James writes about his musical experience

Performing and writing music is a vocation to me. Having performed in school shows, Harrow Arts Centre gig nights, folk clubs and small rock venues since I was aged ten, I have always viewed music as more of a way of life than anything else.

I started out playing the classical guitar at Cannon Lane Primary School at the age of 8 and progressed to the electric guitar at Nower Hill Secondary School under the most enthusiastic, motivating and encouraging guitar tutor, and mentor, Otis Wolstenholme.

I attended the BRIT School since year 12, which I can confidently say has been the best two years of my life. Being an out of catchment student with a chance of only 1 in 5 places. Having to travel 1 1/2 hours to school everyday did not deter me.

The line between music as a study and music as a hobby has merged into one, I spend a lot of my own time setting up musical projects such as my band Flood (a my previous band – Life of Empire), writing and gigging around London. For the past three years, I have helped setup and run 100 Percent Club, a gig night at Harrow Arts Centre for young musicians. I have performed many gigs from small folk clubs to open air festivals such as Lovebox Festival. At the age of 14, I successfully auditioned for a place on the What’s Next project in London, attending a series of workshops on songwriting and performing, culminating in a performance of original songs at Somerset House on a bill headlined by hip-hop act N-Dubz. This fantastic experience was the inspiration to pursue music as a career.

I have recently returned from Guitar teaching, for a band called The Tones on their UK tour supporting the 1980’s band The Specials. At present I am studying for a BMus degree in Popular Music at Goldsmiths University, London and hope to continue as I started, to pursue a career in music.