Editor’s Note: On April 12th, R&B songstress Leela James along with her backing band The Truth released their album entitled “Are You Ready”. In this album, Leela recruited world-class musicians to bring about a mix of funk, Motown, R&B, blues, and a bit of rock in order to create some of the most scintillating music out there. Leela recruited Jarius Mozee(Prince, Mary J Blige, D’Angelo) on guitars, Eric Ingram(Ariana Grande) on bass, and David Haddon(Gwen Stefani) to create what she calls her most liberating project to date. Leela is not just any singer. She has performed at the Kennedy Center Honors, opened up the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, won a Soul Train Award for “Best New R&B/Rap Artist” and been nominated for the same award in the NAACP awards. Leela James is exploring a brand new side to her as she sat down with Madness To Creation in this interview. Fans can find Leela James at the following locations:
Fans can find LEELA JAMES at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hi Leela, I bet you’re doing great since your EP has been released!
Leela: Yes, very exciting!
Madness To Creation: What was the most challenging and rewarding aspect about creating “Are You Ready”
Leela: The most rewarding part for me is that it was painless and effortless, and it didn’t take us any time, so that was the most rewarding, I would honestly say that there wasn’t anything that was challenging about making the project. It was pretty straight ahead, we went in for a couple of days, it only took us a couple of weeks recording and getting it done, so it was a great experience, we had a good time working with the guys in The Truth band, it was effortless, I had a great time because who doesn’t want to do music in an environment where there’s great energy. It just moves!
Madness To Creation: What was the thing that you learned the most from the last time you were in the studio?
Leela: Everybody works differently, there’s no right or wrong way of doing things when you’re recording, just going with the flow.
Madness To Creation: What have you done to celebrate the release of the EP?
Leela: Got a lot of interviews and press and then I’ll probably go out to eat! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: What are your favorite things to eat?
Leela: I love desserts and I love soul food!
Madness To Creation: You did the Kennedy Center Honors, what was the coolest thing about the experience?
Leela: Anytime you’re able to be in an environment of artists and just sharing the moments, and just anytime you get to share in the music is always fun for me.
Madness To Creation: What were some of the coolest people you’ve hung out with there?
Leela: There was a lot of people! *laughs* I’m drawing a blank right now, I don’t really want to say one over the other, I was like a fan for awhile, you know what I’m saying? Sometimes I forget that I’m an artist as well, I have to remind myself to calm down, I’m here to work!
Madness To Creation: You released the video for “That Woman”, what does that song mean to you?
Leela: The song “That Woman” is pretty much an anthem for women, it pretty much is about taking a stance and standing up for themselves and having enough of being disrespected and being mistreated and just saying, I’m not “That Woman” you can talk to in any kind of way. I’m worthy of respect and I demand at this point to just give it to me, period.
Madness To Creation: What can the media and people do to help promote the empowerment of women?
Leela: I would just say be fair and be respectful and don’t mistreat a person, don’t disrespect a person, just have people live and be in peace with you, it’s not that hard.
Madness To Creation: What are some summer plans for Leela James?
Leela: I’m going to be hitting the road this summer and going to be working on the second half of the EP.
Madness To Creation: What else do you like to add in regards to the EP?
Leela: The EP is something different from what you’ve been hearing from me in the past. I want everyone to experience it and be open to it, as an artist I don’t ever want to be put in a box, a soul singer and an artist, you are expected to do just one thing, I’m an all around artist that loves all kinds of music and loves a lot of different things. This was the beginning that there is more to meet that meets the eye and the ears. I want people to be open to that. As much as I’m a soul singer and a singer of the blues, I also can do other genres of music, that’s also a part of me as well.
And there you have it! Fans can pick up the “Are You Ready” EP wherever music is sold. Leela James will be embarking on a summer tour to support “Are You Ready”. Check out the dates below:
Fri. 6/21- Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky
Sat. 6/22- The Vogue in Indianapolis, Indiana
Mon. 6/24- House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio
Tue. 6/25- Thalia Hall in Chicago, Illinois
Thu. 6/27- Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee
Fri. 6/28- Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee
Sun. 6/30- Saturn in Birmingham, Alabama
Tue. 7/2- Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Wed. 7/3- Soul Kitchen Music Hall in Mobile, Alabama
Fri. 7/5- Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Sat. 7/6- Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida
Sun. 7/7- Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mon. 7/8- The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida
Wed. 7/10- Victory North in Savannah, Georgia
Thu. 7/11- Barrelhouse Live in Augusta, Georgia
Fri. 7/12- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, Georgia
Sat. 7/13- The Senate in Columbia, South Carolina
Mon. 7/15- Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina
Tue. 7/16- The National in Richmond, Virginia
Wed. 7/17- Webster Hall in New York, New York
Thu. 7/18- Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.