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New Groove @ 2: Leela James ‘You’re The One’

Written by BT Groove

February 12, 2022

Ever since her debut album in 2005, Leela James has made a name for herself. Her latest album See Me indeed made you do just that–to see and hear her raw, soulful talent. She already has a single from the album gracing the airwaves, Complicated.

This week’s New Groove @ 2 is the follow up single to Complicated off of her 2021 album. This week, we are debuting You’re The One.

James Uncomplicates Things with ‘You’re The One’

Leela James has one of the most mature and soulful voices in the industry. But, what’s so interesting about her vocal talent is that she knows how to use it to fit just about any situation–the mark of a true artist.

You’re The One, as previously mentioned, is the second single off of her 2021 album See Me. While her first single, Complicated, is more soulful, You’re The One is more playful and happy as she sings about her love with her significant other.

Also, the song has a late-90’s/turn-of-the-millennium laid back vibe to it. I feel like I’ve heard it before, but in a good way. The song is so familiar that it seemed to have time-traveled to from 2003 to 2022, just to arrive now.

Production on You’re The One also has some talent behind it. It was co-produced by Rex Rideout, who has worked with many artists such as Will Downing, SWV, The Temptations, and Angie Stone just to name a few.

The song was also co-written by Francesca Richard, who also helped write another of James’ songs, Say That (2014). Richard has also written for Adina Howard, Charlie Wilson, and Keith Sweat.

James Parties with Friends in Video

So, if me saying that James’ You’re The One doesn’t give you the turn-of-the-millennium-party vibes, how about watching the video.

The New Groove @ 2 will highlight songs that are from new artist, or new songs from current artists, or songs that are just new to KLEK that have been out for a while. If you have been streaming James’ See Me album or been on YouTube, then you have already been familiar with You’re The One.

Her label release the accompanying video back in August 2021, a little after See Me was released (July 2021). Unlike Complicated‘s “Baby Boy” vibes, the video for You’re The One shows James out at night partying among her friends in various locations–just having a good time. It’s gorgeously shot and James, herself, looks gorgeous in the video.

A Little About Leela James

If you listen to Leela James sing, all you hear soul. The whole soul. And nothing but.. the soul. James told the podcast SoulInterviews.com that she grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by music, having being brought up appreciating the art and deciding to pursue it as a career.

James sites many soul artists as her influence, such as James Brown and Mavis Staples. Back in 2012, she released an album paying tribute to another of her musical heroes, Etta James. Rolling Stones Magazine has also associated her sound to classic 70s soul singers coming from the biggest labels of the time, such as the legendary Stax in Memphis.

Just like any other soul singer, she also conscience of the world around her and highlights some of the atrocities that exists. On her website, she has t-shirts that encourages African-Americans to exercise their right to vote.

Also, her latest album See Me is a bold statement about the music industry itself. James told Rolling Stones Magazine that the title track of the same name is a letter to the industry to pay attention to the hard work that her and other Black R&B singers, especially women, have done for many years.

James has released 7 albums in her career, including See Me, and had been nominated for a Soul Train Music Award.

Is This New Groove ‘The One’ for You?

Do you see Leela James now? Is this song the one you’ve been looking for your whole life? Let me know in the comments below. You can also take a listen to it anytime in my new Spotify playlist!

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