James Tillman
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James Tillman

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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ESSENCE.com's "New and Next" column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know. This week we meet James Tillman, a soulful singer and songwriter.

Soulful crooner James Tillman makes the kind of love "songs that people can relate to outside a party setting." It's no wonder the Washingon DC-bred, New York City-based singer cites the likes of Marvin Gaye and Maxwell among his musical icons.

"You don't want to go home and listen to something that you don't really connect to, he adds"

Tillman is currently working on his debut EP. Watch him perform "And Then" and let us know what you think. - ESSENCE Magazine

Usually when a Soundcloud music message notification appears in my inbox I automatically delete it without listening. The only thing that’s usually there is some tranced out tune, a dark brooding goth track or a half finished demo that’s not worth listening to at the moment. Yesterday I decided to check out the msg notification and I’m glad I did.
Enter the sound of James Tillman. Not only did I press play, I pressed it few times to enjoy the movement of the track and how the brother uses his voice – I soaked it in. The brother’s sound is fantastic!
“Currently, James is working on his first EP, Shangri La, slated for release late summer 2013. 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.” - BamaLoveSoul.com


Still working on that hot first release.



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 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.


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