Born in Nelson (New Zealand) Graeme James started out playing violin in the Netherlands as a seven year old with the desire to become a classical concert violinist. After his family moved back to New Zealand he pursued this goal throughout high school as well as branching out into folk and celtic music, playing fiddle and singing in his family’s folk band playing local festivals and events. After years of playing in local and national youth orchestras Graeme left secondary school to study to be a Primary School Teacher. It was while he was at university in Palmerston North that he put down the violin and started learning other instruments, the most significant of which being the acoustic guitar which enabled him to start writing and playing his own songs.
In 2010, in a moment of fortuitous impulse buying, he bought a loop pedal which would finally allow him to combine and layer the various instruments he had picked up along the way. After a few weeks of practice he started playing small cafe shows in Palmerston North.
In desperate need of some cash to repair his car while on a New Year holiday in 2012, Graeme hit the streets of Gisborne for his first ever loop pedal busking session and the response from the public was so generous he was back on the road in two days.
A major breakthrough came later that summer in Queenstown, as he would play nightly, busking concerts to crowds of 200-300 people by the lakefront. This started to gather what would become a large, loyal and global fan base. On the recommendation of a fellow street performer Graeme decided to record an album of these quirky covers.
The self-released album Play one we all know was released in 2013 followed by Play one we all know Vol. II in late 2014. The latter was funded through a kickstarter campaign that met its $5000.00 target in 27 hours. Both cover albums have sold thousands of copies while busking on the streets of New Zealand