After releasing his first music video on YouTube in August of last year, James Bakian has come a long way! No one could have dreamt that by the age of just 14, this young singer-songwriter would already be releasing his second EP “UNSTOPPABLE” of 6 of his original songs. So who is this young teen and how did his musical story begin?
James is a 14 year old singer-songwriter and budding producer. Born in London, he comes from a musical family – both his elder siblings had piano lessons and enjoyed singing as do many others in his wider family so it was natural to expect that music would also be a part of James’ life – though no one thought it would be more than just a hobby. However from an early age his singing and songwriting talent began to emerge and inspired by Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” movie, James wrote his very first song “Oh Baby” when he was just 6 years old! Luckily his father wanted to film him performing it (with his brother helping out with backing vocals) so James’ very first original song is now on youtube!
Soon after that James began to take piano lessons. He progressed very quickly and with a natural talent for rhythm he was also keen to learn the drums, eventually persuading his parents to also let him have drum lessons! Normal childhood interests soon took priority over his songwriting and James became very interested in Minecraft, in making Lego models with his brother and also making short films with his toys on iMovie – something that would end up being quite useful as he now uses this skill to make his music videos! So for a while, though he kept up with his piano and later with the drums too, he didn’t show any more desire to write music. But that all changed when he discovered one of his favourite bands, Maroon 5, at the age of 10! Once again his musical creativity was sparked and he started writing song after song but by now he was also able to accompany himself on the piano as he sang!
By the age of 10 James already had a strong voice so when the chance came to audition for the part of Bert in the musical “Mary Poppins” for his end-of-year school play, James got the part and he caught the performing bug!
Then came the move to secondary school and though he carried on writing music, singing and accompanying himself on the keyboard, for a while the only audience was his family until his school decided to put on a talent show to raise money for charity. Encouraged by his parents and siblings, James entered the contest and sang and played his original song “You Did”.
Though he was only 12 years old and despite the fact that he was competing against students in the higher years, he won first place! From that day the desire to be a singer-songwriter was firmly established.
Propelled by this he went on to record acoustic versions of 4 of his songs in a recording studio and with the help of his brother, made music videos for each song. The next step was uploading them to YouTube to introduce his music to more than just his school friends and family. “You’re Gone” was James’ first YouTube release. And people were very receptive! It was amazing to get such great reactions to his music and the consistently positive response and support he received from his fans inspired him to enter some of his songs into the UK Songwriting Contest last year. His songs “You’re Gone” and “By Your Side” were both Semi-finalists in the competition and “You Did and “There She Is” received Commended Entries!
But writing and singing are not the only musical talents James has – he has recently turned his hand to music production! This has opened up a whole new level of creativity and he has been experimenting with other genres too including a bit of jazz. James has performed at a few gigs during the last year but he would love to start doing more live performances so it’s great that nowadays live streams on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms, enable him to perform live and engage with his fans all over the world. It’s going to be so exciting to follow James on his musical journey and see where it takes him and with the continued support of his family, friends and fans, the sky’s the limit!
Follow James on these sites:
Buy his second EP on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/unstoppable-ep/1318735228
Article by: Remko de Keijzer