Leela James Stax Recording artist soul singer Leela James is back with a new album. Her new BET TV show “My Black is Beautiful can now be seen on BET. With so much going on, make sure to check out this interview and see what’s new with Leela.
by Thato Dadson
WHO?MAG: How did you get your deal with Stax Records? LEELA JAMES: Basically in a nutshell it was my manager. He called them up set up a couple of meetings and bam here we are.
WHO?MAG: Explain the Leela James sound. LEELA JAMES: I would just say it’s a throwback soul sound.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the album “My Soul”. LEELA JAMES: The album my soul is self explanatory because it comes from the soul. I did a couple different records that were different from my style, but they still came from my soul. The overall record is just a way I can share the different parts of myself to the world.
WHO?MAG: How is this album going to differ from “A Change Is Gonna Come”? LEELA JAMES: I would say the difference would be growth. I’ve matured and developed so much more between the two albums. Also in my newest one was very involved on the producing for the album also.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the creative process behind the single “Tell Me You Love Me”. LEELA JAMES: It was with co-written by Andrew Martin. I would say I just go in and vibe with the tracks because the album is called “My Soul”. This is just a another track that came from my soul.
WHO?MAG: How was it working with Raheem DeVaughn? LEELA JAMES: It was fun. He’s a talented cat and a good friend of mine. We just came in the studio and listened to the tracks and vibe to the music. It was cool because we could just go with the flow of things and let it all come out naturally instead of forced.
WHO?MAG: Who were some of the producers you utilized for this album? LEELA JAMES: I worked with some of the same producers from the old album, but I got some new ones like Kadis & Sean on “So Cold”, Chucky Thompson, and so many more.
WHO?MAG: Are you planning any tours or recordings with other Stax Records recording artists? LEELA JAMES: Definitely! We will be setting up a lot of big tour dates during the summer. I can’t say yet but we have them they’ll be able to find them on my website.
WHO?MAG: How did it feel getting nominated for 2006’s Outstanding New Artist by the NAACP Image Awards and Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist of 2008 by the Soul Train Music Awards? LEELA JAMES: I was definitely honored because it was an exciting time and it felt good to be acknowledged to know that my music is really catching people’s ears.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about the strategy with “Let’s Do It Again” album. LEELA JAMES: The main purpose for the album was to pay honor to some of the older soul artist that didn’t make it as far as they could have. There wasn’t any real strategy behind that album. I just had a small deal behind it, but now with my next album, that’s the one with the promo and everything else to really make its impact.
WHO?MAG: What’s next for Leela James? LEELA JAMES: I’m working on the tours and I’m also working with BET on a talk show called “My Black is Beautiful” with Tasha Smith. I definitely want people to get a copy of the album too. And I would definitely like to thank everyone for their support.