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Named after the renowned American singer and songwriter James Taylor, James TW is an English musician in his own right. James TW, whose full name is James Taylor-Watts, was born in 1997 and is perhaps best known for his breakthrough single, “When You Love Somebody”, which got to an impressive number 28 in the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart after its release in August 2016. Best described as a pop musician, James TW draws on a wide range of inspiration for his music. The artist has told the music press that he finds the likes of John Mayer and Ed Sheeran to be impressive performers who have influenced his style. The singer has also cited the bluesman BB King and soul singer Bill Withers as being early inspirations.
James TW's career milestones
As a child, James TW had an early introduction to professional music. His father played semi-professional guitar for a wedding band and the young musician took an interest, often sitting at the drum kit. When a gig was almost cancelled due to the unavailability of the band's percussionist, James stepped in at the last minute. He was just 10 years of age at the time.
When the young performer turned 12, he started to experiment with the guitar, as well as playing the drums. A year later saw him beginning to learn the keyboard, too. Soon afterwards, James TW began to write and record his own tracks, some of which he uploaded to social media sites, such as YouTube.
Rising into the top 10 of iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart, James TW's first proper release was called Just a Number. He put the work out under his own steam for digital download, in 2014. This ultimately led to him coming to the attention of Shawn Mendes, a Canadian singer and songwriter, who had also first made a name for himself by utilising the power of social media. Mendes' praise for James TW led to executives from his label, Island Records, picking up on the young singer and he was subsequently signed to the same organisation.
In October 2015, James TW put out his debut single for Island; a track entitled “Black & Blue”. A simple acoustic guitar arrangement highlighted the singer's soaring vocal talent. The following spring, the performer released an EP, a six-track collection of songs that included “Torn”, a cover version, and “Naked”, the work's self-penned lead track. The standout song was, however, the aforementioned “When You Love Somebody”. It had a promotional video made for it and went on to be streamed over a hundred million times on Spotify alone. The singer has gone on to tour extensively, often acting in a support capacity for Mendes.
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