Jay James

Jay James

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X Factor live finalist from 2014, Jay is a former Royal Navy fitness instructor who had already had a record deal prior to the show and released his debut album Play It By Heart through Decca Records in 2012.

The same year, he featured on the song "Fly" by Cinematic, released on Black Butter Records (home to Rudimental, Gorgon City and Clean Bandit).


A matter of years ago Welsh born JAY JAMES had never sung or played a note in his life. Today, Bill Withers, Booker T, Justin Timberlake and John Legend are among the many admirers of his uniquely soulful voice. A voice that was discovered entirely by chance.

After joining the Royal Navy at the tender age of 16, Jay trained and served as an Above Water Warfare Specialist before becoming a Physical Training Instructor, a highly demanding yet respected career move. Jay played representative rugby, football and cricket. His idea of leisure time? 'Going out on the lash with the lads.'€

'My entire life had been about sport,'€ says Jay James, '€œSport and hitting the town with my mates'€. It was one such night, New Year’s Eve in fact, that prompted Jay to make a drunken bet with some fellow sailors as they walked past a music shop in Portsmouth. Five minutes on and thirty pounds later, Jay was walking the streets with an acoustic guitar.

For months it sat unplayed in his living room until a rugby injury on the eve of a big game found him home alone, with his flatmate (and best friend) posted overseas on active duty. Feeling low and awaiting an operation on his ruptured knee cartilage, he googled guitar tutorials and began to teach himself to play.

By the time his flatmate returned from Afghanistan, Jay had learned a handful of songs and started to sing along as well.  His songwriting emerged soon after, when a long relationship with his childhood sweetheart began to fall apart.

Jay James is not the archetypal soul singer. His startling vocal range and power conjures up ghosts of soul legends like Otis Redding, Al Green and Marvin Gaye yet his approach feels refreshingly different.

Having only really discovered music since fate brought him to it just over a matter of years ago, he knew and rarely knows anything of the legends he should. He has no influences, only that of which his head, heart and experience guide him. Whilst performing, that is clear. He creates the moment, his heart fuels the emotion whilst his voice tells the story. He is reminiscent of the 'Old School'€™ yet his honest and stubbornly unaffected naivety puts him in a new class, potentially of his own. You see unlike many others, Jay wasn't born into music, it would seem music was born into him.

With his Musical & Artistic talents starting to attract widespread genuine excitement both in the States and the UK, bloggers are hailing Jay as the '€˜Male'€™ answer to the Grammy Award winning ADELE. Showing honest reflections of an artist and songwriter well before his years, with experience and a clear knack for translating his '€œhard-hitting, fiery heart'€ into song, he is a confident and exciting singer perfect for many events.

After collaborating with mentor Booker T. Jones on the UK debut, In the Summer of 2013 Jay featured on Bookers largely anticipated Stax Records return with Album '€˜Sound The Alarm'€™. The song '€˜Broken Heart' featuring Jay was Booker's first UK single off an Album that featured the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Mayer Hawthorne & Estelle to name a few. The song itself has become Booker's biggest radio hit since '€˜Green Onions'€™, having sat at Number 1 on BBC Radio 2'€˜s A-list for a whooping 5 weeks and remaining play listed at the station for a further 4 weeks. The track according to DJ€™s Chris Evans & Steve Wright has became an 'Instant Classic'€™.

Jay also won a fan of Soul Legend Bill Wither after performing the track at Booker'€™s Album launch '€˜Live at The El Rey Theatre'€™ in Hollywood in June this year! The performance was Televised across America on AXTV.  The song now is expected to become Booker 2nd US single off the Album.

'His voice will make you shudder. Created out of brick dust and tears. His voice is like a smoking gun.  Dangerous, unpredictable and effortlessly powerful. We have just discovered a (welsh) male Amy Winehouse… and he is called Jay James! long may he live! Oh lordy!' - RAW RAMP British Magazine.

Classique has been working with International Artistes from around the world for over 20 years, whether they are ‘A’ list celebrities, Chart Toppers, performers from TV talent shows or Celebrity DJs. Along with our in-house production team, we pull together all the details – dealing with flights, transfers, accommodation and riders for all the major artists and their teams.

As the UK’s No 1 booker of celebrity artists we deal with everything for you and work constantly with management companies throughout the world, where we have built up great relationships and have the latest information about who is available and who would work best for your event.

## Covid update - we are working with a large number of artists and managements throughout the world to be able to bring some incredible performances to your virtual event. Don't miss out on the music and laughter, we can help!! :D

Please contact us for any ideas for your event and we will work with you, always understanding time constraints and budgets.

Unfortunately we are unable to request autographs or personal Meet & Greets (unless part of a Classique event and pre-arranged) and we suggest contacting the artist's own websites or fan sites. Apologies, we are also not able to ask for Video calls / personal birthday requests / free / gratis / charity / reduced fee performances from any of the artists – again please contact your chosen artist through their own websites.
We are however very happy to pass on your thanks to any artist that has appeared at your event arranged and organised by Classique.

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