Meet Ian James
Ian James has been described as the musical love-child of Michael Jackson and James Taylor. The first time you hear him play you will be going back for more. His soulful voice is amazing and his energy is uplifting. While living in Portland, Oregon I got to see Ian perform a handful of times. Ian and our mutual friend Patrick performed an amazing cover of The Cure’s “Love Song” (in the style of Adele) at my wedding when I married my husband. I got to catch up with Ian and find out more about the man behind the amazing voice.
Who is Ian James?
Honestly, I’m just a kid from Portland, Oregon who fell in love with music at an early age thanks to my mother and father. Whether it be from listening to my parent’s collection of music or hearing them sing and play instruments themselves, it was clear that music was going to be a part of my life forever. Now in my 30's, I have had many wonderful opportunities and memories thanks to that passion and love for music. I am a fan first, but I am blessed to make a living from performing and singing. It may not be full time, but the simple fact that someone is willing to spend their hard earned dollar to hear me sing a song is one of the most humbling things I have ever experienced and I am forever grateful for that opportunity. Every..Single..Day!
When did you first pick up a guitar?
I first started playing the guitar around 7th grade. I was around 12 years old at the time. I initially started on piano earlier on, but got bored with “HAVING” to play what was on the paper. That and I was a little kid so…ha! When time came for me to want to start up with the guitar my father asked if I would like to take lessons. Reverting back to my experience with the piano, I quickly said NO. From that point on I have been basically self-taught.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Too many to name, so I’ll go with what I like to call my “Musical Mt. Rushmore”. James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Craig Carothers. The other artist(s) that I would add to that list (seeing that Mt. Rushmore only has four figures) would EASILY be Boyz ll Men.
Have you ever thought of auditioning for the Voice?
I have in fact auditioned for The Voice. Twice! In my experience it seemed to boil down to one major thing. Do I have a back story worth telling the world? Do I have heartache, struggle, and pain? There are many artists who deserve to be heard AND to be heard on a GRAND stage. I do believe I am one of those artists, but TV Producers/Executives think differently. Please understand that I am not complaining about my experiences, as everyone’s may be different. I am blessed to have been raised in a solid, loving home and to have my health. I would love recognition for my craft, as EVERYBODY does in one way or another, but if I do not hear it from particular people it will NEVER keep me from being who I am and singing my ass off for the pure joy that music brings me.
Where is Ian headed next? What’s on the agenda?
To Bend, Oregon…ha! I am headed on the same path I have always been on. I am out there singing for people and for myself, in hopes that I get to a point where I can fully support not just me, but a family in the future. Do I want a Grammy, to sell out stadiums across the world? Well I’d be a fool (and you’d know I was lying) if I said NO, but the reality is that I fell in love with music before I even knew what a Grammy was. As for my agenda… I have wanted to put together a collection of 5 EPs, each with a selection of MY favorite songs by my “Musical Mt. Rushmore”.