Leon James (composer)

Leon James is an Indian film composer and singer. He made his debut by composing two songs for the Tamil film, Kanchana 2 (2015) directed by Raghava Lawrence, before being noticed for his work in Ko 2 (2016).[1]

Leon James
Born (1991-12-01) 1 December 1991 (age 29)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
OriginTamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s)Film composer, music director

Early lifeEdit

Leon James became interested in music as a result of his father Noel James's involvement in the industry as A. R. Rahman's manager, and began piano lessons aged three. He played in a school band called Zinx alongside Anirudh Ravichander, with the pair remaining close friends.[2] He is also currently a part of Project Yuj, a "neo-Carnatic funk" band alongside Aalap Raju, Prakash Hariharan and Jeoraj George and the team released an independent album in November 2014.[3] Prior to making his debut as a composer, Leon has worked as a keyboardist for stage shows and film albums composed by Santhosh Narayanan, Anirudh Ravichander and Thaman.[4]


Leon James made a breakthrough in the Tamil film industry after his work was spotted by Raghava Lawrence, who was working on his horror comedy film Kanchana 2 (2015). Lawrence had heard a romantic melody song composed by Leon on YouTube and wanted it adapted to be used in his film, and subsequently brought the composer on board to work on the film's soundtrack. The song, "Vaayaa En Veera" sung by Shakthisree Gopalan, won positive reviews with Karthik Srinivasan of The Hindu noting that "Leon's music seems very new-agey" and his "sound is fresh, and purposefully cluttered".[5] He later asked Leon to work on a further fast-paced song to be used in the film's climax, and the tune "Sandi Muni" was resultantly produced. The film went on to become amongst the profitable ventures of the year, with Leon's work noticed by critics.[6][7] Soon after the release of the film in April 2015, he teamed up with singer Andrea Jeremiah to record a song called "Ezhunthu Vaa" to promote female empowerment.[8]

The successful nature of his work in his first album prompted producer Elred Kumar to sign him up to work on the whole album for the political-thriller, Ko 2 (2015).[9] The album of Ko 2 entailed of six tracks, with a promotional song titled "Unnai Maatrinal" released early as a tribute to former Indian President Abdul Kalam, consisting of lyrics based on his speeches. The album featured vocals from Bollywood artistes Vishal Dadlani, Salim Merchant and Neeti Mohan, while Chinmayi and Leon James, himself, also recorded songs. Leon James also chose to introduce Harish Sivaramakrishnan from the Bangalore-based rock band Agam and London-based singer Inno Genga, for their first respective songs in the Tamil film industry.[10][11]


Released soundtracksEdit

  • The films are listed so that the music released, regardless of the dates the film released.
  • The year next to the title of the affected films indicates the release year of the either dubbed or remade version in the named language later than the original version.
  • • indicates original language release. Indicates simultaneous makes, if featuring in more languages
  • ♦ indicates a remade version, the remaining ones being dubbed versions
Year Tamil Telugu Notes
2015 Kanchana 2 Ganga 2 songs "Sandi Muni" and "Vaaya Veera"
Ko 2
2016 Kavalai Vendam Yenthavaraku E Prema
2018 Veera
Next Enti?
Silukkuvarupatti Singam
2019 LKG
2020 Oh My Kadavule
2021 Paagal 1 song "Kanapadava" and Background Score

Independent workEdit

Playback singerEdit

Year Film Song Notes
2006 Varalaru "Thottapuram" composed by A. R. Rahman
2015 Kanchana 2 "Sandimuni"
Ko 2 "Kohila", "Vidaadha"
2016 Kavalai Vendam "En Pulse Yethitu Poriye"
2017 Sakka Podu Podu Raja "Unakkaga" composed by Silambarasan
2018 Veera "Ootaanda Soltuvaa"
2020 Oh My Kadavule "Haiyyo Haiyyo"


  1. ^ "From Kanchana-2 to Ko 2". The Hindu. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Leon James to score music for Kanchana 2". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. ^ Srinivasa Ramanujam. "The new funk formula". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  4. ^ "An exclusive interview with Leon James by Avinash Pandian". Behindwoods. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  5. ^ Karthik Srinivasan. "Hitman". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Thrilled when Lawrence asked for my song". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  7. ^ Srinivasa Ramanujam. "Striking a musical chord". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Actress Andrea Jeremiah and Leon James team up for a song called Ezhunthu Va, on women empowerment". Behindwoods. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Leon James signs Bobby Simhaa's film". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Exclusive details of 'Ko 2' music Album from its composer Leon James". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Ko2 song-preview by Sony Music!". Sify. Retrieved 1 October 2015.

External linksEdit