James Graham

Piano / Hammond / Wurlitzer

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16 Reviews (2 Verified)
James Graham on SoundBetter

I'm a professional keyboardist, musical director and songwriter. I have my own studio set up and can provide high quality stems quickly and easily. My songs have over 4 million streams to date and my keyboard work appears on Jay-Z's Grammy award nominated 4:44, Kungz - 'I Feel So Bad', Ephemerals - 'You'll Never See Me Cry' among many others.

I work regularly with Defend Music and Bucks Publishing and I'm used to producing pitches to a deadline.

​I've been internationally touring as a Hammond, Wurlitzer and Piano player for nearly a decade with soul group Hannah Williams and the Affirmations, of which I am the musical director and songwriter. Our collaboration on Jay-Z's title track 4:44 was nominated for two Grammy's. We've performed alongside David Byrne, Anderson Paak, Charles Bradley, Pete Rock and Sharon Jones.

My set up includes an upright piano, a Hammond B200/ Hammond M102, a Wurlitzer 206A, and two state of the art Nord keyboards (Nord Stage 3/ Nord Electro 5d). Through my endorsement with Aston Microphones I have access to a wide range of high quality microphones, which I run through LogicPro X.

How it works:

Simply get in touch providing a downloadable link to your track. Provide me with a brief, this can either be a description of what you want played or a guide track. References are always useful too.

What I offer:

KEYBOARDS
Piano (Recorded with two Aston Starlights, two Aston spirits and a room mic)
Hammond Organ (Tone-wheel M102 or Transistor B200)
Wurlitzer (DI'd and/or into a Fender Deluxe Valve Amp)

SONGWRITING
Lyrics and Melody
Harmonic Structure

MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch :)

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

16 Reviews

Endorse James Graham
  1. Review by Kristopher M.
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    Had some work performed by James and was very impressed with the final product. James is extremely professional and courteous. Work was performed very quickly. Prices are reasonable and the service is top-notch. I would highly recommend to others!

  2. Review by Theo H.
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    James was great to work with, enthusiastic, efficient and put a lot of effort into recording a part in a variety of different ways - all at a very reasonable price. Recommended!

  3. Review by Johannes Riedel
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    James is a real talent and has a very good knowledge of song structure, arrangement and got the feeling to put the right chord into the right place. To work with him is always a pleasure and i highly recommend his calm nature in every situation!

  4. Review by Sabrina De Mitri
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    James is such a talented and humble musician, composer and human being. I could say that he is a proper Artist, because when he plays he creates magic, He turns sounds into colours, shapes and goosebumps. :-D, transcending the reality, and guiding you into his musical journey.
    I feel so honoured and blessed for having played with him and shared moments of my life with this magical soulful creature.

  5. Review by Joel Williams
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    James is an extremely talented and professional musician, all the more he is an aboslute pleasure to work with.

  6. Review by James Cameron
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    James is one of the most talented pianists and keyboard players we have worked with. He has incredibly high standards and always plays what is right for the song. He has played organ on a number of our releases and he brings flair and precision to all his parts. He can really lift a track with his ideas and that is what counts!

  7. Review by Pete McGillan
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    James is a passionate and highly talented musician, writer and performer - and a lovely chap, to boot. His involvement made my music so much better, and I learned a lot from working with him. Also has a great understanding of many styles/genres and is very versatile. Highly recommended.

  8. Review by Hannah Williams
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    Anything James touches turns to gold. He is the best musician I’ve ever worked with and I am honoured to be by his side so often. He is delightful to work with, extraordinarily versatile and somehow maintains a rare balance of confidence and selflessness. I would recommend him to anyone.

  9. Review by Thierry Lemaitre
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    It is always a pleasure to work with James. He is such a complete, tasteful and talented musician. His positive energy always creates a beautiful and solid interplay in studio and especially on stage. He is also an empathetic, passionate and open-minded person - definitely the guy you want to work with!

  10. Review by Ruthroyall@googlemail.com
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    James is an extremely professional musician both live and in the studio. Not only is he a fantastic musician, he is also a very skilled songwriter and arranger.

  11. Review by Kanan Keeney
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    Absolutely fantastic performer and musical director, very highly recommended!

  12. Review by Cameron
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    Always reliable to create something special to any track/style that has been thrown at him..would fully recommend and will no doubt use again in the future!

  13. Review by Jim W
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    Was looking for some authentic vintage sounds and so glad I found James and his amazing collection of organs! The valve amp he recorded the wurlitzer through sounded AMAZING! He's your man for any 60s sounds you're looking for.

  14. Review by Sophie
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    James is a highly skilled and gifted pianist. He was easy to communicate with and understood my brief well. Would definitely recommend him and I look forward to working with him again.

  15. Review by Carl N
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    James did an awesome job with our music. He really knows what he's doing, the whole process was really smooth and I'm chuffed with the end result.

  16. Review by Alba Allan Torriset
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    James was very quick to respond and has provide some amazing piano recordings for my music. He was very professional and knew exactly what the song needed. My music now sounds better because of his input. I have total faith in his composing and creativity and I can't wait to work with him again.

Interview with James Graham

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I've been musical director and chief songwriter for Hannah Williams & The Affirmations for 7 years. I'm proud of this project because we started as a local Bristol based band, and went on to headline Montreal Jazz Festival, Blue Note in Tokyo and Ronnie Scott's. Some of my fondest memories are with this band.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: A solo piano album and the third Hannah Williams & The Affirmations record.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: Ruth Royall

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Analog. It will give your music character.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: Authenticity.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: The freedom to be creative.

  13. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  14. A: Be clear about what your vision is for your track. The more information the better.

  15. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  16. A: A good piano would be all I need.

  17. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  18. A: It's always been music. Whilst studying music at Leeds I landed a residency performing regularly with a UK based agency called Genre Music. This gave me a regular income before graduating, which put me in good stead to start my career. That was 11 years ago.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: Always soulful.

  21. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  22. A: Be bold.

  23. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  24. A: In my role as Musical Director and songwriter for Hannah Williams & the Affirmations, it's predominantly soul music. My piano music is predominantly classical.

  25. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  26. A: I have played the piano from the age of seven, and have a naturally good ear. This lead me to compose and improvise from a young age.

  27. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  28. A: The unique offering of authentic instrumentation. Many industry standard, state of the art keyboards provide samples of Pianos, Organs and Electric Pianos. I provide the real thing. I also have decades of experience writing, touring and recording internationally with these instruments.

  29. Q: What's your typical work process?

  30. A: Listen thoroughly. Think holistically. Record professionally.

  31. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  32. A: My set up includes an upright piano, a Hammond B200/ Hammond M102, a Wurlitzer 206A, and two state of the art Nord keyboards (Nord Stage 3/ Nord Electro 5d). Through my endorsement with Aston Microphones I have access to a wide range of high quality microphones, which I run through LogicPro X.

  33. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  34. A: Brittany Howard, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Radiohead, Debussy.

  35. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  36. A: Recording authentic keyboard instruments. Specifically Piano, Hammond Organ, and Wurlitzer.

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GenresSounds Like
  • Brittany Howard
  • Laura Mvula
  • Michael Kiwanuka
Gear Highlights
  • Hammond B200
  • Hammond M102
  • Wurlitzer
  • Upright Piano
  • Nord Stage 3
More Photos