Future Stars: James TW (Island)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Last week I saw Island’s new singer-songwriter signing James TW supporting Shawn Mendes and it was the best-matched headliner and support I’ve seen in a while. Any one of the 18-year-old Brit’s songs could have been tracks from Shawn’s album. James is quite geeky and posh (the TW stands for Taylor-Watts) and not an obvious heartthrob, but he’s truly talented. He has a strong voice with a lovely tone, and the songs sit precisely where Shawn meets Sheeran. It was a track called Different which really won me over, where he sings about a friend who’s “different in a cool way.” It’s such a teenage way of expressing the sentiment, which I think will appeal to the intended audience. Weirdly it’s the last track on his EP, so I hope this doesn’t mean the label have missed its hit potential. He’s also covers Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn in his live set and EP, a very smart choice as it’s familiar to the teen fans from One Direction’s X Factor performance. Impressively, Torn already has 5 million Spotify plays after just 3 weeks of release, and his single When You Love Someone has a million plays too.

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