Reuben James is a singer, songwriter and pianist, best known for his ongoing collaborations with Sam Smith. Reuben co-wrote the title track from Smith’s most recent album “The Thrill of it All”, as well as the album’s anthem “Him”.
Reuben began playing piano at the age of 3 and made his professional debut in his early teens with Birmingham soul singer Ruby Turner. He met the late trumpeter Abram Wilson at a workshop by Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines programme (formerly Birmingham Jazz), before studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and joined his quartet.
Reuben won a scholarship to the prestigious Trinity College of Music in London aged 18, before going on to be named Rising Star at the 2014 British Jazz Awards.
Raised on an eclectic mix of jazz, gospel, hip hop and classical music, Reuben’s confident, flowing approach belies his years, and is reflected in the genre defying approach to his musical direction.
Reuben was recruited to join Sam Smith’s band while performing at world famous London venue Ronnie Scott’s, where he now hosts his own night. He later went on to perform with Smith on his world tours and began writing songs for Smith’s album, which has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide and hit Number One in both the UK and the US. Reuben signed with Warner/Chappell in 2018 and has since been working on his own material, exploring the boundaries between jazz and pop. Reuben has been collaborating with artists such as Roy Ayers, Honne, Empire of the Sun, Tom Misch, Bruno Major, CallumScott, Disclosure, Col3trane, Hiraku Utada and Tori Kelly. 2019 has already seen Reuben perform at the Dubai Jazz Festival supporting Alicia Keys, and open for Kamasi Washington on his UK tour. Reuben has also showcased his solo material live on Jamie Cullum’s Radio 2 Jazz Show in anticipation of his forthcoming solo EP.