Soulful singer Leela James Discuss new Music Tour and Music Career

Soulful singer Leela James Discuss new Music, Tour and Music Career
Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge


R&B star, Leela James recently came to the House of Blues Chicago while kicking off her spring tour. Prior to releasing her new album, Did It For Love, she has recently released two singles, Don’t Want You Back and Hard For Me which has been climbing on the charts.

Before the show Leela James anticipated that the people would come out and have a good time and to hear good music, good singing and to get a real good show with high energy, as well as gain a host of new fans that will build and grow her audience.
I, Consciousness Magazine, had the opportunity to speak with the powerful singer. Here is what Leela James has to share with the readers and her fans.

Tocarra: You released your 6th album Did It For Love that kicked off your spring tour. What makes this album different from your past albums that you recorded?
Leela James: I’m older, so I think the album is like – you’re constantly evolving as an artist and also as a person you grow and you evolve. I think the music is definitely an expression of that growth and evolution of fully grown womanhood.

Tocarra: Leela, when you first began your music career, what occurred in your life or what was the inspiration behind your soulful and heartfelt music that makes it so strong and powerful? 
Leela James: I think the soulful inspiration behind my music early on was definitely my family, and then just life in general. It’s always going to be that! I’m inspired by the experiences and things that are dear to me, and that’s definitely my family. I was always inspired to try to excel so I can do well in life and take care of them.

Tocarra: When I interviewed India Arie, she stated that she keeps her integrity by remaining who she is in the commercial industry. As a strong black woman, as you excel up the ladder, what has your experience been like as a woman in the music industry?
Leela James: My experience as a woman in this music industry has been challenging sometimes. It still can be challenging – just to be heard, to be respected, to just sometimes receive the acknowledgement for what you’ve done or do. That just comes with the territory. I’ve been dealing with it all this time, so I’m going to continue to deal.

Tocarra: What type of gratification is it for you remaining who you are while inspiring and empowering many of your listeners and fans?
Leela James: I get gratification in the fact that I can sleep easily, and that I didn’t have to sell my soul for the records, and that the fans that I do have are sincere and are with me because they truly believe in me and the music. I didn’t have to force anybody’s hands to be down. I feel good about the slow build of the career that I have built.

Tocarra: In an industry where there are many artists in it for the wrong reasons, putting out negative messages to the youth and young adults with their music, what keeps you positive, enthused and excited about your music career?
Leela James: I’m a mother, so I think that is foremost for me something that’s going to always make me be considerate of the things that I say or do, because as a parent you want your kids to see a positive image of you when you’re not even around. We live in a day and age where internet is going to be here forever, so you definitely want to be conscious of the things that you do and things you say. I try to keep things on an even keel so that I can sleep easily. I don’t want to have anything where I shame my family. So, that’s my inspiration!

Tocarra: As a successful R&B singer, do you have any words of encouragement for upcoming musicians and artist who are looking to be successful in the music industry?
Leela James: I would say this is definitely a tough industry, but the beautiful thing about it is it’s always ever-changing, and there are so many new and innovative ways of getting your music out there. So, I would say just hone in on your craft and get your music as great as you can possibly get it, and just put it out. Be inspired by artist that are doing it and just know that you can do it too, and maybe even better. You just have to stay the course. Have your plan as to know who you are. Don’t come in to it uncertain, because you can definitely get caught up that way if people are making those definitions for you.

Tocarra: Before we close the interview, would you like to add anything in closing that we haven’t discussed or talked about?
Leela James: Yes! Definitely! I want people to go out and get my new album Did It For Love. It dropped on March 31st. It’s out now, available everywhere – online, iTunes, Amazon…you can get it at Target and Wal-mart stores. Get the album! Come to my show; I’m on tour right now in 30 plus cities. Go to my website www.LeelaJames.com and catch the dates. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram – Leela James Official and Leela James. 

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