ability to create sound. While his father nurtured his music ability it was his mother who placed him in Jr. High School choir where he discovered his greatest instrument; his voice. He further honed his skills in numerous church services, band practices and impromptu ‘Jam Sessions’ with musicians of all genres.
Though Ian has shared his gift in many avenues, 2009 has been a year of moving forward. Since winning “Singing In The Square” he has wowed crowds at some of Portland’s premiere open mic nights and became a regular face at one of Portland’s up and coming spots, Candy UltraLounge. With his weekly Wednesday night show entitled “Jam Sessions W/IanJames” and his other performances, IanJames is on his way to becoming a staple sound in the Northwest. His ability to resonate with the crowd and tap into their ‘pulse’ has helped him create a following that is steadily growing.
Because of his commitment to hard work and the dedication to creating great music IanJames is ready to move forward in the music industry. His compelling songs, captivating voice, and charismatic presence are his own best salesmen, and because of this he will continue to impress listeners, fan by fan.
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