This much I know: In conversation with Gavin James

Gavin James gives Hilary Fennell a glimpse inside his life and head.

I see myself as very lucky.

I’m especially lucky to have the people that are surrounding me, as we all share the same goals.

I always wanted to do something in music but I was never sure what it was until I started to write songs myself. By the time I hit about 15 I knew that writing and performing music was all that I wanted to do so I gigged relentlessly for years which was a lot of fun, and I’m still doing it now.

I didn’t have firm plans to do anything else other than pursue a career in music. I never had a plan B really, because I thought that if I did so it would take my mind away from plan A which has always been music from the start. But If I hadn’t made it as a performer I would probably have become a teacher.

I’m from a musical family background as my parents brought me up listening to everything really from Cat Stevens to Frank Sinatra. My sister is a gospel singer and my brother is amazing at finding new artists before anyone else knows about them. So we are a very musical family.

Growing up, I was a very shy child. I only really came out of my shell half way through secondary school.

My earliest memory is of playing with Lego by the fire in Manor Street at Christmas when I was about three or four, while my brother and sister made a snowman outside.

The best advice I ever received was from my grandad who once told me to ‘never walk off stage to the sound of your own footsteps’.

The trait I most admire in other people is kindness.

My main fault is a fondness for Diet Coke. And I’m a terrible texter.

My idea of happiness is waking up in the morning as excited or more excited than I was the day before.

This much I know: In conversation with Gavin James

My idea of misery is watching Balamory on a loop forever

If I could be reborn as someone else for a day I’d like to be Frank Sinatra.

If money was not an issue for me I’d simply continue to be happy.

If I could change one thing in our society, I’d like to see true equality for everyone.

I see myself as being pretty disciplined. If I’m going to go out, I always pick my nights very carefully and make sure that there is nothing important that needs to be done on the following day. There are always exceptions to that rule though.

Man’s most useful invention has to be sliced bread.

If I could pass on one piece of advice about life to the next generation it would be not to worry too much and to try and hug the people you meet (it’s stress relieving). I’m also rubbish at handshakes.

Learning to play the piano is the one thing I didn’t learn in school, that I really wish I had.

My greatest fear is definitely a fear of heights.

I’m an owl, not a lark. I’m a night person all right.

I believe in life after death if you get turned into a tree. You could really ‘branch’ out then.

The biggest challenge in life so far has been the music game. It’s tough but a lot of fun too.

So far life has taught me that just being nice can get you a long way. Also, you never know what other people are going through so you should never judge, and never hold a grudge.

Gavin James recently launched the Bord na Móna Hearth Sessions, a series of intimate fireside gigs. Bord na Móna has uncovered the best Irish pubs with cosy fires and hosted a Hearth Session with them alongside some of Ireland’s finest musical talent. Find out more at

Gavin James plays Dublin’s 3Arena on December 9


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