When Stephanie James interviewed with us at Section 36 Music, she teased an upcoming debut album. I, along with the rest of you, have eagerly awaited the chance to hear the results of that production. That opportunity came last month, and I can definitively say it was worth the wait.
First, a little bit about the album itself. Here’s how Stephanie describes it on her website:
“James released her debut album “Unbreakable” in collaboration with Grammy-nominated producers Jorel Corpus and Simone Torres. The album explores vulnerability, self-reliance, themes of growing up, and learning from the past. Maya Angelou’s poem, “Caged Bird” is featured among songs with hints of country and soul. Stephanie hopes to empower her listeners to overcome their struggles and discover that we are all “Unbreakable”.”
Of course, we were all given a taste of what the album would be like with the release of the first single, “Throw Me A Rope”. That release made me eager to hear more!
Stephanie was nice enough to answer a few questions for us about the album...
What did it take to put the album together?
Lots of patience - patience I never knew I had in me. I’m still learning how to remain persistent while being patient with myself and the process. It’s always been a goal of mine to have my own album. I knew that I needed to write A LOT of songs, find my sound, and collaborate with producers and musicians who could elevate my vision. It took about 3 years to make the record from the beginning writing stages to launching a Kickstarter campaign to releasing the album.
What was the recording and production process like?
It was such an honor to have Jorel Corpus produce the album - we had so many laughs and he really put his whole heart into every single detail. I can’t thank him enough for that. I really wanted the album to have warm energy with real instruments but also have that polished pop sound. Jorel worked with my references and really understood my vision. It was such a pleasure to have Simone Torres onboard to engineer and produce the vocals. The whole team brought so much to the table and really made the entire process so special.
What does it feel like to finally have your album out?
It’s such a relief - I’ve been anxiously waiting to share this music with the world. I never thought I would release my debut album during a pandemic but we need music, change, and positive energy to get us through these difficult times. These songs came to me during painful moments of growth and reflection when I really had to rely on myself to process my emotions and keep moving forward. Personally, these songs have gained more depth and meaning with the current state of the world. I’m so honored to share my personal experiences and I’m proud of how my visions came to life from my little notebook. The lyrics in the title track “Unbreakable” state “nothing can ever be too small unless you put it in a box”. I believe this so much and hope listeners will feel inspired to keep growing and moving forward. Music has helped me so much during this past year and I hope these songs can inspire, empower, and bring listeners joy.
The album did not disappoint. From the start with the beautiful “Caged Bird” to the unforgettable beat of the “Unbreakable” title track, this album drew me and wouldn't let me go. Each new song serves its own delicious treat.
If you want to learn more about Stephanie, check out her Section 36 Music profile page. There you can find links to her full interview with Section 36 Music, her social media accounts, as well as more samples of her incredible singing.
You can also hop directly to her interview right here on Section 36 Music. That will give you an opportunity to learn more about this amazing singer.
Be sure to give “Unbreakable" a listen!