Grown Folks Music caught up with Leela James to talk about her sixth album, Did It For Love, available TODAY, how her musical journey has developed and her experience on reality TV. Read below and enjoy. Also, catch Leela James on tour this spring with special guest Daley.

GFM: You have a new album and you’ve done us a favor by dropping three singles ahead of the album release. I want to ask you about a couple of them. First, “Don’t Want You Back”– that seems to be telling the dude to ‘get gone and stay gone’. Then, there’s “I Remember”, and that seems to be talking about missing his love and wanting him back. Talk about those two opposite feelings that you explore.

LJ: It’s two opposite feelings [but] let me be clear, it’s not necessarily about wanting the same guy or the same relationship. It’s about all of those feelings that you have when you’re in those type of situations [or] in that phase of a relationship. When the relationship has gone sour, it’s really bad and it’s no coming back from it, yeah you’re at that place of, ‘I don’t want you back. Go. Bye. I’m tired of telling you. You’re not catching the message. I don’t return your phone calls. I don’t answer your text messages. What part don’t you understand? Okay, let me get blunt. Go. I don’t want you back. I’ll never take you back.’ You gotta let them know.

Then, there’s times when you’re in a relationship and you might’ve ended it or it might have ended on its own… you’ve never know. Then you’re like, ‘Dang, what really happened because I remember when it was good and that’s what I want back.’ So, you have different emotions a lot of times when you’re in relationships. That’s what love is. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. You can’t always say how certain things are going to play themselves out. But, that’s life and a lot of times how you go about different things sometimes has to do with love. That’s why I called the album Did It For Love.

GFM: I was just about to ask about the title, Did It For Love. What is it about love and relationships that you feel makes it the long-standing theme of music?

LJ: Music makes the world go ’round and what makes music go ’round is the things that happen in life. Most of the things life is made up of is relationships and within relationships is– love. One way or the other… some kind of way. Whether it’s love between a parent and a child, or a husband and a wife. Love is the center of most human relationships. Once you get past the phase of whether you like somebody or not if they continue [to be] in your life then you love them and it goes without saying the love a person can have for their child. Again, love is at the center of human relationships. When you write a lot about particular kinds of relationships… you’re going to end up talking about love… good and bad.

GFM: This is your sixth album. Can you talk about what you feel your musical journey has been from your first release until now?

LJ: The music has grown because I’ve grown. You get an older version of the same soul… with a fresh spin a lot of times to it. That’s a good thing.

GFM: What were the pros and cons for you of doing reality television and would you do a reality show again?

LJ: Sure! With anything, you take the good and the bad. You take it with a grain of salt. I thought one of the good things is that it was able to give my audience more of an inside connection to me. There were people who didn’t even realize that I’d been out and around for a while. Clearly, the con of doing reality TV was sometimes you could be misunderstood depending on how certain things are represented [laughs]. It’s all good to me anyway because I know who I am and I know what it is. People who know me… know me. It was fine for me… like, ‘whatever’.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?

LJ: Music that a child under 16 maybe shouldn’t be listening to [laughs].

Kimberly Kennedy Charles

I have questions. Artists have answers.