new york, new york. | singer. actor. writer. animal lover. friend. goofball. whiskey drinker.

I have spent my fair share of time wondering the streets of New Orleans in search of soulful sounds. One of my favorite performances showcased the talents of the incomparable Etta James. Norah Jones opened for Etta on Decatur Street. I remember that night with distinct detail. I was awe struck. I recall walking around the following week with a genuine smile upon my face. These two women were incredible. Writing about this memory that took place so many years ago brings back that feeling of awe and subsequently, that smile. No doubt, the musically talented leave impressions that last a lifetime.

I feel that genuine smile appear each time I listen to the music of Morgan James. This talented woman discovered her soul after studying opera at the world-renowned Julliard School in New York City. Her sultry ballads will reach down into your heart and generate feelings of pure magic. Morgan James is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She has appeared in numerous Broadway plays, including Motown: The Musical, Godspell, & The Addams Family. Her first studio album, Hunter, was released by Epic Records in November 2014.

As Morgan began her latest European tour, she took some time to share her thoughts on music and grace with j. jane readers. Her music will delight you and her thoughtful words will inspire.Enjoy today’s highlight and be sure to follow Ms. James around the world via social media. As always, the links are provided at the end of the interview. A very happy Sunday, indeed!


What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

My biggest obstacle is my tendency to compare. FDR said “comparison is the thief of joy”, and it’s so true. Comparing my path to other people’s paths has caused me a lot of unwarranted pain and jealousy. I try to navigate and overcome it everyday. It’s a hard but valuable lesson to learn that there is room for everyone; no one else needs to fail in order for you to succeed.

You have been gifted with an outstanding talent. Did anyone ever try to discourage you from following your dreams? If so, how did you handle the situation?

Thank you!  But of course!  I have been told “no” and lost many more jobs than I have won!  It’s the life of a working actor/singer: so much rejection. But some of my very best fuel has been the jobs I didn’t get, and the harsh/critical feedback I have received through the years. (smile)

How do you overcome fear?

Fear doesn’t go away; and frankly, I like a healthy dose of it with me at all times. But I always say that preparation is the best combatant of fear and anxiety.

For those who wish to follow in your footsteps of being a singer/songwriter, can you offer three tips that will point them in the right direction?

  • Don’t compare your path with someone else’s (see above.) You don’t know what they did/gave up/lost/learned to get there.
  • Listen to EVERYTHING, particularly everyone who came before you in your genre or style. You are only as good as your practice and preparation, and a huge part of that is listening!
  • Slow down. It’s not a race. Becoming an expert takes time. (smile)

If you could choose one female artist to perform with … who would it be?

TOUGH. I could never pick just one. At the top are Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, and Aretha Franklin.

What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?

Oh gosh, I wish I knew!  I need someone to answer that for me! Humility and patience, both of which I could use more of…


j. jane side notes:

This beautiful photograph of Ms. James was taken by the highly respected photographer Mr. Robert Ascroft.

Morgan James may be performing in a location near you – be sure to check out her website and tour dates and don’t forget to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. And of course, DO NOT fail to download this incredible talent on iTunes. This woman has some serious pipes – her music will make you smile. Perhaps we should start a petition to encourage Aretha, Bonnie, and Chaka to sing with Morgan …

A very special thank you to Mr .Demetrius Fuller with Sinfonia Gulf Coast. You know how to deliver, Maestro!