James Harker

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BIO: James Harker

James was raised in Sheffield, England, and first began cultivating his musical interests participating in his school concert band and big band as a bassist. Meanwhile, he took home vinyls of Peter Gabriel, early Elton John, Robert Fripp, Talking Heads and Paul Simon, and began producing his own home-made albums on the side. Within time, he began showcasing his songs on the school stage, performing “interpretive dance” to his under-rehearsed rock numbers in front of bewildered peers and teachers, and running the gauntlet of early-morning assembly performances.

At the University of York, James became involved in the university’s drama and musical theatre scene, performing in everything from Ayckbourne to Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, and risking arrest for indecent exposure in front of nearly 2,000 people in 'The Full Monty'. However, it was James’s performance as the title role in 'TONY! The Blair Musical' at the Edinburgh Festival that truly stuck; and, after sell-out performances at two consecutive festivals, the shadow of Tony Blair became hard to shake. The play recently secured itself in posterity, in the Telegraph’s piece ‘Five Great Political Plays’. At university, James also started collaborating with student filmmakers, and nurturing a passion for film music.

After graduation, James began pursuing a music career, starting work on his debut album, 'The Red Room' – a much more personal endeavor than any of his preceding home-made efforts – written and produced under the influence of Nick Cave, Duke Special, Neil Hannon, Noel Coward, Nick Drake, Antony and the Johnsons, Kate Bush, and a host of others, and produced on next-to-no budget. A solemn but whimsical twelve-song record, it collects together the flotsam and jetsam of broken love and fading youth. During this time, James has also continued to score music for short films, and has acted in a number of shows, including an hour-long comic monologue called ‘Simon Says’ on the off-West End stage, which won him a Spotlight Emerging Artists Award for best actor, and in a black comedy short as a bowler-hatted-gentleman-serial-killer. James is currently living in London, collaborating with independent filmmakers and writing for his second album.

What they are saying!

“Delicate, soaring pop" - Indiestore panel of music journalists, including NME and Rolling Stone

“A smooth voice reminiscent of The Divine Comedy ... A name to look out for" – Britmag

“Providing enough physical presence to make the audience ripple with excitement every time he is on stage" - Broadway Baby

“Truly excellent" - The Scotsman


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