Bio. Matt James
- OrginSunshine Coast, Australia
Matt began his career as a musician, by teaching himself guitar at the age of 18. Three years later on his 21st birthday Matt was given a didgeridoo and bongos. Igniting the passion within, Matt devoted endless hours to practicing and mastering his own unique style of playing.
The following year Matt formed Soul Prism, a three-piece band consisting of fellow band members Chris Lane (a.k.a ‘Nelson’) and Rodger Bradshaw.
Matt (guitar, didge & vocals), Nelson (saxophone & flute) and Rodger (percussion) gigged at various venues from Mooloolaba to Noosa, including a residency at the Sunshine Coast hot spot, The Beach Chalet.
Soul Prism’s sound was soon to grow from acoustic funk/folk, into a powerful acid jazz/funk/hip hop, seven-piece band with added members Tony Potter (bass), Shannon Carroll (guitar) Scott Lynch (drums), and Judith Swaney (vocals and percussion).
In 1995 Soul Prism won dual awards for best album and best single (‘Funky Weazel’) at the “Queensland Sunny Awards”.
Later that same year Soul Prism’s original 3 piece members Matt, Nelson and Rodger reunited in the studio, this time under the name Tribal Trance. The birth of the album “Didgin’ in the Dirt”, produced a powerfully raw and earthy tone that attracted a solid fan base, and landed them gigs at the Woodford Folk Festival.
The second album “Deep in Didge” recorded a year later, saw the inclusion of new band member Penny Lane, with Renee Bradshaw joining the band in `98 before recording the third album “Minjahra”.
Matt’s status as a musician gained momentum in 1998, when a national tour with renowned Composer Tony O’Connor included a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Matt would play on three of Tony’s albums – Windjana, Awakenings, and Tony O’Connor Live at the Sydney Opera House.
In 1999 Tribal Trance divided, creating individual bands and thus beginning Matt’s solo career for the next ten years as a multi-instrumentalist.
By 2000 Matt released his first album as a solo artist “Evolution”, winning best single for ‘Jakawako’ at the Queensland Sunny Awards.
In 2002 Matt performed at Australia Zoo for the Australia Day celebration.
It was there he captured Steve Irwin’s attention, gaining residency for the next five years.
Over this time, Matt produced another two albums, Transporta (2004) and Live at Australia Zoo (2006). Since leaving the Zoo, Matt has toured the U.S.A, played festivals in Canada, and extensively toured the east coast of Australia.
A distribution deal with One World Music was gained in 2008 for his fourth-solo album Futurizms.
In 2009, Matt met fellow musician and soon to be wife Lauren Cox, through mutual musician friends.
By 2012 they wrote and released an ambient album titled “Rejuvenation”, and began performing the following year at various events, markets and festivals on the east coast of Australia.
2014 saw the release of their second follow up album as a duo, “Tranquility”.
Two years later, “Tribal Groove” was formed with the inclusion of band member Matt Aitchison (“Favourite Son”, and former original band member of “Oka”). Their debut release “Dreamtime” hit the airways with a bang, landing festival gigs with their “housey dance” tracks and a fast growing fan base.
Matt’s music is featured in documentaries, film scores, surfing movies, musicals, promotional work, TV commercials, dance studios and corporate entertainment.