Music and Film are two completely different worlds that cohesively blend together lucratively. Actors often become musicians and musicians often become actors. Rarely do we witness an individual flourish in both industries simultaneously. Today, we recognize sensational Queens, New York actor/singer/producer James Worthy as he becomes the next big thing in music and film.
The 32-year-old thespian was inspired to purse entertainment by the King of Pop-himself, the late-Michael Jackson. Worthy was 10-years-old when he met the icon backstage at Webster Hall. Impressed by his talent, Jackson advised James to think about becoming an entertainer and the rest is history. Finding his identity, Worthy credits 90s East Coast Hip Hop as his education. “Man I was and still am a huge A Tribe Called Quest fan, Nas, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Whodini, and many more,” he remembers. While he realized his potential at 10, Worthy graduated to acting in 2017. “I started getting into acting serious about three-years-ago. It was something I always wanted to do, but I’m a firm believer in timing. Now is my time to pursue things that were always apart of the vision.”
Getting his start on music videos like Jeremiah Bullfrog’s “Fork It.” The majority of his work comes from Atlanta’s reality television. Worthy has appeared on ATL based reality shows Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta, Chrisley Knows Best and BET’s From the Bottom Up.
While acting has been steady, for James, his first love, music, has been phenomenal. How phenomenal? James Worthy is a three-time Grammy nominee. In 2017, apart of the new group Kings X2, he earned a top-10 Billboard hit with “Wine For Me.” Which led to a 2018 charting hit, titled, “Move”. Throughout his career, Worthy has released a single solo album called Blu Lesiure (2019). Along with “Move,” the album included noteworthy songs “Call on Me” and “Glow”. As a musician, James has worked with a who’s who of A-listers, including, B Angie B, Justin Bieber, Arrested Development, PM Dawn, Silk, Sara Stokes, Robin S, Truth Hurts, Bobby Brown, Petey Pablo, Yung Berg, Bonecrusher, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, Future, Michael Keith of 112, Lil Zane, Diamond of Crime Mobb, Kia Shine, Sonna Rele, Dae Dae, J’honni Blaze, Asian Doll, Kalenna Harper, Kevin Rudolf, 6lack, Blac Youngsta, DJ Luke Nasty, Natasha Mosley.
Separating him as an actor and him as a singer, Worthy breaks down, “James Worthy is described as R&B, but eclectic by genre-bending, and keeping the integrity in my craft. As an actor, I apply the same things.”
For his new album, Kaleidoscopes, Worthy sought out the guidance of legendary R&B act, PM Dawn (“I’d Die Without You”), who is the project’s executive producer. Appreciate the many lessons bestowed upon him by the legend, Worthy made his most personal and best work yet. “It was truly a blessing to be honest. Much love to my brother K.R.O.K who is a member of PM Dawn. He was the one who initiated the collaboration. I was already a big PM Dawn fan so it was something that I couldn’t refuse. I love learning from the greats.”
Behind the album title, Worthy wanted fans to understand his journey by taking a deep look. “The meaning behind it was basically letting my fans, and new fans get a deeper look into who I am as an artist, and a person,” Worthy clarifies. “Sometimes that is hard to see with just one project or one song. I wanted them to grow with along my journey.”
Working on the Kaleidoscopes, James recalls a memorable show in Atlanta birthing the album cut, “Gonna Get It”. Featuring Ruff Endz, he remembers, “I remember attending a show in Atlanta for the R&B group Ruff Endz and myself being a fan I had a vision for them being apart of a record I was working on for the project. After the show, I approached them about doing the song, and surprisingly they were highly excited to do it. That was more so the last spark to finish the EP. It’s always a blessing to work with those you admire.”
Show above, before releasing Kaleidoscopes, Worthy took fans behind-the-scenes with an in-studio making of visual. The seven-track EP features a complete guest appearance by Truth Hurts, Drag-on, Ruff Endz, Jillisa Lynn and Ray Lavender.
James Worthy made his latest work with the best advice he has ever received in music. “As an artist, we have an obligation to express our stories, but inspire others in the process. Use your voice and power wisely.” He continues, “Know who you want to be in the business for the right reasons. Don’t do it, because everyone else wants to be an artist or there is money to be made. There should be a genuine love for it.”
Ready to go like Pizza Chef. It’s no secret the difficulties that come with breaking into either/or both music and film. And even with breaking to the businesses, it’s even harder to remain in those industries once you’re in. However, Worthy navigates through the mentally challenging lifestyle by sticking close to his divine faith. He explains, “It means I have control over my destiny no matter the obstacles I face in life.” Ever frustrated, he reminds himself to who he is and where he comes from, “Me remembering that I’ve done things in my career that many others haven’t done, loving what I actually do as a profession and inspiring people around the world that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.” With both fields comes adversities, Worthy weaves through the problematic territories with ease and wits. “Within both fields, I’ve run into politics of people caring more about your popularity or social media numbers versus your actual talent. I’ve dealt with bad deals where money was not given that was owed to me, ownership is taken, etc. These are all things that make you smarter moving forward.
Worthy’s new album Kaleidoscope is available now via Humble Sound Music Group.