Caleya Black – R&B With a Sweet, Soulful Twist

Tell us about yourself and your music

I was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up, I was always surrounded by soulful music, as I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. This, I believe, played a huge role in the type of music I love and also the type of music I create. As an R&B/soul artist, my goal to make music that is relatable and meaningful. I’d like for someone to hear my music and personally connect with it.

Talk to us more about your latest release

My latest release is called “When I’m With You”. It was written by me and produced by Milwaukee-based producer, Mike Shaw.

What inspired you to write this release?

When I first heard the instrumental/track, I fell in love with it. I loved the feeling it gave me! When I was deciding what the subject of the song would be, I wanted to stay away from subjects of heartbreak and disappointment. Although these subject matters are explored in many of my songs, I really wanted this song to be different. I wanted this song to celebrate the love and commitment between two people.

Describe the writing and recording process

I flew out to have an initial meeting with the producer in March 2019, where we sat and listened to potential tracks to record to. After returning home, I gravitated toward this track and I began writing to it. When writing, I often base the theme/subject matter of the song on the feeling I get when listening to the music. I could almost visualize the car on the highway that I speak about in the first verse, taking a long romantic drive during any given summer night.

Later in the same year, I flew back to Orlando to record what I had written to the song. All of the pieces just came together, and “When I’m With You” was born!

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

Due to the current COVID crisis, there are no confirmed live show dates at the moment.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I believe the main key is authenticity. I believe I have stayed consistent with my style of music, regardless of what “sound” may currently be trending. I also aim to build genuine relationships with those who support me & my music.

Who have you been listening to lately?

Lately, I’ve been listening to Brandy’s new B7 album as well as Jazmine Sullivan. Other than that, I’m always listening to my tried and true Pandora station, “90s R&B”.

Who are your biggest influences?

As a songwriter, my biggest influence is Smokey Robinson. I absolutely love him and have been to three live shows so far (and counting). As someone who really appreciates the lyrical quality of the music from the Motown-era, I know there is no Motown without Smokey.

My singing influences include Whitney Houston and Sade. Whitney, who is from my home state, was a powerhouse whose voice couldn’t be denied. I also love Sade because of her smooth, sensual tone. Her music has a certain calming effect.

Tell us about your passions

Outside of music, I enjoy event planning, traveling, and cooking.

What else is happening next in your world?

I recently received my first series placement for my song, Go There. It appeared on season 2 of UMC’s “5th Ward”, starring Mya.

I am also a wife and mother, so needless to say, life can get a little hectic. Finding time to pursue my music career can sometimes be challenging, but I believe that this is what I’m meant to do.



Thanks for an awesome interview, Caleya Black



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