To be 100% honest with ya’ll, I almost fainted when I walked into the room where songtress, Leela James had been relaxing on the couch. I greeted everyone and introduced myself and like the cool and beautiful person Ms. Leela James was she said, “Hey sweetie, you got to excuse me for laying down we been traveling all day, but you can lay down and relax with me.” Totally blown away by her “down-to-earth” approach, she was every thing I imagined her to be in person.
Parlé Magazine: First and foremost Ms. James, I have been a fan since day one. I have all of your albums. Its something about your voice-its just AMAZING! Your talent truly draws you fans in, what do you think it is that sets you apart from other artist?
Leela James: I don’t really know, maybe its like what you said, my voice, my soul and my spirit. That’s the only thing I can think of because I don’t really over think it, I just do me, and I guess by me doing me it just pulls people into me.
Parlé: So I see that you are the newest diva to join the hit reality series R&B Divas LA!!! One, I’m so excited that the fans will be able to see what life is like for the talented soul drenched diva. My question is how do you feel about the move?
Leela: I think its going to be interesting, I think people are going to be like, “Oh I didn’t know she was like that” or “Who is She?” because you have people who are like you, familiar with me and are fans from day one and then there’s the folk who don’t know me, especially since there isn’t much info about me “Personally.” You guys know me by my music and I think the show will change that. You guys are going to see that I’m kinda like the ‘girl next door’ and you’ll be surprised that I’m not the ‘incense burning girl’ everyone thinks I am.
Parlé: I mean the show could bring you to new platforms, but reality shows tend to have a percentage of backlash, a lot of people are saying that this is a poor attempt to stay relevant and to stay in the now for some of the divas! What is your view on that stigma?
Leela: I definitely feel that is the stereotype that comes along with the show, but I feel that it’s those same people watching the show. I also think that people have to be true and honest especially those of us in the industry, because its evolving; you have to think of other ways to keep yourself in the “limelight” and market your brand. It’s STILL business. If you don’t like it, people don’t got to watch it; it is what it is.
Parlé: Your new single is “Say that” featuring Anthony Hamilton, great song by the way… Matter of fact, let me correct myself, it’s an AMAZING song!!! What was it like working with the phenomenally talented Mr. Hamilton?
Leela: Well we recorded the song in separated studios, but we have recorded several times in the past, we just haven’t released those songs as of yet. It’s just like besties, we go in the studio, bang the track out and then go grab a bit to eat. We just love to make music.
Parlé: New music means new album, when can I… I mean when “WE” the fans expect the new album to drop? What is the album entitled?
Leela: The album is named, Fall For You and its coming out July 8th.
Parlé: Ms. Leela James you’re actually on tour at this very moment and you have actually been performing on stage with the truly talented Ledisi. Can I just say that I think I would’ve fainted on sight of seeing you two on the same stage… 911 would’ve been called because that right there is TOO MUCH talent on one stage. It reminds me of when the late great Whitney Houston joined Gospel Phenomenon, Kim Burell on stage at the BET’s Celebration of Gospel, it was just too much awesomeness on one stage! To get back on track How is the tour going?
Leela: We work with the same people, Ledisi is like a sister-soul-friend to me, we’ve know each in the industry, I’m supportive of her and she is supportive of me. I think the fans will appreciate us being on stage together. She has a amazing album out right now it’s called, The Truth and this tour is “The Truth Tour” and later this year I will be doing my own thing; but I just been enjoying the time and the fun.