Hailing from Washington, DC, singer-songwriter and musician James Tillman fell in love with the sound of music at an early age. Exposure to his parents’ extensive album collection, which included everything from Afrika Bambaataa to Joni Mitchell, and solo karaoke concerts with a Fisher Price toy cassette player planted musical seeds within him. A knock out church performance of ‘This Little Light of Mine” at age 9 and learning to play Mozart’s Clarinet concerto by 16 helped those musical seeds to take root and flourish. James’ unwavering desire to become a singer was ignited by iconic artists such as Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and D’Angelo. After discovering that Marvin Gaye was a native Washingtonian, James became further driven to forge his own musical path. Drenched in the tradition of these greats yet also inspired by contemporary producers, James’ sound is rooted in soulful R&B with a modern twist.
In 2010, James realized that a career in accounting was not for him, so he made the decision to leave the University of Virginia and become a voice major at The New School in New York City. His family members were disappointed and some of his friends and advisers thought he was crazy to leave such a great school, but James knew his artistic ability would only flourish if he immersed himself in the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Sacrifice and struggle were recurring themes over the next few years, but through discipline, perseverance, and sheer passion James steadily pursued his craft and began to find his way and mold his sound. In the midst of keeping up with a demanding school load and working multiple jobs to pay rent, James taught himself to play guitar and held music sessions with his friends from school. He received the opportunity to go on tour as a back-up vocalist for NBC’s America’s Got Talent popular contestant, Alice Tan Ridley. Stepping out on his own, James has been steadily creating a fan base. He has performed all around New York City at venues such as: Rockwood Music Hall, Bowery Electric, B. B. King’s Blues Club, Shrine World Music Venue, Drom, Pianos and more.
James released his debut EP, Shangri La, on April 29, 2014, and his begun to catch the ear of music industry. He has been written about by various blogs and publications including Okayplayer.com and Essence Magazine. His music has been played on various radio stations, including KCRW and Gilles Peterson’s BBC 6 radio program. James’ goal with the Shangri La EP is to reacquaint the world with meaningful lyrics and soul music that makes you feel good. This project focuses on the unique elements of love that stir the soul. Based in earnest artistry and love, James is destined to create timeless music. There is no limit for this young talent.
Photo: Ryan Jay-https://www.facebook.com/ryanjayphoto
30th-New York, NY 10pm
EP RELEASE SHOW
1st-New York, NY 12pm
20th- Everywhere 9:00PM
12th- New York, NY 6:30 pm
11th-New York, NY 3:00PM
14th-New York, NY 7:00PM
1st-New York, NY 3:00PM
22nd-New York, NY 9:00PM
23rd-New York, NY 10:00PM
7th-New York, NY 5:00PM
16th-Sao Paulo, BR 11:00PM
24th-New York, NY 6:00PM
SINGLE RELEASE SHOW
23rd-New York, NY
- (Supporting Axton Frick)
16th-New York, NY
- (Supporting Axton Frick)
3rd-New York, NY
- Sapphire Lounge
Giant Step: JAMES TILLMAN & HIS EXCELLENT BRAZILIAN INFUSED SOUL
“Hailing from DC, residing in NYC, and having recorded his upcoming project in Brazil, New School vocal jazz student James Tillman is quickly proving himself to be a force…”
Twisted Soul: Audio: James Tillman- Love Within
April 12, 2014
“Introducing singer-songwriter and musician James Tillman, whose latest single “Love Within” will have you overwhelmed in seconds with its effortless, folk-soul vibe and hushed vocals…”
OKAYPLAYER: First Look Friday: James Tillman’s Got Soul From “Shangri-La” To Brazil [Audio/Video Premiere + Interview]
April 11, 2014
“…Now that Shangri-La is almost ready to meet the world (the 4-track EP hits iTunes on April 29th. For now fans can get updates via James’ facebook page) Okayplayer is extremely proud to premiere both “Love Within” and the inaugural single and video “And Then” in conjunction with this First Look profile. Scroll down to get to know James a little with this introductory conversation and experience the song and video. Meanwhile to get that human connection yourself, catch James on April 30th when he plays an intimate show at Rockwood Stage 3 (60-seat capacity, $8 advance, $10 at the door) to launch the EP release. We recommend you take advantage of the chance while he’s still (mostly) unknown!…”
BamaLoveSoul Presents On Deck 2
February 10, 2014
July 9, 2013
James Tillman Comes From The Heart & Soul With ‘And Then’
July 8, 2013
James Tillman – And Then
April 16, 2013
Soulful R&B Singer
James Tillman Performs for
ESSENCE Magazine’s New & Next Music Series
(New York, New York)—Fresh faced singer-songwriter and musician, James Tillman, graces the web pages of ESSENCE Magazine’s New and Next Music Series.
Equipped with his guitar and melodic voice, James Tillman, showcased snippets of his single “And Then” from his very first EP, Shangri La, expected for release late summer 2013. James gives online viewers the opportunity to get to know him as an artist and invites them along to experience his musical journey.
“I want my music to be soulful and have meaningful lyrics so that people can easily connect with it. I think this element of music has been an afterthought recently, so I hope my music reemphasizes its importance,” says James.
Check out what drives James’ artistry behind the Shangri La EP and watch his performance HERE