Unsigned Pianist Lands Dream Job
It’s the chance of a lifetime for the Midlands’ very own Piano Man – after he was picked to perform before music legend Billy Joel when the star appears in Birmingham.
Unsigned James Sayer, 25, will play an hour-long set at the LG Arena after being spotted on YouTube by entertainment agency The Artist Network.
The blues musician, who grew up in Halesowen, started playing the piano aged just two and learned the guitar and saxophone before starting to sing three years ago.
He was chosen from hundreds of rivals all desperate for the chance to perform on the LG Arena’s forum stage before Joel appears on the main stage on November 8.
“I love Billy Joel and watched him twice in 2007 at the LG,” said James, who named Elton John, Jools Holland and The Beatles among his other influences.
“It’s going to be really exciting to perform to so many people with my band backing me. We’ll be doing a mixture of covers and original material so there should be something for everyone.”
James was a pupil at Windsor High School in Halesowen before heading to Leeds College of Music in 2006.
He has performed at venues around the world, including America and Australia, and is currently recording with Grammy-nominated producer Alan Glass, from New Orleans.
James, who described his music as a mix of blues, country, soul and gospel, will also appear at the Jam House in the Jewellery Quarter on November 16, and has live gigs and festivals lined up throughout next year.
“My main aim is to get signed and have people enjoy my music,” he said.
“I have some original material coming out later this year and I want to play live all the time.
“My plan is to have a long career in music playing to music lovers all around the world.”