A young singer-songwriter booked for his first headline gig in Huddersfield has decided to do it for a charity close to his heart.

And James Leslie has just released his debut single with three more to follow over the coming months.

The 20-year-old from Almondbury is to headline at The Parish in Huddersfield town centre on Friday, March 22, to raise money for the Ella Dawson Foundation which was set up in memory of 24-year-old Ella from Slaithwaite who passed away from a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer in July 2021.

Although Ella received outstanding clinical and medical care following her diagnosis, she noticed there was a great need for psychological, physical, wellbeing, nutritional and social support.

So she set out to create a blueprint of how young adults aged 18 to 30 with cancer could be better supported holistically and this work has been carried on by the foundation.

James said: “I did some gigs for the foundation before so when I was offered my first headliner I really wanted to help the charity which is doing some amazing work for people my age who are suffering from cancer.”

James recently played at the foundation’s charity ball at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds on February 24.

Ella’s mum, Jane, who is a founder and trustee for the charity, said James was the natural choice after wowing the crowds at the Ella Dawson Foundation Music, Arts and Wellbeing Festival last summer.

She said: “James’ performance was exceptional and was such a hit with our 700 festival guests that when we were looking for someone to welcome our guests to our annual charity ball James was the first name on our list.”

The event, attended by 200 guests, raised more than £23,000 for the Ella Dawson Foundation.

Jane added: “James is an excellent musician and performer. We cannot wait to work with him again in the future.”

James’ debut single, Euphoria, has just been released on music platforms Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud with another single to follow on the first Friday of every month for the following three months which will add up to his first four-track EP.

Euphoria is a late night pop love song about the feelings you go through when seeing that special someone in your life.

April’s track will be called Out Of Space, a pop rock song urging people to be upbeat about themselves. May’s track is the melodic and slow Thank God For The Night and was inspired by James getting a sensational view of Leeds city centre at night.

The final track in June has been co-written by James and his friend Jake Darnill and is called Caving. It has a punk rock vibe about the rapid way the world is changing around us and to not cave in to it.

You can find the music by putting ‘James Leslie’ into search for all the music platforms and James will also have direct links on his Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook.

James got his first break when legendary Town manager Neil Warnock asked him to play at his farewell to the club after hearing him play outside the John Smith’s Stadium and James stunned the audience at Huddersfield Town Hall with his musical ability.

He only picked a guitar up for the first time during the pandemic lockdown encouraged by oldest brother Callum, taught himself to play it watching YouTube videos and is now gigging several times a week.

One of the biggest coming up will be another headline show, this time at The Garrison music venue in Barnsley on Saturday, March 30.

James is also playing several venues in Huddersfield and Manchester in March and to see the full line-up plus links to all his social media go to https://linktr.ee/jameslesliemusic

To book James go through his Instagram which is James_leslie_music, email musicbyjamesleslie@gmail.com or go through the Real Live Music agency on Facebook.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.