James Poyser

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James Poyser
James Poyser.jpg
James Poyser at the Black Lily Film & Music Festival 2007
Background information
Born (1967-01-30) January 30, 1967 (age 51)
Sheffield, England
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation(s) Songwriter, producer, pianist, multi-instrumentalist
Years active 1993–present
Associated acts

James Poyser (born January 30, 1967) is an English-born American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, pianist, producer and a member of the hip hop band The Roots.[1][2]

Poyser has written and produced songs for Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Common, Anthony Hamilton, D'Angelo, The Roots and Keyshia Cole.

During his career, Poyser has toured and played live with Jay-Z, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Aretha Franklin. An active session musician, he has contributed to the works of Adele, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray and Femi Kuti.

Poyser received a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2003 for co-writing Erykah Badu and Common's hit "Love Of My Life." [3] James was also the executive producer on Badu's highly celebrated albums, Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground.

A collaborator with the band dating back to Things Fall Apart, Poyser officially joined The Roots in 2009, performing live as the houseband for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and subsequently The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He is sometimes used as comic foil, especially for his use of deadpan facial expressions. Poyser also tours with the band and regularly performs at the band's live shows.

Production and Songwriting[edit]


Film and television[edit]


  1. ^ Relic, Peter (October 2000). Keys to the city. Vibe. p. 128. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Alive® :: Alive.co.uk :: Interviews". Web.archive.org. 2007-09-27. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  3. ^ James Poyser Interview with Soul Jones 2006