Award-winning soul/pop singer/songwriter Jamila Ford, has garnered attention for her sizable singing chops. Her slight frame belies her bewitchingly powerful voice and inner strength. She gets your attention. Or more accurately, the Los Angeles-based singer’s smooth mezzo-soprano makes you turn your head to give her a second listen. Drawing influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder to Fiona Apple, she can give you a history of 50 years of American popular music during one of her sets, with her sultry voice providing the linchpin.
“I’m definitely a singer first, but I love writing songs. It’s the absolute best way for me to express myself and to connect with other people.” She has a knack for pinpointing emotions that well from all of our experiences – the struggle for self realization, the search for inner strength and independence, the joy of love, the pain and confusion of rejection, and the acceptance of all of our imperfections. “I think people hear my songs, relate to the lyrics and realize they aren’t alone… Someone else has felt the same way too.” She is currently completing her first full-length album titled Enough, which will feature both new material and reworked arrangements of songs from her second EP Fabulous (2002). Enough will be available on jamilaford.com for preorder October 5 and is scheduled for release October 19.
In addition to the release of her 1st full length album, Ford also plans to release a special edition of her very first EP entitled Traces of the Day: Special Edition. The first run of Traces of the Day was released in 2000. “This collection definitely shows my blues and jazz influence, which is really where I started out. No one has seen that side of me in a long time, so I think it’s an interesting dynamic to re-introduce.” The disc will include re-mixed and re-mastered versions of the songs as well as previously unreleased piano/vocal imaginings for a total of eight tracks. Traces of the Day: Special Edition is now available for purchase on www.jamilaford.com
In conjunction with the 2004 release of her Fabulous EP, Jamila collaborated with her friend MJ Park on an experimental short musical film titled Doll Face. The film, based on “Good Things,” the second track from the EP, starred Ford and was written and directed by Park. “It’s pretty fortuitous, because I wanted to make a video to promote Fabulous, and MJ needed to film her final project at PAC [Pasadena Art Center].” Ford plays a doll brought to life by a mad scientist who wants to build his idea of a perfect woman.
An active member of West Coast Songwriters (WCS), Ford was awarded “2007 Hollywood Songwriter of the Year” for her song titled “Not Exactly Perfect,” as well as Best Performance for her song “Easy For You.” She then went on to compete at the grand finals along side the year’s other regional winners at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA.
Ford has also lent her backing vocals to the projects and live shows of artists such as Bonnie Pointer, Barry Goldberg’s Soul Riot, Fat Danny & the Hard Tymz, Lee Newman, Abraham Cloud, Nektare, Andrew Hyra, Josh Rich, Alicia Grant, Shari Puorto & the Rhythm Addicts, Artist Robinson, Larry Klein, Joe Hajek and Jennifer Quiroz just to name a few.