An Interview with the R&B Singer-Songwriter, LEELA JAMES!
Posted On 31 Mar 2017
This spring, R&B/Soul singer-songwriter Leela James will be headlining a nationwide 25-city tour, with special guest Daley. James will be supporting the release of her hotly-anticipated album, Did It For Love, out today via BMG.
In creating her sixth studio album, Leela James drew upon a variety of inspirations ranging from her two beautiful children to the death of a close friend. The album showcases her trademark blend of powerful vocal range and sultry soul that fans have long been drawn to; as it stands, her current single Don’t Want You Back is already top 5 on the Urban AC radio charts and has been streamed in over 60 countries via Spotify.
For James, dedicating her energy entirely to writing and recording Did It For Love left her aching to get back on the road. “I am so excited to be going back on tour. There’s nothing like interacting with people and seeing how the crowd reacts to new music. This album has been a wonderful experience, just an incredible project to work on. I feel so positive and I want to try to bring that onstage, and to everyone I meet.”
To check out Leela James’s latest single and music video please visit Youtube – Leela James, and you can pre-order the album and exclusive merchandise at The Leela James Shop. For everything else please visit www.leelajames.com.
Learn more about Leela, check out the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year?
2016 was a roller coaster ride of emotions! It was a rough year. We lost some icons like Prince whose career and music I’ve always admired. A lot happened so I am looking forward to what 2017 has to bring.
What have been some of the highlights for you and your music?
I went into the studio and was very inspired! I recorded a lot and I’m looking forward to hear what the fans think.
What are you most excited about for 2017? Did you make any resolutions for the new year?
I’m so excited to release some new music and share my latest album with the fans. The singles, Don’t Want You Back and Hard For Me have received a great response from the fans. I’m really looking forward to heading back out on tour and being able to have that personal connection with the fans.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
When I was growing up my music interest developed over time. My parents would always play great music records that inspired me. I remember we used to listen to a lot of Al Green a lot! I was always fascinated by musicians and it turned into my passion.
This past October, you released a new single called “Don’t Want You Back.” What was the inspiration of this song and what was the reception like of it?
The meaning of Don’t Want You Back is exactly what it sounds like — when you’re in that bad situation where your ex isn’t ready to let you go, but you don’t want anything to do with them. There has been so much positive feedback from the fans and I think everyone can relate to it.
How do you think your sound has grown and changed over the years? Do you think that what pushes you to make music has evolved too?
As I’ve matured, my music has grown with me. I have definitely evolved more as an artist over the last few years and continue to do so. I think that as you get older and experience different things, it translates into your music.
Your music has been featured in a number of places. What has been the most memorable for you?
I had the incredible opportunity to sing my single, Fall For You, on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” which was such a memorable moment. I was on stage serenading the dancers and it was truly an amazing experience.
You’ve had so many incredible musical memories. What moment or moments really stand out to you?
When I performed at the European Hall of Fame Awards–that was a special moment!
What is the best piece of advice someone ever told you?
My mother always told me to stay humble, stay grounded and keep God first.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
I have always been inspired by Prince and wish I could’ve had the chance to work with him. I’m really inspired by real singers who have these incredible voices like Michael Jackson or Tina Turner.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope that people just continuing to enjoy my music. I want people to walk away with a feeling of “wow” she’s a real singer who is singing about real situations that I can relate to.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
I love being around my kids and doing things with them whether it’s around the house or going to the beach. I also have a passion for interior decorating and gardening which relaxes me and lets me unwind.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or the music you make?
Check out my new album Did It For Love (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/did-it-for-love/id1207699603) out March 31 and I hope fans can enjoy hearing about the real situations , the good, bad and the ugly I’m singing about that they can relate to.