Leela James' Stax debut, My Soul, opens with the churning “Ain’t New To This,” a proud and defiant declaration of survival in the minefield known as the music business; and the bouncy “Party All Night,” penned by James and produced by Carl “Chucky” Thompson, who previously worked with Leela on 2005’s A Change Is Gonna Come.
Thompson also handled the production of “Mr. Incredible, Ms. Unforgettable,” a sultry duet between James and vocalist Raheem DeVaughn. “Raheem and I are good friends, and we’d been talking for some time about doing something together,” says James. “We finally happened to be in the same place at the same time, and we just made it happen. It really wasn’t something that we planned. It was just something spontaneous that took its own course.”
While James may have been surrounded by talent in the making of My Soul, the record is ultimately her personal statement – not just about the music’s rich past but about its present and its future as well. Her arrival at Stax Records may position her among legends, but she’s well aware that she still has much to do and say.
Link to full album stream and download of "So Cold" after the jump. Read more »