Artwork | Ilaina Lowe
Described as having “a distinctive approach to storytelling” and whose music has “a thoroughgoing disregard for genre” (Pinkwafer.club), Millicent B James is an award-winning composer, arranger, performer and artist who combines gospel, jazz cinematic and afro-futurism to create a myriad of sonorities in her music.
Millicent has been commissioned by the BBC to arrange three pieces for BBC Radio 2’s Piano Room with Lemar. She conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra at the BBC Maida Vale Studios in London. She recently performed her new commission “Come Show Them the River” with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, where it received high praise from the Guardian and the Telegraph, resulting in a 4-star review from both.
In 2017, Millicent received a scholarship to study Music Composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she graduated with a First-Class Bachelor of Music with Honours Degree and was awarded the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Composition Prize in 2021. She received tuition from prominent composers such as Errollyn Wallen, Andrew Toovey, Joe Cutler, Trish Clowes and Richard Ayres and has collaborated with musicians such as Xhosa Cole, Germa Adan, NAMYWA and Wildforms. Her music has since been commissioned by BCMG, the CBSO, Sister Music, NMC Recordings, Spitalfields Music Festival and NYCGB.
As a multi-faceted musician, Millicent continues to perform her compositions and performs with her band based in Birmingham, UK. Millicent has always been interested in her Jamaican family heritage, her origin story, the depths of the human imagination (evidenced by the works of Japanese Animator Hayao Miyazaki - Studio Ghibli), African Mythology as well as Cultural Anthropology which continue to inspire her. Moyo, Vol. 1 (2020) & Moyo, Vol. 2 (2021) are self-released EPs which highlight these interests.