Watch List: Morgan James Signposts Her Talent With 'Maps'
Her skills honed at New York's prestigious Julliard School, the mature, soulful tone and expressive, articulate delivery of Morgan James' voice have taken her from Idaho to Broadway, and from Broadway via Berry Gordy to Epic Records as she has pursued her dream to 'bring back the power of the singular legacy voice', those vocal qualities here in evidence as she fronts Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox and their 70's soul version of Maroon 5's 'Maps'.
Having harnessed her vocal skills at Julliard, James knew that while she valued the classical training - 'I didn't want a career in opera...the traditional training really made me a disciplined singer. I carry that with me to this day' - her musical instincts lay in the legacy of classic 60's and 70's soul records, and through the grind of performing as singer on the New York scene following her graduation from Julliard she found 'my true voice, and I feel like I discovered it in the middle of so much hardship just trying to be heard. I embraced who I was at that very moment'.
Winning a place on Broadway alongside Nathan Lane in 'The Addams Family' in 2008, she went on to appear in 'Wonderland', 'Godspell' and Berry Gordy's 'Motown - The Musical', the latter of which resulted in Gordy himself being impressed enough with her voice to introduce her to Doug Morris and L.A. Reid at Epic Records, with whom she signed in 2012. An acclaimed live rcording of her Nina Simone tribute concert at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in 2012, 'Morgan James Live', was followed this year by the release of her debut studio album, 'Hunter', with James explaining 'I always knew to make a neo-soul pop record...the foundation is all real ingredients, and those roots of soul and R&B are pretty strong. It's the culmination of my musical life up to this point. The painful songs are straight out of a bad relationship with someone from my past. The joyful moments are wonderful memories. It's all coming from me. I've lived every one of these stories, and I love the genres I'm representing. It's one point-of-view—mine'.