James Matthew Espíritu Calacsan (Ca-LACK-sun) was born January 26th 1994 in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, Philippines.
At the age of eight, James discovered his passion for singing by putting on performances for his family as his first audience. He fell in love with singing using a karaoke machine and continued to perform for visitors and family whenever he had the chance.
Two years later, by age 10, James sang for the first time publicly. He joined an amateur singing contest in his hometown which was held in a tiny parking lot of a public market. He won third place during the preliminary rounds with a cash prize of 100 Philippine pesos, or roughly $2. He dedicated much of his time to practice until he reached the grand finals where he won the whole competition! From then on he continued joining singing competitions in his province and on National TV in the Philippines, namely, POPSTAR KIDS and Philippines Got Talent Season One.
In November of 2013 James and his family moved from the Philippines to St. Cloud, Minnesota and he began working his first job in a hotel serving breakfast, washing dishes, mopping floors, and other miscellaneous tasks. Soon, he moved on to work for a national finance company.
All the while James continued singing. He’s sung at many sporting events in Minnesota including the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx, and even the Minnesota Twins! He’s also sung for local events in Saint Cloud including the Summertime by George festival and at every St. Cloud 9/11 Ceremony at the request of the Mayor.
This led James to audition for Team USA to compete in the World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA). He qualified and flew to Long Beach, California to compete against 600 contestants from more than 50 countries. James won Senior Grand Champion Vocalist of the World!
After winning, James was given an award from the City of Saint Cloud on July 18, 2018 which was proclaimed “James Calacsan Day” by the Mayor.
James is still performing for local events and open mics, honing his skill and sculpting out a plan for the future.