James Stevens

James Stevens


I believe the value I place on smooth, engaging vocals comes through in my material. Despite having my own unique style, I strive to make each song stand apart from all the others. And now that I have a band the aim of my songwriting is much clearer, and the songs are far more upbeat and rockin'!


James Stevens is a young man from Washington, DC pursuing a burgeoning career as a singer/songwriter. This pursuit began at Yale University, where he was a prominent member of the highly competitive a cappella group The Baker’s Dozen before moving his focus to composing and performing his own music. Senior year saw the release of his band Grove Street’s album “Behind the Smile”, for which he provided the majority of the songwriting and vocals (both lead and back-up), half of the guitar work, and even some percussion. These accomplishments were punctuated by his singer/guitarist/dancer role in “Record”, a student-produced and directed play. The production featured an engaging synthesis of his past musical work, as he performed his Baker’s Dozen solo (“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz-2-Men) as well as a Grove Street song (“Never”).
Since his graduation in the Spring of 2003, James has been even more active on the music front, playing open mics and benefits, releasing his first solo album (“All the Songs I Told My Friends I’d Play”- produced by Michael Sheppard) , and writing an album’s-worth of new material since his last visit to the studio. Major musical influences for this body of work range from Stone Temple Pilots to Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes to Babyface, Boyz-2-Men to Billy Joel. James’ eclectic musical taste has contributed to his unique musical style. However, with all these musical influences, when James is asked to draw a comparison between another musical artist and himself, he simply draws a blank.
Since childhood, James has prepared himself to be a potent creative force, studying voice (including opera), guitar (including classical), piano, drums, violin, cello, and saxophone among others. These creative pursuits have been by no means, limited to music. He has sought to satisfy and enrich his creative drive by studying performing arts such as stage acting and Tango dancing; visual arts such as painting, graphic design, and 3-D animation; and writing media such as playwriting, screenwriting, fiction, and poetry. His fiction is comedic, his poetry is tragic, and his music reflects this duality. His songs are sometimes dark and moody, sometimes romantic and seductive, sometimes witty and sarcastic, but ultimately bring to life the personal tragedy he has overcome and the optimistic outlook he has managed to retain and strengthen through it all.
James’ personal philosophy and his consolation to friends in distress are one and the same: “I’ve been through a lot of experiences that were painful at the time. But I’m happy with my life; There’s always something to be happy about; And if these trying experiences had never occurred, I wouldn’t be enjoying my life as it is now- it would be irrevocably different. I wouldn’t take anything away or bring anyone back. All of this has made me stronger and easily able to cope with issues that were once dismal but now seem trivial. I want my only regret to be that I spent so much time regretting in the past.”


Grove Street- Behind the Smile (full length) 2003

James Stevens- All the Songs I Told My Friends I'd Play (full length) 2004 (tracks 3,7, and 10 featured on Garageband.com)

Oasis Acoustic Vol. V Number 1 (compilation) 2005- Features James Stevens' 'Recollection of a Life'

Whispers From Snowden Crossing (compilation) 2005- Features 'Recollection of a Life' and 'Oceans Apart' (co-written and performed with Raquel Rosser)

Millennium Music Conference 9 (compilation) 2005- Features James Stevens' 'Color'

Set List

My band's typical setlist is comprised of roughly 25% covers.

Over 60 written, ~20 in rotation

Covers (full band) include:
Greenday- She
Incubus- Drive
Tonic- If You Could Only See
Alice in Chains- Got Me Wrong/Man in the Box
Better Than Ezra- Good
Stone Temple Pilots- Plush/Interstate Love Song
Black Crowes- She Talks to Angels
Led Zeppelin- Dancin' Days
Fuel- Shimmer
Silverchair- Tomorrow
Weezer- Say It Ain't So
Sublime- Badfish
Nirvana- About a Girl
Oleander- I Walk Alone
Bad Company- Feel Like Making Love
Spacehog- In the Meantime

Most of the covers mentioned are songs I could play at a minute's notice. Since I've written many songs myself as well as learned many songs other people have written, I'm flexible when it comes to set length.