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James Poyser

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Information about James Poyser

Profile image of James Poyser

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter
Producer
Musician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
The Beach
Favorite Quote:
God Bless You.

Birthplace

Born:
1/30/1967
Birth Location:
Sheffield,

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Songwriter
Producer
Musician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
The Beach
Favorite Quote:
God Bless You.

Birthplace

Born:
1/30/1967
Birth Location:
Sheffield
See how James Poyser is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Songwriter, producer and musician James Jason Poyser was born in Sheffield, England in 1967 to Jamaican parents Reverend Felix and Lilith Poyser. Poyser’s family moved to West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when he was nine years old and he discovered his musical talents in the church. Poyser attended Philadelphia Public Schools and graduated from Temple University with his B.S. degree in finance.

Upon graduation, Poyser apprenticed with the songwriting/producing duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Poyser then established the Axis Music Group with his partners, Vikter Duplaix and Chauncey Childs. He became a founding member of the musical collective Soulquarians and went on to write and produce songs for various legendary and award-winning artists including Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Common, Anthony Hamilton, D'Angelo, The Roots, and Keyshia Cole. He was credited as writer/producer for multiple songs on Erykah Badu’s debut album, Baduizm; has writer, producer and musician credits on Lauryn Hill’s multiple Grammy-winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; was a musician on Adele’s acclaimed album, 21; and served as executive co-producer and writer on Al Green’s Lay it Down. He was also the executive producer on Badu's highly celebrated albums, Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground.

He is an active session musician and has contributed to the works of other artists such as Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray and Femi Kuti. In addition, Poyser has toured, and played live as a keyboardist with Jay-Z, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Aretha Franklin, among others. He is a regular member of The Roots, and has joined them on stage as the houseband for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and subsequently The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Poyser’s awards include a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2003 for co-writing Erykah Badu and Common's hit “Love Of My Life.”

He resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James Poyser was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2014.

See how James Poyser is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Poyser's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Poyser lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Poyser describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Poyser talks about his parents' early relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Poyser describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Poyser lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Poyser recalls his family's immigration to England and the United States, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Poyser describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Poyser recalls his family's immigration to England and the United States, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Poyser talks about his father's church in Sheffield, England
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Poyser recalls his education in Great Britain
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Poyser describes his early personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - James Poyser remembers moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - James Poyser recalls his father founding New Testament Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - James Poyser talks about adjusting to life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes his exposure to American television
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his parents' decision to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls his time at Add B. Anderson Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers family holidays during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his early education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about his early exposure to playing music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls his responsibilities during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Poyser talks about his parents' careers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes his high school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Poyser talks about the Philadelphia based organization MOVE
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Poyser recalls the violence in his childhood community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - James Poyser remembers studying chemical engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - James Poyser recalls learning to play the piano
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes the differences between playing drums and piano
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his first exposure to secular music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers the music scene at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls meeting DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about touring with CeCe Peniston
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls co-founding Axis Music Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers learning music production from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Poyser remembers learning music production from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes his breakthrough work on the 'Baduizm' album
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his creative process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls co-writing songs with Erykah Badu
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers his first paycheck after producing the 'Baduizm' album
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his relationship with The Roots
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about the Soulquarians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls producing music with D'Angelo
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers Common's relationship with Erykah Badu
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes J Dilla's influence on contemporary music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes Frankie Knuckles' music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about the evolution of Questlove's stage name
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls performing on The Voodoo World Tour
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers his major projects in 2000
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls producing the 'Mama's Gun' album
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about Common's and Erykah Badu's break up
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls producing the song 'Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers Jill Scott's involvement with A Touch of Jazz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Poyser recalls producing music with Lauryn Hill
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Poyser remembers working with Mary J. Blige
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Poyser recalls difficult recording sessions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Poyser talks about changes in the music industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers the birth of his son, Jadyn Poyser
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls joining The Roots on the 'Late Show with David Letterman'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Poyser describes the challenges of playing in a house band
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Poyser talks about his future plans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Poyser describes his musical influences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Poyser talks about the appropriation of neo soul music by foreign artists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Poyser reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Poyser reflects upon the legacies of the artists he's known
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Poyser reflects upon his legacy