James Maslow grew up in La Jolla, California, where he first started performing. After being made by his parents to sing with the San Diego Children's Choir at age 6, he's appeared in several local stage productions. Notably, he appeared as Danny Zuko in Grease and Maurius in Les Miserables in his teens.
Maslow's television debut came in 2008, when he appeared in an episode of iCarly. Shortly after, he joined the cast of another Nickelodeon series, Big Time Rush, as well as the boy band of the same name.