Leela James is more then the girl with the big hair and soulful voice. Ms. James is a artist who has traveled the world and has gained respect at the same time. Four albums deep in the game and one on the way, Leela is back from touring the the globe and has landed back into our ears and hearts. With her new single, Say That, featuring R&B crooner, Anthony Hamilton already climbing the charts and and gaining spins on the radio, Leela isn’t being held back this time.
Leela explains why she isn’t scared of reality television, why fashion is over rated, the why there is only one Leela. Check the jump to see what Ms. James is up too!
I know you have been touring for the past year, how has that been?
It’s been great! I like to travel, so its actually been really cool for me to go different places. I get bored easily; being in the same place to long. It’s kind of the purpose of doing this. I get to see different places all the time.
What made you decide to come back now?
I never left. I think it just appears that I did. From a commercial stand point, I never really had the type of push and backing. I been making projects; y’all just probably didn’t know. When the push isn’t there, the promotion isn’t really there. I haven’t left, but in this go round, I have a bit more support.
Do you have a new project coming out?
The single is out right now and the album will be out the top of the year, 2014.
What is the name of your new project?
I have something in mind, but I don’t want to say for sure because I might switch up.
Does it have a theme?
This album is definitely more about love.
Are you in love?
What separates you from other artists?
There is no other Leela James. Only I do, what I do, the way that do, what I do. Only I sound the way that I sound. It’s only one me.
Do you think you have grown musically after My Soul and In the Spirit of Etta James?
With every project I grow. Every year you grow. I am not the same person I was last year and the year before. In this project, I’m more comfortable in my skin and my artistry. I wrote the whole entire project. That was really good for me to be able to do that.
How do you like writing?
I love writing. I used to write when I was a little girl, now I’m just flipping it and putting it to songs.
Are you thinking about other type of business ventures; like reality TV, fashion, or producing a hair care line?
I would like to get into all those things. There are clearly some stereotypes in reality TV and rightfully so. There is room for change.
What is your regimen on maintaining a strong head of beautiful hair?
Conditioner is important and low stress on it. Keep it stress free and extremely conditioned.
Do you consider yourself a fashionista?
No, I’m not one of those people that live and breathe fashion. At the end of the day, I think fashion is a self expression in ones own artistic expression; whatever that is.
Describe your personal style?
I don’t have one. If there is anything to me, I’m a denim type of person. I love me some jeans just because I like to be comfortable. I’m trying to do more dresses from time to time, but its not my thing. I like them, but I like to be comfy.
Although the pressure of being #teamcuvry has lifted a little, do you still feel pressure to lose weight.
I actually feel like I can gain some more pounds. That’s just me. I think there is nothing wrong with curves. I just don’t want to look too thin where I look sickly.
You have collaborated with some amazing talent; Anthony Hamilton, Raheem Devaughn, MOBY, who was your favorite and why?
By far, I am excited about the Anthony Hamilton collab. We have done shows together, so we already had a relationship and we actually worked together in the past on my other projects but they didn’t make the record. So this this time, it was like ‘lets just try to make this happen’.
Who else do you want to or plan to collaborate with?
Prince and Andre 3000. I like Wale and I think Kendrick is cool too.
You’ve been traveling all over the world, where was the best place you visted?
Nice, France. I performed and I had a few days of R&R. It was so beautiful. I just went to the beach. Just seeing the water that crystal clear, it was just beautiful.
What makes you a Vixen?
I don’t take much stuff. I’m fierce.
Describe Leela James in ONE word?