When did you realise the music industry was the place you wanted to follow your dreams?
I started singing in choirs and performing in theatre when I was in junior high school, and I was pretty hooked from then on. Navigating the business of music has been a different challenge entirely!
How best would you describe yourself as a musician and artist?
I am a classically trained musician, with a classic soul instrument... Emotional, gutsy, wry and tender. I am constantly humbled and amazed by the power of singing and making music.
You've seen a successful time on Broadway, how was that whole experience?
Nothing teaches you about stamina and hard work like being on Broadway! That schedule is relentless - 8 shows a week, in addition to everything else. But I love the theatre community and sense of family.
That set you up to get your record deal, can you tell us about how you were discovered and that process?
I was cast in the musical version of Mr [Berry] Gordy's life, Motown: The Musical, and he really took a shine to me. He believed in me and encouraged me to write from day one. He introduced me to Doug Morris at Sony Music, and... the rest is history!
How difficult would you say this business is to break into and succeed in?
I think it's the hardest! Especially in this day and age, where people place more importance in "likes" and "numbers" than they do on actual talent or work. People don't want to work for it - they want a viral video quick-fix to find fame. I find it very hard to break through certain walls, even with the incredible team I have behind me! BUT it's also the most rewarding, intoxicating business ever: nothing is better than making music for a living, and creating something that no one has ever heard before.
What should fans and new listeners expect from your album 'Hunter'?
The album is a full meal: original soul music, complete with full band and layers of choirs that I sang myself. It's varied, rich, emotional, funky and all me!
Tell us about the process of creating and recording that LP.
It was a long process. In addition to the writers and producers [record label] Epic had me working with, Doug Wamble and I started writing music and performing it with my band in NYC. Playing the new songs for an audience every week really brought the cream to the top. We started narrowing down the best songs, and went into the studio in the old-school way: we tracked the 7-piece band live, and I laid vocals after. It was an incredible experience!
You'll also be touring this February across the UK - what should those coming to those dates expect?
I will be performing as a guest with Postmodern Jukebox - and if you haven't seen them, you must! They re-imagine pop music in a new and amazing way.
Is touring something you enjoy, getting out on the road and travelling?
I love to travel! And getting to perform and meet new fans all over the world? Even better!
What else should we expect to see or hear from you in the coming months?
I'm going to continue touring and getting 'Hunter' out into the world; definitely going to begin writing the next batch of songs and continue that journey. Hopefully some more musical collaborations will be on the horizon...
Morgan James debut album 'Hunter' is out on Feb 9th on Sony Music
Tour dates Feb 6th -17th - info from: www.morganjamesonline.com