Born in Lagos, Nigeria to an Australian mother and an English father, James' family migrated to Australia in the early 60's, settling in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula area. Leaving law school to study drama at the Victorian College of the Arts, James' musical career initially took hold in the early 80's when he and some friends formed the band Australian Crawl.
With his prolific songwriting and unique vocal style, James led Australian Crawl to the top of the Australian music scene. The band's popularity skyrocketed with all of their albums achieving top 5 status, winning numerous band, music and video awards, while James won hurrahs for the best male vocalist for 3 consecutive years. He also won acclaim as a songwriter - the song "Reckless" earning him a place in the league of homegrown greats.
Australian Crawl achieved a success that assured them a place in Australian music history.
After the band split in 1986, James spent some time in the United States and Europe, returning to Australia in 1988. His first self-titled solo album went triple platinum and included three top 10 singles. In the following years James released twomore solo albums, "Hard Reyne" and "Electric Digger Dandy", which effortlessly mirrored the success of the first.
Being somewhat beguiled by the experience of working in an ensemble, James joined country music star James Blundell and recorded the classic Dingoes song "Way Out West" which exploded into the number 1 position on the Australian charts. He next joined compadres Daryl Braithwaite, Jef Scott and Simon Hussey on the unique and very successful album "The Company Of Strangers", from which four top 10 singles were hewn.
James then returned to Los Angeles to record with renowned producer Stewart Levine, arriving back in 1995 with the critically acclaimed CD "The Whiff Of Bedlam".
In 1999 James recorded and released the CD "Design For Living" with friends and brothers Scott and Brett Kingman. Arguably the most critically applauded album of his career, it further cemented his position as a unique, witty, thoughtful and challenging songwriter and singer.
Throughout his career James has appeared in several and varied theatrical, film and television productions and concert events, the more visible of these including "Return To Eden", "Tina; What's Love Got To Do With It?", television drama "State Coroner" and "The Little Shop Of Horrors".
2004 saw the release "Speedboats For Breakfast" an album of original material.
February 2005 brings the release of "AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON ". Under the umbrella of the Liberation Acoustic Series James makes a crisp, cohesive whole of Australian Crawl's '80s, his platinum solo '90s and beyond. Recorded fast with occasional input from Scott, Brett and Tracy Kingman, the 15 outstanding performances include a pair of overlooked gems from James' critically acclaimed masterpiece of '99, Design For Living. Stranger Than Fiction and Reno are songs that confirm a talent in constant evolution.