James Nagel is an artist apart from other singer/songwriters. His voice will warm your soul while his earthy tunes will grab hold of your spirit, keeping you begging for more. His sound is heavily influenced by timeless greats, and it artistically blends old-school rock and roll with contemporary, zesty pop. This down-to-earth Bay Area native has an unparalleled passion and drive that is not going unnoticed in today’s music industry. President of Songwriter’s Resource Network and Writer/Producer Steve Cahill (Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Billy Joel) hails James as, “easily one of the most talented young songwriters around today. His work resonates with insight, emotional complexity and creative passion. James is an artist who impresses on every level.”
Within moments of the 2011 debut of his record, Soul Company, this soul crooner has managed to place his single “Baby Just Come On Back” on San Francisco’s KFOG radio, become a winner for Best Pop Song in the international Great American Song Contest for his infectious track “Watching From An Airplane”, and perform and tour over sixty calendar dates throughout the 2011 year. Some of these dates even included performing live on the KFOG Morning Show as well as opening up for 3-Time Grammy award winner Shawn Colvin at the infamous State Theater in Modesto California. These achievements only help the fire within James burn brighter and stronger, propelling him towards a future that holds unlimited potential. “Everything I’ve ever done I’ve had to work hard at,” says James, “not a whole lot has really come easy for me. I’m always setting the bar higher for myself. Settling is just not in my nature.”
James took up the drums at age eleven and plays a multitude of instruments including guitar, bass, mandolin, accordion, and piano. In every recording (which by the way, James also independently engineers and produces) he can be heard performing several of the instruments himself as well as singing many of his own background harmonies. This Do-It-Yourselfer’s approach to music was instilled in him by many of his mentors throughout his time spent as a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. James credits the instruction and inspiration of musical giants such as Casey Scheuerell (Gino Vanelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Chaka Khan), Charlie Sorrento (Aretha Franklin), Dick Lowell (Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Buddy Rich), and Henry Gaffney (Roberta Flack, The Four Tops, Judy Collins, Glen Campbell) for helping him hone his craft and steer him in the right direction musically.
Today the music industry seems to ebb and flow with nervous uncertainty, but where some may see a flickering flame striving to stay alive; James can see an ocean of endless opportunities. He holds knowledge and depth of not just music, but also the business behind it. Talents and skills coupled with a refreshingly centered personality no doubt make James Nagel a rare gem among the masses.
“Up-and-comer Nagel is full of soul power and revels in the vibrancy of song.”
– Performer Magazine, 2011
(Read the full review here.)
"As a recent Great American Song Contest award-winner, James Nagel is easily one of the most talented young songwriters around today. His work resonates with insight, emotional complexity and creative passion. He is an artist who impresses on every level."
– Writer/Producer Steve Cahill
(Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Billy Joel)
“James Nagel's got soul! You can't help but grow to love this bay area singer/songwriter!"
– Renee Richardson, DJ
(San Francisco’s KFOG Radio)
James' 2011 Debut CD makes the front cover of Disc Maker's Magazine! (June 2011)