James Black “I Like This”
man standing in a dark room

James Black “I Like This”

James McManus, known professionally as JAMES BLACK, emerges as a musical maverick at the crossroads of indie pop rock. Hailing from Dallas, TX and currently shaping his sonic identity in the lively Austin music scene, James, in collaboration with co-producer Gordon Raphael (noted for The Strokes’ “Is This It” 2001), unveils the lead single for his upcoming EP – an electrifying preview of his raw and authentic musical expression. Drawing inspiration from icons like David Bowie, Dominic Fike, and The Strokes, James Black’s work exudes dynamic energy, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the indie pop/rock realm. As a solo act, he becomes a beacon of innovation, and consistency to his fans who have grown to love his authentic and unique presentation.

James got his start in Dallas with his high school band, moving on to college in Denton at the University of North Texas where he crafted his solo performances on-stage and fronted his second band, Jamal & The Squids. James dabbled in hip-hop at the time and was a founding member of several rap groups; Homephone, and Suspect being the main groups and releasing several works during this period. More recently, James played bass for local Austin music groups on stage, and entered the Austin music community earning him many essential collaborations with local and regionally known bands such as Floral & Fawna, Moonlight Depot, and Blackhole Bears. A life-long musician with 7 years of experience in sound engineering, James formed partnerships with several acclaimed producers in DFW while honing his skills to become the professional he is today. Writing, performing, and producing the works in the is EP with musical mentorship from Gordon Rapheal, James has become self-sufficient enough to record all works in his home studio. Many songs on this record were written in the past 2 years, however, “Swimming” was a single that James Black wrote 5 years ago and performed live while opening for Brandon Flowers of The Killers.

Beyond crafting catchy tunes, James Black passionately advocates for mental health awareness. His music serves as a powerful vehicle for exploring and understanding the intricacies of mental well-being, offering solace and understanding to those navigating their emotional landscapes. James practices and understands many mediums through which healing is achieved: diet, yoga, creative expression, sound healing, hiking, and building community. With a pronounced style that merges indie pop/rock influences into a captivating sound, James Black’s music becomes a symphony of innovation where creativity knows no limits. His live performances in Austin, coupled with a digital presence rooted in TikTok, resonate with fans both on and off the stage. As he continues to push the boundaries of musical expression, James Black invites listeners to join a movement where indie pop/rock converges with authenticity, taking center stage in his sonic narrative.

-Official bio

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