A timid nine-year-old decides she will try out for her school’s Glee Club. She is nervous and practices all night, hoping her hard work will pay off. The music teacher calls her name and she walks over to the piano awaiting his note. She sings “Happy Birthday.” He stops playing the piano and she sits down uncertain if she’s made it. After all the auditions, the music teacher stands up and says,”…the following students should remain seated,” and this is where it all began… Erica James is a R&B Hip-Hop artist from Brooklyn, NY. From her days in the Glee Club to high school singing groups, Erica has music vibrating in the core of her being. Her earliest influences were: Mariah Carey, SWV, Mary J. Blige, and HiFive to name a few… Her passion for music doesn’t rest with just singing, but is coupled with her songwriting skills. Far removed from those Glee Club days, now as an adult she shares her love of music, seasoned with the commitment to uplifting her people. Her catchy lyrics flavored with soothing melodies are for those wanting music of substance. Music that people of all ages can listen to. Music that is righteous. Her mission is just one…to create a space where love is safe.
What do you do and Why do you do it?
I make music that promotes positive responses to life’s challenges. My destiny is to help people heal themselves. Many of us are hurting and suffering from self-inflicted guilt, shame, and fear. We have enough music about turning up, but my music is about “turning in.” It’s time that we fix ourselves and I truly believe once this happens, the world will be a better place.
Tell us about your most recent work.
My recent single, “Other Side,” is about using meditation to find peace in stressful situations or to envision success in your endeavors. As a practitioner and teacher of Hatha Yoga, I think it’s important to share the tools I use to create a more balanced life. This song serves as a reminder to take time for yourself unapologetically.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother inspires me greatly. She is, and has given the purest form of love I know. She taught me how to be: (1) assertive but compassionate, (2) adventurous but practical, and (3) confident but approachable. I have several college degrees but my education doesn’t stand a chance against my grandmother’s wisdom. She is the smartest person I know, and her dedication to her faith and family strengthens my very own commitment to my life’s goals.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
My “masterpiece” has not yet been created, or maybe it has. It is my hope that my music inspires one person to change something about themselves for the better. If I have done this, then that is my “masterpiece.”
What is your motto in life?
My motto is: “Nothing is a problem unless you make it one.”
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
My wildest dream would be Erykah Badu, Indie Arie, Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, and Ibeyi participating in my yoga retreat. We would all sing, eat good food, detox, share, and create a space of power.
What is your favorite quote?
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for creating music that changed peoples’ lives. I hope that people will say that I made it cool for music to be spiritual without being gospel.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
My next project is my album, “Always In Love.” Hopefully it will be available to the public next Spring.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Fans can purchase my songs on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, and Tidal. In addition, fans can stream my songs on Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.