Interview By Tachelle Wilkes
Tachelle Wilkes (TW): What brought you to music?
Leela James (LJ): I would say my family. It was in my household – I would say I heard music that way and would just continue to hear it. I am a product of my upbringing – my environment.
TW: What helped to shape your sound?
LJ: The music that I heard growing up it is still a lot of the music I listen to today – it probably helped shaped and mold my sound and I just contribute it to my environment and sometimes I was told that you are just born with it. Either it is or it isn’t.
TW: Tell us about your new song “Say That” with Anthony Hamilton – what sparked it?
LJ: You know Anthony and I over the years had talked about doing a collaboration. People would always say things like you are the female Anthony and vice versa. So finally we were able to get in and make it happen and I think that it came out better than we anticipated.
TW: What other songs and experiences can we expect from the new album?
LJ: Well you can definitely expect plenty of soul - there’s also new sounds that I had explored to show versatility. I did a couple of songs in my falsetto voice. I’m excited about it.
TW: At what moment did you know that your music had the power to touch hearts?
LJ: I guess it was when I hit the stage. Definitely when I started performing and seeing how peole respond. It made me say, “Hey you are working with something a little bit more than ordinary.”
TW: How did R&B Divas LA come about?
LJ: R & B Divas is a show that comes on TV One and I was approached to join the cast and I decided to say yes and so far everything is going well - you know no drama - it’s about the music and getting more exposure for my music and who I am as an artist.
TW: What are your best words of wisdom?
LJ: Cliché, but keep God first that’s what works for me.
TW: What else would you like to share?
LJ: I just want people to go out and get this new album and truly get behind and support the show.