Behind The Music: James Worthy New EP, Blu Leisure
"You have to not only believe in yourself, but also believe in your craft"
In 2017, his group, Kings X2 earned #10 record on billboard with their island feel-good song, Wine For Me. Before, a typical day for producer, songwriter, and recording artist, James Worthy usually consisted of being in the studio all day with breaks for meetings, calls, and errands, but since the release of his EP, Blu Leisure, now his days are strictly: travel, perform, press interviews, repeat. This five-time Grammy nominated and one time Grammy winner, and owner of production company, Humble Sound Music Group is one of the hardest working folks in the music industry, while probably one of the most humble. “I’m a regular person at the end of the day,” the New York-born Atlantan says. “I’m a public figure but I just try to live my life normally.” James’ down to earth kind of sensibility is rare to find in the music scene. “I don’t have to be flashy all the time,” he says. “I just live my life and try to do what I love to do.”
We spoke with James shortly after his EP’s release party, which took place at the ILounge in Atlanta. According to Worthy, the vibe was urban, classy, and professional with appearances by Ecstasy of Whodini, Hiphop Weekly Magazine, Wealthy Ears Radio, and Classix 102.9.
Worthy knew he wanted to pursue a career in music at just fifteen years old. Growing up in Queens, his father played percussion. Worthy was exposed to all different kinds of music and as his ear developed in the musically colorful Big Apple, he began reading music credits, researching songwriters and musicians, and studying the music industry and its key players. “You have to have a respect for the people who left a blueprint for you to make your own blueprint.” Worthy understands the importance of other artists’ contributions to the music industry and through exploration, he learned the exact kind of determination, relationships, talent, and skills it would take for him to leave his mark too. “I thought, ‘What is it going to take for me to make my own songs and music? and I said, ‘Hey, why don’t I try it out?’” It was then that Worthy purchased his first music software, Reason, which he still uses for production but has since started incorporating Pro Tools for vocals and mixing. This was the first time Worthy began recording his own tracks and after a taste of it, he just kept going and going, getting better and better. He started by reaching out to local artists for collaborations, experimenting with sound, honing his own and bringing out the best in other artists. Through consistency, hard work, and networking, Worthy found himself in different circles with high caliber artists who wanted to work with him.
Since that time he has worked with the likes of Fetty Wap, 6lack, T-Pain, Truth Hurts, Robin S, Lil Zane, Dae Dae, Petey Pablo, Sammie, Yung Berg, and Bobby Brown. When asked who some of his favorite artists to work with have been he said,
“I work with a lot of people and the interesting part is, they all have their own personalities and different vibes. If I had to really choose, I really enjoyed working with T Pain. He’s a really creative person, as I am. when you’re working with creative people, you never know what is going to come out of the situation, it’s unpredictable. When I’m in those kinds of situations, it’s an anxious but exciting feeling. You wonder what the end product is going to be. T Pain was really dope to collaborate with. Tony Terry is really cool. Robin S is great.”
Which brings us to Worthy’s latest project, EP Blu Leisure. The EP was released on January 11th, 2019 and many fans and media came out to support on the night of the release. The project features R&B legend, Tony Terry, Kalenna of Dirty Money, and more. Blu Leisure is being distributed by Empire Records.
“I love Empire.” Worthy says. “Great company. They’ve been doing wonders for me ever since I released my first single. I have no complaints.”
For James, 2019 will be a year of continually building awareness, enhancing his brand and making a number of appearances on the radio, TV, and in movies.
“It’s a progression that I’ve been leading up to for quite sometime now,” he says. “After Blu Leisure, there will be another project, and after that comes my debut album.” Worthy will be feeding his fans one project at a time. Worthy works closely with producers, songwriters and engineers through Humble Sound Music Group and helps facilitate placements on various projects.
Loop Magazine is looking forward to seeing the Blu Leisure music videos. The video for Luv & High Levels will be out this week.
Worthy wants up and coming artists to know that “…you have to not only believe in yourself, but also believe in your craft and know you’re at least as good as someone else if not better. There are so many producers, songwriters, and engineers who are hungry and want a shot but you have to understand who you are as an entity, understand the business, and carve out a little bit of a different lane from other people because the worst thing you can do is follow someone else’s blueprint. Once you figure that out, you just have to be consistent in being you. You have to be yourself.”
Worthy says writing and performing go hand in hand and he’ll be writing for the rest of my life. “You can’t perform something if nothing is written. I just want to leave a legacy of some great songs.”