Morgan James Redefines The Soundtrack Of A Generation – Long Island Weekly

Morgan James embodies the essence of soul music with her entrancing melodies, captivating stage presence, and an unwavering love for her craft. Hailing from Boise, Idaho, James’ musical journey is as inspiring as her remarkable voice. Through her dynamic vocals and heartfelt performances, she has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary soul scene, enchanting audiences worldwide with her authenticity and raw talent.

Morgan James

From a young age, James exhibited a natural affinity for music and a deep passion for singing. Growing up surrounded by a diverse array of musical influences, from gospel and jazz to rock and R&B, she absorbed a rich tapestry of sounds that would later shape her unique style. It was during her formative years that she honed her skills, immersing herself in the timeless works of legends such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Otis Redding, whose soulful performances deeply influenced her artistic sensibilities.

Following her graduation from The Juilliard School with a degree in voice, James embarked on her musical journey with a determination to make her mark on the industry. Her breakthrough moment arrived when she secured a role in the original Broadway production of The Addams Family, where her electrifying vocals and magnetic stage presence earned widespread acclaim. Following The Addams Family, James was in four more back-to-back original Broadway companies including Wonderland, Godspell and Motown: The Musical, and as a guest at Kristin Chenoweth’s For The Girls. During her time on Broadway James attracted attention as a rising star, with critics and audiences alike praising her exceptional talent and versatility.

It was James’ venture into the realm of soul music that truly showcased the depth of her artistry. Drawing inspiration from the classics of the genre while infusing her own distinct style, Morgan’s debut album, Hunter, was met with universal acclaim upon its release in 2014. Critics lauded her as a “phenomenal talent,” and her soulful soundscapes and poignant lyrics struck a chord with listeners worldwide, establishing her as a prominent figure in modern soul music.

James has continued to captivate audiences with her mesmerizing performances and soul-stirring music. Her subsequent albums, including Reckless Abandon and Blue, have further demonstrated her evolution as an artist, delving into themes of love, loss, and resilience with an honesty and vulnerability that resonates deeply with her audience. Whether she’s delivering a soulful ballad or infusing her own interpretation into a contemporary hit, James’ voice possesses a timeless quality that transcends genre boundaries and speaks directly to the soul.

James has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, from acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Cincotti to rock icon David Cook, showcasing her versatility and adaptability as a vocalist. Her live performances are nothing short of electrifying, leaving audiences spellbound with her powerhouse vocals and dynamic stage presence.

In a world where authenticity often takes a backseat to spectacle, James shines as a beacon of sincerity and talent. With her soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and unwavering commitment to her craft, she continues to redefine the essence of soul music in the 21st century, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and touching the lives of countless listeners along the way.

James is on tour supporting her fifth studio album, Nobody’s Fool. She will perform on Friday, June 21, at Landmark on Main Street.

Morgan James’ fifth album

We had a chance to speak with Janes in an exclusive interview back in February. Here’s what she had to share with us.

Christy Hinko: Tell me about the tour.
Morgan James: I am traveling with my band that played on my record, playing a lot of songs from my new record, Nobody’s Fool. We will be playing songs from all five of my albums and some of my favorite covers as well. And, of course, I am traveling with my dogs, Luther, Yunis and Ziggy (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) of course, They live a life of luxury.

CH: What can fans expect from Nobody’s Fool?
MJ: The album came out on March 31, so many of my fans will have had plenty of time to listen. This album is a real return to my R&B roots, similar to my first album, an homage to 90s R&B. Anyone who has followed my journey will recognize the progression from my last two albums being straight up classic soul.

CH: Who inspires you?
MJ: Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone, Prince, DeAngelo, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon; I am so influenced by the roots of R&B and Black American music. One of the most life-changing collaborations that I ever had was meeting Berry Gordy, Jr., my mentor. I got to meet so many legends doing Motown: The Musical. Tyler Perry was incredibly supportive in my career; Spike Lee put my music in some of his promos and commercials; I come across incredible collaborators and artists all the time because of the world I’m in. Working with Robert Glasper was amazing. I’ve gotten to sing with some of the best singers in the world.

CH: How did you begin your musical journey?
MJ: I joined a choir when I was in seventh grade and started doing community theater and opera. My parents always played great music; music was always a part of my life. They put me in voice lessons very early; I was hooked.

CH: What is your advice to someone who is getting started in the business?
MJ: I would tell them that slow and steady wins the race. I would tell them to focus on their craft, and not look for fast results or fast fame. Ultimately, no matter how long that takes, whether it’s fast or slow, people respond to authenticity and craft.

Visit Landmark on Main Street ( in Port Washington to purchase tickets for the June 21 show.

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