About James

When James Johnston released his debut single, ‘RAISED LIKE THAT’ three years ago, he never could have anticipated the whirlwind that followed. Six #1 airplay hits, 75 million global streams and two Golden Guitars later, James is easily Australia’s most exciting Country Music artist.  The song that started it all has been certified ARIA Platinum, making James the first ever Australian independent country artist to achieve this for a single.

But there’s more.

The bloke who grew up near the small town of Wingham in New South Wales and sings of country life with an authenticity that makes a drover cry, a farmer sigh, a young jackaroo spin, a country girl smile and city folk wistful, has made Australian music history with his debut album.

His album RAISED LIKE THAT (The Album) is Australia’s largest debut Country album ever, a body of work featuring 20 extraordinary tracks and a heartfelt celebration of country living. His sound is modern and unique with driving guitars, pounding drums and his gravelly vocal centre stage. He works his boots off.

During its first 6 months since release, RAISED LIKE THAT (The Album) spent 21 weeks at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Albums Chart, 19 of those weeks at #1 were consecutive, with only Kasey Chambers having spent more consecutive weeks at #1 on that chart since its inception 25 years ago. It was the #3 performing Australian country album for 2023, even though it was only released in the year’s final quarter. The album’s strong performance on the chart continues having so far never dropped below #3. 

The stunning debut contains moments that revel in joy and nostalgia, yet dares to dwell on the real hardship and adversity that faces so many people living in the country and on the land.

There are anthems that will fill dancefloors and raise hands in the air, and quiet stories of empowerment, hardship and love that will bring tears to knowing eyes. His words are lived-in and he sings with incredible heart because he was raised like that and he did grow up there.

What’s more, James is a helluva live performer, having spent the past three years touring and performing on stages from Mount Isa to Melbourne, and all stops in between; he’s as at home in a studio as he is on the back of a semi-trailer in Deniliquin (where he was presented with his ARIA Platinum award for his debut single).

“I wanted to share songs about the good but also the often less talked about side of country life. When it’s all said and done, I hope this album makes you feel proud of where you call home,” said James. Music has forever been the way I can express myself in the most honest way possible,” admits the singer-songwriter. “I’ve always loved albums that allow the listener to truly get to know an artist. RAISED LIKE THAT, is that for me.”

James called on his mates and longtime collaborators to realise his epic vision for RAISED LIKE THAT. Nashville-based hit-maker, Justin Wantz, racks up production credits on a mammoth 17 tracks, alongside Australia’s Gavin Carfoot and Liam Quinn, while Ilya Toshinskiy steps in to produce the rousing, ‘WE GREW UP ON’.

While nine of the debut’s tracks were penned by Johnston alone, he shares songwriting duties on the other 11 with long-time collaborator Nolan Wynn, producers Michael DeLorenzis and Michael Paynter and fellow artists Kaylee Bell, Jared Porter, Melanie Dyer, and Zac and George, among others. The empowering ‘A COUNTRY GIRL CAN’, even credits Johnston’s wife, Taliarose Johnston.

Songs like ‘I STILL CALL IT HOME’ and ‘GOOD TO BE BACK’ celebrate small town values, while the more intimate, ‘THIS LAND IS KILLING ME’ highlights the trials and tribulations of life on the land. Songs like ‘GOT IT GOOD’ and ‘SEEING YOU SOON’ (featuring James’ eldest son, Koda) allow listeners to have a more personal look into James’ life, in which he shares the love and admiration he has for his wife and two boys but also the struggles of being away on the road. 

Life on the road has been rigorous for Johnston, having completed a national tour with Australian heavyweight, Morgan Evans. The star has appeared at countless festivals – CMC Rocks, Berry’s Big Country, Gympie Music Muster, Meatstock, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Deni Ute Muster – you name it! He’s soon slated to light up stages  at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at some of his largest venues yet as he hits the road with Kip Moore, Far North QLDs Savannah in The Round, and more to be announced before he jets off to Cape Town to play alongside Kip Moore, Darius Rucker and Zac Brown Band at South Africa’s first major country music festival within the setting of one of the largest football stadiums in the world.

Since releasing his debut single, Johnston has amassed a jaw-dropping 75 million global streams. Not only that, but his six #1 airplay hits have earned him a run of 118 consecutive weeks in the Top 20 of the Country Hot 50 National airplay chart. He’s been nominated for QMA Awards, APRA Music Awards and was a 2023 Rolling Stone Australia Award nominee for Best New Talent. But all his hard work was rewarded in January 2023 when he received two Golden Guitar Awards – New Talent of The Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year.


More than 75 million streams and counting!

More than 40 million TikTok views

More than 5.1 million YouTube views

More than 27,000 iTunes sales

More than 150,000 Shazams

19 weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia

6 x #1 country radio singles in Australia

 118 consecutive weeks within the ‘Countrytown’ Top 20 radio airplay chart 

19 consecutive weeks at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Chart with debut album RAISED LIKE THAT; 22 total weeks at #1 so far



Reached #1 at country radio in Australia; #11 overall for 2021 First independent Australian country single and artist in history to be accredited an ARIA Platinum record Nominated for APRA Most Performed Country Work Awarded Line Dance Track of the Year in the UK More than 20,000 TikToks made by other people using ‘RAISED LIKE THAT’

With James getting set to take his music around the globe, ‘RAISED LIKE THAT’ is currently experiencing growth in new territories as more people around the world discover what his home country already knows.


10 consecutive weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia; #3 overall for 2022

Nominated for Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and closed the show with an electrifying live performance at the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards.

First Australian country track and artist to be showcased as part of Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ campaign.


2 weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia; #14 overall for 2022
Winner of the Queensland Music Awards ‘Country Award’ for 2023


2 weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia; #13 overall for 2022
Winner of the 2023 Golden Guitar Award for Vocal Collaboration of the Year

Nominated for APRA Most Performed Country Work
Remained in the Top 20 of the ‘Countrytown’ radio airplay chart for 6 months


2 weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia;  #3 overall and #1 Australian track at country radio for 2023

Nominated for Single Of The Year at the 2024 Golden Guitar Awards

Nominated for APRA Most Performed Country Work


2 weeks at #1 at country radio in Australia; #14 overall for 2023

Nominated for Video Of The Year at the 2024 Golden Guitar Awards