When you think of the artists who are keeping soul music alive these days, the numbers are becoming smaller and smaller as the years go by. With contemporary R&B and hip-hop, you just don't hear many new artists that make you feel real
human emotions like soul music from the 60s and 70s. But, there are musicians who are working their hardest to keep soul flourishing today and one of them is vocal powerhouse, Leela James
Though she hails out of Los Angeles, James rich and brassy vocals inspire some comparisons to the Detroit and Chicago soul singers of the past. James influences range from soul to funk and jazz from artists like Etta James, James Brown, Toni Braxton, Marvin Gaye and Al Green. When listening to James music, it brings an R&B experience but it's rhythm and blues that characterize her timeless soulful vocals. She may be only 33-years-old, but her gritty, powerful vocals have been compared to Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, and Tina Turner.
From her debut album, A Change Is Gonna Come
, to her latest fifth studio album, Fall For You
, she has grown in experience, depth, and confidence. Fall For You
gives off an R&B vibe that is reminiscent of the mid-90s and the first two singles, "Say That" with R&B singer, Anthony Hamilton, as well as the title track both reached Top 15 on the Billboard Urban AC charts. Fall For You
allowed James to create her own lane in R&B music while reminding us what's at her core with her rich vocals that are tailor-made for soul music.
We had Leela James play a soul-filled, intimate session at the Baeble HQ so look out for the it when it drops next week!