Q&A: Sam James, the Worcester guy from ‘The Voice’

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Sam James walked away from a major record label for one reason: to bet on himself.

The gamble has begun to pay off.

James’ independent five-track EP “It Never Happens” quickly reached near the top of the iTunes Charts and in the weeks since has gained traction starting in Worcester, extending across New England and — thanks in large part to his reality show following — the country.

“It Never Happens” was released Oct. 6, and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart that day.

As if Oct. 6 couldn’t get any better, James’ song “Hand Me the Crown” was featured during the CBS Thursday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.

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The first single off the EP, “Love Hangover,” was released Sept. 30.

James, originally from Worcester, is a graduate of Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, and now lives in Sturbridge with his girlfriend, Noelle Merle, and their 6-month-old son, Crosby.

He gained national attention in 2012 when he performed on NBC’s singing competition “The Voice”. James recently finished touring with rock band Boyce Avenue on the East Coast and in Canada.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, James joined a group from Worcester’s Hangover Pub on The Way of Life Tour, a charity event featuring live music from James and Doug Woolverton from Roomful of Blues, a comedy performance by Paul Virzi, tattoo artist Opie Ortiz, and an exclusive meal from the Hangover Pub’s executive chef Michael Arrastia.

James took time away from his busy tour schedule to speak with Worcester Sun to explain why he felt he had to bet on himself, and the role the city of Worcester plays in his success. He shares his experience with the ups and downs of the recording industry, and tells us how soon we can expect the release of his full album and a concert in Worcester.


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