A contemporary singer/songwriter with a warm, earnest presence, Gavin James emerged from Ireland with his debut EP in 2012 and was soon signed to Capitol Records. His second full-length release, 2018's Only Ticket Home, went to number two in his home country.
James began playing the guitar at age eight, performing live regularly by his late teens. His first release, the Say Hello EP, was an Internet hit in his homeland in 2012, and the charting title track won Song of the Year from Meteor Choice Music Prize. In 2014, he signed with Capitol and released a full-length live album, Live at Whelans, which featured James performing solo with only an acoustic guitar. It charted in the Netherlands and Ireland, where it hit the Top 20.
In the spring of 2015, James appeared on U.S. television's Dancing with the Stars and issued a four-track EP titled For You. Later that year, he was invited to open for chart-toppers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith on their respective tours, and released singles including "Bitter Pill" from his full-length studio debut of the same name. Essentially a studio version of Live at Whelans with just two new songs, Bitter Pill was released in March of 2016. It reached the Top Five in Ireland and landed on the Americana/Folk Albums chart in the States.
In early 2017, a remix of James' track "I Don't Know Why" by Spanish house DJ Danny Avila became a charting single in Ireland. Weeks later, with James as featured vocalist, the track "Tired" by EDM artist Alan Walker charted in several European countries and hit the dance charts in the U.S. James returned with his second studio album, Only Ticket Home, in 2018. It became his highest-charting release yet when it debuted at number two in Ireland. He issued the holiday EP Winter Songs in 2019, with another EP, Boxes, arriving in 2020. ~ Marcy Donelson