James McCollum grew up around music – playing the piano by ear at age 4 and plucking the strings on his first guitar at 9. While studying music at the University of Toronto, McCollum’s band, composed of fellow music students, was signed to a major record company after their third gig.
The success of that band, the Philosopher Kings, allowed McCollum to pursue his lifelong dream of playing music professionally; his subsequent project, Prozzak, went on to even greater success.
“I’ve always taken one step forward at a time,” he says, “and that way I’ve been able to achieve my childhood dreams.”
These days, McCollum works as a mortgage professional in Hamilton, but his passion for music finds expression in his gig as musical director for the Songs of the City event for United Way.
“Music has been oxygen to me since I was a kid,” he says. “I had trouble expressing myself until I had a guitar round my neck.”