MiddleChild: What's going on?
Leela James: Hey! How you doing?
MiddleChild: I'm good. First of all let me tell you I am in love with your song "Tell Me You Love Me"! HOT! What made you want to go with the whole feel good, old school element for your lead single?
Leela James: You know it's just what I do. If you're familiar with anything I have done in the past. I'm just keeping it how I do it. That's all.
MiddleChild: Ain't nothing wrong with that. Now you're like the flagship artist for an independent label, how do you feel that working with the independent labels will give you more control over what type of artist you want to be?
Leela James: I definitely feel like when you work with an independent label you have more control, but in this case I am linked with Stax/Concord since last summer so this album is actually on a major label. They're still very very supportive, so I am very happy about that.
MiddleChild: So when you set down to put pen to paper for your album "My Soul", what were the main elements you put into the album and what did you want to get across?
Leela James: I really wanted to get across that no matter what music is behind the vocals, it is all from my soul. Whether it's a hip hop driven track or moreso R&B or even considered soul or whatever, it's all my soul. At the end of the day when I finish singing it or writing it, it is coming from me.
MiddleChild: I feel you on that. Now most of the R&B that is coming out this year has that throwback, old school feel as opposed to the hip hop sample heavy tracks from the past few years. How do you think that will work to your advantage? Do you feel you can still stand out or will it only help you be heard more?
Leela James: I definitely feel it will help me stand out more because this is the type sound I have delivered since I came into the game.
MiddleChild: Let's get it. Are there any duets on the album?
Leela James: Yes, I did a duet with Raheem DeVaughn. So, yea.
MiddleChild: What production or writing teams did you hook up with?
Leela James: I worked with most of the same producers as well as some new producers on this album. Chucky Thompson, .. produced the single. Carvin and Ivan out of Philly produced a few records. Yea, so I worked with some of the same kats as I did with previous work.
MiddleChild: Of course if I ask you what your favorite record is, you will tell me that they're all your babies.. so I'm going to ask you as far as your mood today.. what is your favorite song?
Leela James: Yea. I love them all. But I will ride with the single since that is what is out right now. I feel like I wanna be told that I'm loved. (laughs)
MiddleChild: Speaking of the song, cuz it may appear simple on the surface, but I think it's deep. You feeling some kind of way, but you don't want to give your all until the other person lets you know how they are feeling. So let me flip it for you and ask you if you think men want to be told that they are loved too or would rather put up a front when it comes to relationships?
Leela James: A lot of them go with the flow but I believe they want to be told every once in awhile that they're loved. Everybody wants to be told.
MiddleChild: I hear you. Now tell me about another one of your favorite tracks from the album.
Leela James: I guess I can say I like my song called "The Fact Is"... I like that one and I like a record called "Party". I mean I like quite a few songs. (laughs)
MiddleChild: Working it out. No problem. Well several dope R&B albums have dropped recently. Who are some of these artists that you're feeling right now?
Leela James: I like the Maxwell album and of course I am excited that Sade is back.
MiddleChild: Everyone is excited about Sade. She went gold her first week out and Maxwell is doing his thing, but some artists are not selling well or even how they used to. So let me ask you this, no matter the numbers you put up with your project how will you personally deem your project a success or not?
Leela James: You know what I think that since the buying public can be so fickle, I think that the fact that I am even able to release an album makes it successful. So many people are not even able to do that, but I am happy just to be able to do that. Of course it's great if you can sell a lot of records, but I am happy and successful just by the fact that I am in the game.
MiddleChild: Definitely. Like I said, I love the record and I also have the previous album "A Change Is Gonna Come" and I must tell you I dig what you did with No Doubt's "Don't Speak". Voice is off the change and I definitely feel the soul. I am looking forward to the album and I hope the buying public takes to it as well. But I think that since you're so true to your sound that it will work out for the best at the end of the day.
Leela James: Aww. Thank you.
MiddleChild: So we'll be on the look out for the album May 25th.
Leela James: May 25th. That's right!
MiddleChild: That's what's up. And you have a good day Leela.
Leela James: Thank you so much. You too.
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