Saturday, May 1, 2010

Samantha James: The Rise of a Shining Star

Her music breathes soulful, dreamy melodies into creamy, fluid music. A native of Los Angeles, her music transcends far past the conventions of pop and dance and R&B, it’s even hard to call her simply a “lounge” artist. Just as Madonna did placed heart into electronica music with her Ray of Light album, in Rise, James sprinkles soul into lounge music, something it was missing before.

For those who haven’t heard her music, imagine a soft rainfall on the lake as the sun sets in the distance. The view of it is calming, but not boring, sweet, but not sappy, and memorizing, but not distracting. Song from her debut album, Rise, such as “Rain” and “Right Now” are simple, yet breathtaking in their atmospheric sound.

Samantha James has experienced quite a bit of success since 2007, her debut single, “Rise” drifted up the charts of Billboard Dance/Club Play all the way to #1, and she has become a worldwide star. According to James, “my biggest fan base right now is in the Philippines, I have a great response in every city I've been to so far there.” Two years since the release of Rise, Samantha James has begun work the recording of her sophomore record.

On the album, which is to be titled Subconscious, James says “ I just finished writing it. We go into recording the album in June.” For the album, James will be collaborating with Rise producer Sabastian, as well as a new collaborator, Shane Drason, who produced 50 percent of the record. James has high hopes for the new material. “The songs are beautiful but they are different, I’m looking forward to what people will think,’ James says.

In addition, James, who did not tour the U.S. on her last tour, is making plans to include U.S. dates for the promo tour for her new album. When it comes to what fans can expect, Samantha describes her upcoming album’s as “a lot of similar sounds [as the first album], but there is also a lot of acoustic guitar, a lot of live elements, a lot of organic elements, it's a combination of so many different types of music. This mishmosh of all of these different things. I've been creating constantly for the past 9 months. I’m ready for the music to be recorded and released and I’m definitely ready to sing new songs.

It’s arguable from her first record that Samantha Jones embodies the soul and talent to be compared to Sade. She may not be the next Sade, her music stands on it’s own, but her sound makes one think of what Sade might be singing in 2010. For Samantha James, the influence of Sade is inevitable. “I grew up listening to her music, and I think for many people, that when your raised in a musical family and raised listening to certain types of music, I think those artists you listened to influence the music you end up doing,” says James. When it comes to her love for Sade, James has much to say. “I love Sade, she's incredible, I’d say my voice is pretty mellow, I’m not a diva, I can be soulful, but I'm not super-Diva-ish, that's one of the reasons why I love her music so much, she's so effortless, it's not like she's singing, it's like she's speaking, but melodically”, says James.

For the fans who simply cannot wait for her sophomore release, Samantha James is planning the release of a live acoustic session disc, which will contain four songs off of Rise, sung in an acoustic fashion. This record is planned for a June 30th release. Three discs in three years is a lot for a young artist. When it comes to the creative process, Samantha James has much to say on her purpose and process as an artist.

According to James, “my first album was inspired by years of me trying to get over the passing of my mother and realizing that people never really die, I take negative things in my life and try to turn them into positive situation and try to uplift people.” In terms of James censoring herself, for her there is no such thing. According to Samantha, “ I was very blunt and forward with what I was going through, and then there are some songs that are a little bit more dreamy, it's a collection of emotions.”

In case you wanted James to detail her second album before it comes out, she admits to not being able to. “ I can't really explain it, the only way I can explain it is once it's finished and I’m playing it in my car, all the tracks on one CD. It's a challenging thing to give anything a label until your finished with product,” says Samatha James. For more information, visit Samantha James’ official website at:

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