Young singer battles serious injury to play Rhythms

A young singer who has used music to help him overcome a serious head injury will make his debut at Rhythms of the World this weekend.

James Christie, 16, from Hitchin, has had to come to terms with blurred and double vision since he was kicked in the head while playing rugby for Kingshott School when he was 12.

Unable to read, James began to teach himself the guitar and piano by ear and his hard work will pay off on Sunday when he performs at the Hitchin festival.

“I am incredibly excited about appearing, it’s really nerve wracking – it’s going to be a big thing.” James said, adding: “Music has been the one thing I have been able to do since the accident and it has kept me going.”

Initially James didn’t sing but was inspired by a chance meeting two years ago when he entered a talent competition in Southwold.

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James’ father, Robin said: “After the competition James was approached by a man who told him that there were many visually impaired musicians and encouraged him to try vocals. We found out afterwards that he was one of Paul McCartney’s producers.”

Since then James has recorded his own material, headlined at Bowes Lyon Centre in Stevenage and was voted runner up in web vote held by Herts Music Service.

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James will perform on the BBC Introducing stage at 1pm.

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