James is a Lecturer in Popular Music and Media in the Department of Creative Arts at Edge Hill University. He has previously lectured in popular music, media, and performance at the University of Liverpool and the University of Northampton. Funded by the School of the Arts at the University of Liverpool and the National University of Ireland (NUI), where he became a Travelling Scholar in Music in 2016, his doctoral thesis explored the relationship between hip hop music and the narrative film soundscape in New Black Realism, independent Black American cinema of the 1990s. His research and teaching interests sit at the intersections of popular music and audiovisual media generally and he has published on such topics on both sides of the Atlantic. His current research explores the role and possibilities of popular music in video game soundtracks. James is also a performer and band leader and has worked extensively with popular music ensembles and groups in both capacities, particularly in the Republic of Ireland. James is currently an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).