Introducing Graeme James

NZ musician Graeme James tours the east coast of Australia January, 2018. NZ musician Graeme James tours the east coast of Australia January, 2018.

Kiwi songwriter Graeme James has had a powerful past 12 months.

In the wake of his chart-climbing album 'News From Nowhere', which saw him play many high profile NZ shows alongside the likes of Tash Sultana, he sparked label interest from Nettwerk Music Group (The Paper Kites, Boy & Bear and Passenger).

Signing with the label in May 2017, Graeme released his first single 'Wish You Well' and followed up with a national tour of his home country.

Ahead of 5 shows on the east coast of Australia this month, Graeme reveals some insights into his music and a request to pat a dog. Sweetness.

Who is Graeme James...
I am a musician from NZ who started out busking with a loop pedal in 2012 while sleeping in my car and have progressively worked my way into actual venues and more reasonable accommodation.

I sound like…
Someone looping electric violin, guitar, bass, mandolin, baritone ukulele, beatbox and percussion. Something like a cross between Tash Sultana and The Lumineers.

My first gig was...
Busking on Cuba Street in Wellington, NZ.

When did you settle on your artist name…
I couldn’t come up with a cool artist name, so I settled on my own name.

In the studio I usually…
Get far too caffeinated and disappear down creative rabbit holes that use all the studio budget.

If I could tour with anyone…
Glen Hansard, The Lumineers, The Paper Kites, Wilco.

Social media is...
A real blessing as an indie artist, as it allows me to connect with my audience. It also has the potential to be a massive time waster and to eat away at your enjoyment of the moment. My compromise is that I don't have any personal social media accounts.

My favourite app at the moment is...
It’s the absence of an app actually. A couple of months ago I deleted the internet browser off my phone and reclaimed 65 per cent of my time.

Life on the road can be…
Pretty great actually, as long as you’re organised and get some sleep every now and then. You meet some really special people along the way.

If you'll have me on your bill, all I ask is that my rider contains...
A dog to pat.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band...
David Attenborough, for obvious reasons.

Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party...
Donald Trump x3 just to see what would happen.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
I would delegate this task to my wife who is a food genius and she would probably cook you the best Mexican you’ve ever had outside Mexico.

No matter the expense, send me a case of…
Garage Project craft beer from Wellington.

The last time I saw the inside of a gym was...
Through the window at a hotel in Auckland.

What's the one chore you dislike the most?
Folding clothes.

Do you have any phobias...
I have a mild fear of sharks when I’m out surfing, which is kind of dumb 'cause there are basically zero shark attacks in New Zealand (at least compared to Australia!).

Graeme James Tour Dates

Fri 12 Jan - Wesley Anne (Melbourne)
Wed 17 Jan - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Fri 19 Jan - NightQuarter (Gold Coast)
Sat 20 Jan - Solbar (Sunshine Coast)
Thu 25 Jan - Brighton Up Bar (Sydney)


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South Australia

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New South Wales

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