One voice is all it takes. The right vocalist can make you fall in love at first listen, elicit tears, or bring you back to a different era altogether. A microphone and a stage remain the only necessities. That holds true for New York–based soul singer, songwriter, and Broadway chanteuse Morgan James.
Her latest studio album is her first as an independent artist, and Reckless Abandon is her most personal outing yet. James assumed cowriting duties on all twelve tracks and sang all her own background vocals. The album is stocked with lush horns and harmonies; it stretches limbs between genres for a sound all its own. From the Rufus-inspired soul swagger of the opening track, “Up in Smoke,” to the delicious R&B slow jam “You Thought Not,” to the infectious soulful pop of “Unworthy,” Morgan James takes the listener into her new era of freedom and empowerment.
On her full-length debut for Epic Records, Hunter, she cast an unbreakable spell with a powerhouse voice, theatrical swing, and a soulful poise. It boasts a powerful and personal rendition of Prince’s “Call My Name” (it reached Top 15 on urban adult contemporary radio). James cowrote eight of the collection’s eleven tracks and performed all of her own background vocals and harmonies. From the empowering farewell of “Fed Up on You” to the mournful rumination of “Say the Words” or the soulful duet with GRAMMY Award winner Robert Glasper in “Let Me Keep You,” she continually bares it all—both emotionally and musically.
Since Hunter’s release, James’s music videos have accumulated more than fifteen million views (and climbing), and her viral cover of Ariana Grande’s “Break Free” appeared on Good Morning America. James just returned from a thirty-four-show tour through Europe with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and is currently with them on a nineteen-show U.S. tour before heading out for solo dates in the summer.
A phenomenal talent whose feel for classic soul music is bone deep.
—New York Times
Morgan James is a multi-talented performer. . . . She can do it all.
—Berry Gordy Jr.