James studied music at Manchester University and musical theatre at the Royal Academy of Music.

He has appeared in a number of West End and national touring shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, The Woman in White, Man of La Mancha, Chess, No Way to Treat a Lady, Vanity Fair, Killing Rasputin and High Spirits.
Concerts and broadcasts include Last Night of the Christmas Proms, An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, A Celebration (all as baritone soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), concerts at the London Palladium celebrating Jerry Herman and Ian Flemming, the Rocky Horror Celebrity Gala (The Royal Court, London), Festival of Remembrance — RAF Big Band (BBC), Friday Night is Music Night (Radio 2 — concerts such as celebrating the music of Anthony Newley, Lionel Bart and West Side Story 50th Anniversary). He has also sung with Barbara Cook (Donmar Warehouse) and Cleo Laine (Royal Northern College of Music).

As a session singer, James has been involved in numerous film and gaming soundtracks recently including Galavant, The Wrath of The Titans, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Nine, The Phantom of The Opera and the Killzone trilogy. He has provided backing vocals for Joy Division, Bring Me The Horizon, Russell Watson, Il Divo, Michael Ball, Lesley Garrett, Paul Potts, Sarah Brightman, Rhydian, The Graham Norton Show, Britain’s Got Talent, Gilbert O’Sullivan and X Factor.

As a composer and arranger, he has also released an album of original big band/jazz songs entitled Do You Read Me?