About James Sanger
James Sanger is credited with over 67 million record sales worldwide as an artist, an artist developer, song-writer, producer, programmer, engineer, instrumentalist or mixer. His work has won 4 Brit awards, 18 Grammys and 2 Ivor Novello awards, 17 Top 10 Albums, 11 Top 5 Albums and 5 Top 5 singles so far…
Not only has James worked for some of the most respected and established artists of this generation, but he has also helped establish the ‘sound’ and ‘sonic identities’ of many major-league acts.
James' client list includes:
U2, Madonna, Dido, Phil Collins, Manic Street Preachers, Kylie Minogue, Mel C, Brian Eno, Keane, Sinead O'Connor, The Cardigans, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Alex James (Blur), The Pet Shop Boys, Joe Satriani, Siobhan Donaghy, Bryan Adams, KD Lang, Annie Lennox, The Cure, Faithless, Jimmy Somerville, Mumiy Troll, Suede, Lorien, S Club 7, Mytown, Sheena Easton, The Appletons, Liam Howlett (Prodigy), Liam Gallagher (Oasis), The Cooper Temple Clause, A1, Ultra, Lene Marlin, Kym Marsh (Hear’say), Joey Tempest (Europe), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Billy Steinberg, Rick Knowels, Squeezebox, Noa, Boy George (Culture Club), Rob Dougan (The Matrix)…and many more.
The Nitty Gritty
James Sanger signed his ﬁrst record deal in 1993, with techno label Triumph Records under the artist name Skyark. The music released as a 12 inch single it was classed as Goa Trance, Techno Ambient and the label was printed in the wrong speed, printed as 45 rpm when it was supposed be 33.1/3, it didn't seem to matter much as his song ‘When It Rains It Pours’ was included on Techno Ambient Volume 2 on Fairway Records in 1994.
Later in 1994 James signed a record deal with IndoChina Records who released his song ‘Dex Shalini’ as a 12 inch single.
Also in 1994 James signed a management deal with David Enthoven and Tim Clark at I.E. music.
In 1995 James signed a multi album deal to Echo Records and Chrysalis Music Publishing and released music from the sub label Hansome Records. The recording
advance allowed him to buy more equipment and move to a studio in Whitechapel, London E1.
In 1995 James released a 12 inch EP on Hansome Records under the artist name Arc Angel including the songs ‘Look Anna, I’m A Guitar Hero’, ‘Beamy’ and ‘African Snow’ The music was Electronic, Trance, Ambient and was played many times by Annie Nightingale’s BBC Radio One show The Chill Out Zone.
Annie Nightingale was very supportive of James’ music. Then in 1996 James released a 12 inch single in Hansome Records under the artist name Arc Angel including the song ‘Spikey Message.’ The song was play-listed on daytime on the ‘B’ list on BBC Radio One receiving great airplay.
The press release said:
‘ARC ANGEL releases the single ‘Spikey Message’ (‘the jolliest, happiest, most cheerful protest song ever written’ - The Tip Sheet) on May 6th. The song’s message is summed up by James Sanger aka Arc Angel - “Whether by dancing or by protesting, we retain the right to peaceful assembly and protest” Arc Angel’s previous EP ‘Look Anna I’m A Guitar Hero!’ has had Annie Nightingale proclaiming him as ‘The rising star of the Chill Out Zone’ Giving him weekly radio play for 3 months. He writes in mirror writing; can decipher & emulate most English bird songs (stop sniggering); likes to do press shots wearing an alien mask & when he grows up he wants to be an eco-terrorist.
James persuaded the record company to spend entire record company advertising budget (3k UK pounds) of ‘Spikey Message’ on a special latex alien suit for use in a publicity stunt involving parading a 7 foot alien in front of Bournemouth’s CCTV system at 3 am thus prompting the police to arrive to investigate. The story received national TV coverage and lots of press inches in the normal press as well as Music and DJ magazines, and to date has got more than 10 million plays on youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npM-tWbyyiI)
The story has been broadcast by CBS satellite TV show ‘Caught In The Act’ In 1997 James under the artist name The Arc In The Sky collaborated with Alex Azery in Frankfurt and released music on EastWest Records. The long ambient track called ‘The Clash Of The Scales’ was used on early European satellite TV station Space Night that broadcast nightly footage of the earth from space, the track clocked up incredible airplay royalties, as it was played nightly many times. In 2001 The track was included on a DVD-video ‘Aural Float - Space Night - Best Of Earthviews’ released by General Electric Music.
In 1998 James was approached by Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) and asked to contribute his trippy programming on Bryan’s album ‘Frantic’. While working for Bryan James met and subsequently worked for Brian Eno.
Later in 1998 Brian Eno asked James to help him set up parts of his London studio and contribute programming and music technology assistance. James acquired an even deeper understanding of synths and sounds under Brian Eno's tutoring and Brian gave James all his old EMS. V.C.S.3 Putney patches.
James spent 18 months assisting Brian on many of his studio projects. Also in 1998 James started working with Rollo Armstrong in his London studio, working on Faithless’s hit album ‘Sunday 8pm’ signed to Cheeky Records/ BMG.
In 1999 the album was one of twelve albums to make the shortlist for the Mercury Prize. The album got to #10 in the UK Album Charts.
During this period James also worked with Boy George on ‘Why Go’ and worked with Rob Dougan (his song Clubbed To Death was used in the ﬁlm The Matrix).
In 1999 James was asked to work with Pet Shop Boys and worked with them on several songs including ‘I Don't Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore’ and Serge Gainsbourg's song ‘Je T’aime Mois Non Plus’
In 1998/1999 James started working with Rick Nowels writer producer (Lana Del Ray, Adele, Marina and The Diamond,Madonna, Sia, Dido, Stevie Nicks).
During 1999 James developed and programmed the award-winning hit song ‘Northern Star’ with Mel C (Spice Girls) working from both London and Los Angeles - helping deﬁne the sound of Mel C's album ‘Northern Star’. . The album sold 9,000,000 copies in the UK and 4 million worldwide making it the biggest selling solo Spice Girl record. The album sold double platinum and went to #4 in the UK Album Charts.
In 1999 James also worked on sessions for Madonna, KD Lang, Sinead O'Connor, Belinda Carlisle, Bryan Adams, and Gabrielle.
In 1998/1999 James developed and programmed the Dido tracks ‘Here With Me’, ‘Hunter’ and ‘All That You Want’ off the multi-platinum, ‘No Angel’ working for Clive Davis and Rick Nowels.
The album ‘No Angel’ won Dido the Best Album category at the 2002 BRIT Awards, where Dido also won the Best British Female Artist award. The album was also nominated for a Grammy and became the biggest selling album of 2001 with over 14 million copies sold worldwide. The single ‘Here With Me’ went to #4 in the UK Singles Chart. The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts.
In 2000 James went to Israel to work with Mike Hedges on well known Israeli artist Noa on the album ‘Blue Touches Blue’
In 2000 James worked on the S Club 7 album ‘7’ including the single ‘Reach’ which went to #2 in the UK Singles Chart. In February 2000 the group won the Best British Breakthrough Act award at the 2000 BRIT Awards. The album was released 12 June 2000 and went triple-platinum.The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts
In 2001 James worked with producer Mark Wallis for Cooking Vinyl Records on Australian artist Paul Kelly's single ‘Somewhere In The City’ which James co-produced and programmed.
In 2001 James worked with producer Mark Wallis for V2 Records on The Vegas Tones album ‘Love Hotel’. In 2001 James worked with the indie band Lorien on their ingle ‘Ghostlost’ for Instant Karma Records.
In 2001 James discovered, developed and produced the band Keane. He spent six months with the band co-writing, recording and producing the album ‘Hopes And Fears’, helping to secure a deal with Island Records.
The record topped the UK album charts upon release, was the best selling British album of 2004, and has since gone eight times platinum. It returned to the top of the charts after winning a Brit award for Best Album in February 2005. With 6 million copies sold worldwide, it has been ranked the 16th biggest-selling album of the millennium. The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts.
In 2001/2002 James was approached by Phil Collins and worked on his critically acclaimed album ‘Testify’ in Switzerland and France where it reached #2 on the album chart. The album was recorded over a number of months in a Chateau on Lake Geneva.
In 2002 James worked with Mike Hedges on A1 gold selling album ‘Make It Good’ The album went to #15 in the UK Album Charts and #4 in the Norwegian Album Charts. James work included the single ‘Caught In The Middle’ which went to #2 in the UK Singles Chart. The album went to #15 in the UK Album Charts.
In 2002 James did additional production on Alice Martineau song ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ on Epic Records.
In 2002 James worked with British alternative rock band The Cooper Temple Clause debut album including the single ‘Who Needs Enemies’ which went to #27 in the UK Albums Chart.
In 2002 James worked for Polydor Records on the duo Appleton's single ‘Fantasy’ which went #2 UK Singles Chart and ‘Don’t Worry’ with went to #5 in the UK Singles Chart. The acts was formed by Nicole and Natalie Appleton who were both in the hit multi-platinum act All Saints. During the work on the music James was assisted in the studio by Liam Howlet from The Prodigy and Liam Gallagher from Oasis who were going out with the Appleton sisters at the time.
Also in 2002 Dido won 'Best British Album' at the much coveted Brit Awards and 'Best British Female' and S Club 7 won Best New Single that James worked on with Ash Howes.
In 2003 James worked with Atomic Kitten on platinum selling album ‘Ladies Night’ which went to #5 UK Album Charts.
In 2003 James programmed for Dido's second album ‘Life For Rent’ This time for Mike Hedges (Travis, Texas, The Beautiful South, The Cure, Souxsie & The Banshees, U2). Dido’s album ‘Life For Rent’ is the fastest selling album by a female artist and was nominated for Best British Album at the 2004 Brit awards and ‘White Flag’ which James programmed, was awarded the 2004 Ivor Norvello in the category International Hit of the Year’. The album sold 12 million copies worldwide. The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts.
During 1998, 1999, and 2000 James worked with Mike Hedges on the U2 album ‘All That You Can't Leave Behind’ which sold over 12 million copies, and was critically acclaimed, with the band winning Seven Grammy awards. In 2003, the album was ranked number 139 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts.
In 2003 James worked with Lene Marlin on her single ‘You Weren’t There’ for Virgin Records. Lene Marlin was nominated for Best International Breakthrough act at the 2001 BRIT awards.The album ‘Another Day’ released on 24th September 2003 went to #1 in the Norwegian Album Charts.
In 2003 James worked on Melanie C’s second album ‘Reason’. The album went to #5 in the UK Album Chart.
In 2003 James worked on former Hear’say member Kym Marsh’s song ‘Come On Over’ for Island Records. The single went to #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
In 2004 James worked with Mike Hedges and Brian Eno on the U2 album ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ (2004) which won all Eight Grammy awards for which they were nominated. The album also sold over 9 million copies.The album went to #1 in the UK Album Charts.
James also co-wrote ‘Patterns of my life’ with Annie Lennox on her ‘best of’ album ‘The Annie Lennox Collection’.
In 2006 James was asked by Simon Williams of Fierce Panda Records (Coldplay, Keane, Death Cab For Cutie, The Polyphonic Spree) to develop the then unknown band My Architects. James signed them to a development deal and spent 6 months writing, developing and producing with the band.
Also in 2006 James was asked by producer Rick Barraclough to do programming for the newly discovered Jack Savoretti for his album ‘Between The Minds’ released in 2007. The album charted at #5 in the UK Indie Charts.
In 2007 James approached Siobhan Donaghy of U.K. hit group The Sugababes with a new development idea which James had for her. At this stage Siobhan was not recording having left the band. James pitched an idea of a new artistic direction to Siobhan and her management CMO (Ultravox, The Gorillaz, Blur, Elastica, Morcheeba, Thin Lizzy, Jesus and Mary Chain, Grace Jones) James’s idea was accepted by CMO and Siobhan and so James and Siobhan started an 18 month collaboration. With just the ﬁrst 5 demo tracks Siobhan and CMO were able to secure an album deal with Parlophone Records who then ﬁnanced the completion of the record.
On release Siobhan and James’s album, ‘Ghosts’ achieved critical acclaim and got to number 2 in the iTunes charts. However due to unfortunate bad timing the release of the record coincided with the hostile takeover of EMI group by the waste disposal magnate Guy Hands ﬁnanced by Citibank. In James’s opinion this caused a crisis of leadership in the whole EMI group of companies, including Parlophone Records.
In 2009 James signed the Brighton band Rubylux. During a six month development,
co-writing and production period James and the band created a record that then signed to BMG in 2010. Following Rubylux’s signing to BMG the band toured extensively in Australia and Asia in later 2010 and in March 2011 toured the U.K.
In 2012 James developed , co-wrote and produced an album with Felix Pallas who won the 'Red Bull Bedroom Jam’ Award in 2013. The band are currently touring the UK and Europe.
Also in 2012 James co-produced the album ‘Vladivostok’ with the well known Russian band, Mumiy Troll.
2013 saw the start of work with Nicki Rubchenko and the creation and development of the band Jelly-Halo, as well as developing, co-writing and producing an album with hit Peruvian artist Edward Patris.
In 2013 Island Records released a ‘Best Of Keane’ compilation album. The album went to #10 in the UK Album Charts.
2014 / 2015 saw work with artists including Joni Fuller, Christin Salem, Yoji Munuo. Including co-writing and producing Yoji Munuo’s EP ‘OceanGovern SunshineRule’.
2014 James developed, co -wrote and produced an album with UK artist Kid Feather.
In 2014 the Genesis album ‘R-Kive’ was released including the Phil Collins song ‘Wake Up Call’ that was programmed in Geneva by James. The album went to #7 in the UK Albums Chart.
In 2016 James developed, co-wrote and produced an album with up and coming American artist Julia Grayling.
In 2016 James started co-writing with the band Demons of Ruby Mae managed by Push Music Management. So far the band and James have written around 20 songs which have been recorded in Manchester for a forthcoming album.
In 2016 James developed, co-wrote and produced an album with talented multiinstrumentalist American artist Dick Aven, under act name The Fool I Am. The record genre is psychedelic, prog-folk, Americana.
Also in 2016 James signed a management, development, co-write and production deal with Sacriﬁce and Bliss. We have created an EP and have attacked the support of Youth (Martin Glover) who has done two remixes for the band. The band have gigged around the UK and toured with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.
Later in 2016 James developed, co-wrote and produced an album with up and coming American artist Victoria Celestine, who he was able to get signed to Yellow Brick Road Music (Right Said Fred, Glen Matlock, Affairs, Garbage). Victoria will be debuting her music on a main stage at SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas in 2017 and released a music video in April 2017 for the Victoria Celestine song ‘Carrying On'.
Late in 2016 James signed a development, co-write and production deal with Georgina Moffat, the actress from TV show ‘Skins’ and in 2017 Georgina and James started writing a mini album of songs which have begun to secure the interest of several record companies.
In May 2017 James formed a production company with long term friend and colleague Paul Kilmister (son of Lemmy from Motörhead) The new company incorporated under the name SangMister Music will be looking for international bands and artists both established and emerging to manage, develop and produce.
Interesting James facts:
James was in Berlin chipping away at the Berlin Wall when the Berlin wall came down in November 1989 and was in ‘Freedom Square’ in Kiev, Ukraine during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
James is descended from the father of famous circus impresario Lord George Sanger who created the biggest circus in the world.
7/11 Nation Interview
Info and interview with James by the great 7/11 music magazine.
Art Pop Interview
Fun and informative interview by the reknowned Art Pop website.
About the Studio
Check out photos, gear-lists and learn more about the Studio
Hear what a few industry giants have to say about James