Show Transcript
[MUSIC] Hey Leela, welcome to Essence Festival. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You've been here, you've performed twice here. Yes, yes. I've been here twice. So I'm excited to be back. And then before your performance, where also everybody is talking about Prince. And I know Prince is an influence of yours. Oh my gosh, yeah. I mean I think he's a musical genius, and one of the best artists to ever make music. So just to be performing the same time, the same environment as him is just like a blessing and I'm so excited. Did you hear that he said everybody should wear purple? Oh yeah, he didn't even have to tell me, I didn't, I'm already wearing purple, I've been wearing purple since I was like a baby and it's my favorite color so, yeah. I'm prepared, [LAUGH]. And your new album, it just came out. The new album actually is dropping July 8th, so it's this next couple days and I'm really excited about it. It's called Fall For You and I personally think it's some of my best work, so I'm hoping everybody else will feel the same and support and, you know, enjoy it cuz I'm enjoying it. And then how would you describe the new album? I would definitely would describe it as vulnerable because it's showing more sides to me, it's showing a deeper you know, side to my personality and, you know, I think there's something on there for everybody. Speaking of vulnerable, we're gonna see a lot of you on R&B Divas. Are you ready for all that? Yeah, I'm all ready. If I'm not I better get ready, right? [LAUGH] I mean you're showing everything, right? On the show? I mean, no, I ain't showing everything. I mean, you know, I gotta keep some clothes on. I mean in your personal life. You know, I mean we showing enough. Yeah. What made you wanna be like so, you know to be on that show because it does open up a whole side that people don't know about you. What made you want to reveal that side of yourself? I just wanted people to get a better feel for who I am as an artist and as a person because, yeah, there's very little information about me. And then with the show coming out, you'll see that I'm just like the, you know, girl next door. And, you know, I'm a artist but I cry and I sweat and I bleed and you know, I'm a human being, you know what I mean. And I just think that sometimes artists are not seen in that light. So this gives you a opportunity to see me in a different light as a, a person, as well as just, you know, not just an artist. [MUSIC]

ESSENCE Fest: Leela James

The singer on her EF performance and being influenced by Prince.