She earned the nickname “Baby Etta” for her strong voice, and says what’s on her mind. Just like Etta did.
“She’s didn’t take no stuff; I don’t take no stuff. I can just relate to that,” Leela said in a recent interview with Essence.
Now she’s paying homage to the legendary singer with a new album, “Love You More … In the Spirit of Etta James.”
Embracing the solid classics and lesser-known ballads, Leela said this one is all about honoring her idol through music.
“One of the execs at my label suggested we do a song in dedication to Etta. It kind of started out as one song, and then the project evolved,” Leela said. “With her death and everything, we were like ‘how about we make this whole project in dedication to her’ because she was such an incredible artist? I felt like she didn’t get a lot of respect and props while she was alive. I said we need to keep her music and legacy out there and this would be a great way to reintroduce her to a whole new generation. She has so much material. She was an awesome lady. We took a few of her songs, flipped them, and gave them a whole new sound, but in the same spirit. I also do a couple of originals on the album.”
Check out the full interview here.