Kahan James was born and raised in Houston, TX, and holds a BA in Dramatic Art from The University of California at Berkeley, where he also studied linguistics and philosophy with George Lakoff, John Searle, and John McWhorter.
Mr. James was mentored in his teens at Houston’s Sunrise Sound Studios in the fundamentals of songwriting and arranging, electronic music production, and 24-track tape recording. He has produced music internationally for solo artists, bands, filmmakers, theater productions, and activists. His productions have been featured in the Twentieth Century Fox film Knight And Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; the horror film House Of The Witch Doctor starring Bill Moseley; Fox web series Slacker P.I.; a variety of other independent, short and experimental films; and in theater on both coasts.
His producing career flourished in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood during the decade from 2008 to 2017 when, as frontman and producer of the band The Bright Room in Bushwick’s late-aughts exploding underground music scene, fellow artists increasingly turned to him for help with their recordings.
Mr. James was also a professional actor for 15 years in New York City. In addition to appearing in recurring, lead, and featured roles for HBO, Showtime, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, The CW, The WB, and USA, including performances on Billions, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Unforgettable, Gossip Girl, White Collar, Royal Pains, Running Wilde, Damages, Standoff, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Law & Order, and The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, and in several films including Hitch starring Will Smith and Every Day starring Liev Schrieber, he also assistant-directed the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in 2003, starring Ashley Judd, Ned Beatty, Jason Patric, and Margot Martindale, and directed by Tony Award-winner Anthony Page. He co-wrote and co-directed the independent feature film Forever, which won “Best New Feature” in the Deep Ellum Film Festival in Dallas, TX, in 2001, and for which he also wrote and produced the original soundtrack. His original two-act play The Standing Wave was entered into Stages Repertory Theater’s Annual Festival Of New Plays in 2000 under the mentorship of American playwright Edward Albee, where it won 2nd Place and went on to receive an acclaimed production in Houston.
Language and communication have been lifelong passions of Mr. James’. As a student he founded a poetry club for his high school, and his training and experience in performance have lent a unique perspective in working with recording artists in the studio. He relocated to Los Angeles in 2018 with his wife, who is an industrial designer, and his cat, who is fat and cute.