Iain James

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Iain James Farquharson, more commonly known as Iain James or Sparx, is a British singer, songwriter and vocal producer from Bristol, but based in London. He started as part of the British boyband Triple 8 in 2003 as their lead singer and known as Sparx. He left after the band had two Top 10 hits and was replaced by Stewart Macintosh in 2005.

He has written a number of songs recorded by a great number of singing artists, plus writing many songs for reality television contestants from UK, Europe and Asia, and on three occasions for Eurovision Song Contest songs, including co-writing the winning song for Azerbaijan "Running Scared" by Ell & Nikki in 2011.

Triple 8[edit]

He was the lead singer of UK boy band Triple 8 (888) signed to Polydor records.[1] He was known by his nickname "Sparx". The group had two successful singles: "Knockout" and "Give Me A Reason", which charted at numbers 8 and 9 respectively in the UK Singles Chart. The group parted company with their record label in 2004, leaving their album, Heavy W8, unreleased. Iain James Farquharson left in 2004, to be replaced as lead singer in 2005 by a new member Stewart Macintosh. before breaking up by the end of 2005.

Writing & Production[edit]

After Triple 8, he concentrated on music writing and production. He has written for artists as diverse as Westlife, Professor Green,[1] Emeli Sandé, Craig David,[1] Taio Cruz, The Vamps, Anne-Marie, and Korean boyband TVXQ (aka Tohoshinki). He has also written for successful acts from reality television competitions, including Little Mix,[2] One Direction,[1] Olly Murs and Leona Lewis.

He co-wrote British number one "Read All About It" by Professor Green featuring Emeli Sandé, as well as Sandé's own version of the song which appears on her two million selling album Our Version of Events, which broke a record set by the Beatles for longest unimpeded spell in the UK top 10.

Very notably, he wrote several songs on the album of Little Mix, the first ever British girlgroup whose album went straight into the top 5 in the US, including the UK Number 1 "Wings" and the critically lauded third place song "DNA".He wrote songs on their second album Salute, which did not match DNA commercially, but was a critical success, and followed its predecessor in charting in the UK top 5 and US top 10 (it would have repeated DNA's fourth placing if compilations were not included in the US albums chart). He wrote the album's song Little Me with Little Mix and TMS. For the group's third album Get Weird; Iain co-wrote the singles "Love Me Like You" and "Hair" feat. Sean Paul. The group's most recent album Glory Days features the single "Shout Out To My Ex", also co-written by James.

He is also a vocal producer and has recorded many artists including Little Mix, Ella Henderson, One Direction and Pixie Lott.


James co-wrote the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 winning song "Running Scared" by Ell & Nikki,[1][3] who were the first male-female duo to win the song contest since 1963. They were also the first Azeris to win the contest, winning in Düsseldorf in May 2011.

James also co-wrote the Belgian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013, "Love Kills" by Roberto Bellarosa, which placed 12th, and the British entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, "My Last Breath" by James Newman.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Kelli Young, formerly of pop group Liberty X.[citation needed]


Year Title Artist Album Credits
2007 Officially Yours Craig David Trust Me Co-Writer
2008 You're My Idol Donnie Klang Just A Rolling Stone Co-Writer
Wrong Number TVXQ MIROTIC - The 4th Album Co-Writer
2010 Did I? Diagram Of The Heart N/A Co-Writer
2011 Build You A House Timothy James Make It Happen Co-Writer
The Sound Of Swing ft. Aloe Blacc The Kenneth Bager Experience The Sound Of... Co-Writer
Fell In Love With A Song Blush Make You Blush Co-Writer
Second Last Chance The Overtones Good Ol' Fashioned Love (Platinum Edition) Co-Writer
Running Scared Ell & Nikki N/A Co-Writer
Na Na Na One Direction Up All Night Co-Writer
Read All About It feat. Emeli Sandé Professor Green At Your Inconvenience Co-Writer
World In Our Hands Taio Cruz Ty.O Co-Writer
Hush Little Baby feat. Ed Sheeran Wretch 32 Black & White Co-Writer
Walking On Water Matt Cardle Letters Co-Writer
2012 Wings Little Mix DNA Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Going Nowhere
Make You Believe
Stereo Soldier
Always Be Together Vocal Producer
Read All About It (Part III) Emeli Sandé Our Version Of Events Co-Writer
Hand On Heart Olly Murs Right Place Right Time Co-Writer
Overtime feat. Ghetts Clement Marfo & The Frontline N/A Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
I Need You feat. Jagga TMS N/A Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
2013 Heartless A*M*E N/A Co-Writer
Beethoven Union J Union J Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Stereotype Samsaya Bombay Calling Co-Writer
Summer Rain Chris Medina What Are Words Co-Writer
Little Me Little Mix Salute Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
A Different Beat
See Me Now
They Just Don't Know You
Mr Loverboy Vocal Producer
Love Kills Roberto Bellarosa Ma Voie Co-Writer
Just The Way You Love Me Shane Filan You & Me Co-Writer
One More Sleep Leona Lewis Christmas, With Love Co-Writer
Going Under Michael Paynter Weary Love Co-Writer
2014 Nothing Without You Olly Murs Never Been Better Co-Writer
The First Time Ella Henderson Chapter One Vocal Producer
Give Your Heart Away
2015 Left Out LEGEND N/A Co-Writer
She Ain't Me Sinead Harnett N/A Co-Writer
Cry For Help HomeTown HomeTown Co-Writer
Me 4 U OMI Me 4 U Co-Writer
Trouble Major Myjah Trouble Co-Writer
Start Again Ben Haenow Ben Haenow Co-Writer
Breakfast Fleur East Love, Sax and Flashbacks Co-Writer
Love Me Like You Little Mix Get Weird Co-Writer
The Fall Markus Feehily Fire Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
2016 Gets No Better (2.0) feat. Serayah Empire Cast Empire: Original Soundtrack Season 2 Co-Writer
Hair feat. Sean Paul Little Mix Get Weird Co-Writer
Shout Out To My Ex Glory Days Co-Writer
Beep Beep Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait Nathan Sykes Unfinished Business Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Hurt Anymore Samantha Jade & Cyrus TBA Co-Writer
2017 Unpredictable Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson 24 HRS Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Giants Lights Skin & Earth Co-Writer
Heavy Anne-Marie Speak Your Mind Co-Writer
The Thing About Love Matt Terry Trouble Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
2018 Start Over Again New Hope Club Non Album Single Co-Writer
Monday Blues Exo-CBX Blooming Days Co-Writer
Just My Type The Vamps Night & Day (Day Edition) Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Friends Why Don't We 8 Letters Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Take Your Love Olly Murs You Know I Know Co-Writer
여기 있을게 (Smile On My Face) Exo Don't Mess Up My Tempo Co-Writer
2019 Girl Rak-Su TBA Co-Writer
2020 Small Talk Louise Heavy Love Co-Writer
Give You Up Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Father's Son Declan J Donovan Homesick Co-Writer
Habit Louis Tomlinson Walls Co-Writer
Vibe Mullally TBA Co-Writer
My Last Breath James Newman The Things We Do Co-Writer / Backing Vocals
Pasta New Rules TBA Co-Writer

Songs performed with Triple 8[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
2003 "Knockout"
"Give Me a Reason"


  1. ^ a b c d e "UK is Eurovision winner after all". M Magazine (Performing Rights Society). 19 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Little Mix are making "magic" today". Popjustice. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Ell/Nikki – Running Scared". Eurovision official website. Retrieved 6 June 2012.

External links[edit]