BY CHARLES MYAMBO
GRAMMY award-winning American record producer, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur James Allen Worthy has set a strong footprint in the world of showbiz and other sectors.
Worthy, who is also a certified audio engineer, has so far successfully sold an astonishing 50 million records worldwide.
He is recognised for having played a big role on projects of superstars such as Whitney Houston, T-Pain, Bobby Brown, Jaden Smith, Yo Gotti, Justin Bieber, Future, Dr Dre and Fetty Wap, among other icons.
Worthy is also a well-respected television personality who has been featured on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, BET’s From The Bottom Up, Chrisley KnowsBest, Access Hollywood, Growing Up Hip Hop ATL, Khon 2 News and ABC among other shows.
Our United States based correspondent, Charles Myambo (ND) spoke to Worthy (JW) and below are some excerpts from the interview.
ND: You have worked with legends like Whitney Houston, T-Pain, Justin Bieber, Fetty Wap, Future, Yo Gotti, Dr Dre and Jaden Smith to name a few. Has such prominence taken you at all by surprise or you expected it?
JW: Intriguing question Charles, I am a really determined guy who places great emphasis on the fundamentals. It is good to build gradually and consistently.
“Given proper preparation, anything can be achieved. So, I would say with all humility that I am not particularly surprised. I expected to do great things because I had great preparation.
ND: You are always exploring and eager to tap into different experiences which is a big factor behind you diving into a different genre for your recent hit single, See it my way, would you one day consider exploring the African “sound”?
JW: Yes, I would and I am doing that even more nowadays thanks to you. I have always had an interest in the musical rhythm that comes from Africa, especially Afro beats.
It is only recently that I started listening to some Zimbabwean musicians because you encouraged me to do so and I do not regret it even for one second.
People that side of the world are incredibly talented and I am quite open to working with Zimbabwean artistes as well as other African artistes.
I am a huge fan of most of the artistes you recommended me to listen to.
Gemma Griffiths being one of them as well as Anita Jaxson, she is a lyrical genius with a very good voice.
Enzo Ishall, Holy Ten and Jah Prayzah also stood out to me, but for different reasons, Enzo has a unique ability to bring euphoria through music. He is what I would like to call a performer. Based on the one english song I heard from Holy Ten, I would say he is another lyrical genius. His voice is also something quite special.
Then Jah Prayzah has what we spoke about earlier, quality. His music videos are of a very high quality which I very much appreciate and the melody of his music is quite good as well. Lastly, the late King Pinn was someone I enjoyed listening to, massively talented.
ND: You have always told me that you are big on quality and I can tell from your webcam set up as well as surroundings that you truly exude class and quality. Why is it so important to you to ensure quality in everything you do, especially your music?
JW: Very true, I remember you and even discussed the appearance of my Instagram page and the style in which I post my content.
I believe that how you present yourself counts so much because the first thing people see about you or what you own usually leaves a lasting impression.
It is not appealing to have mediocre quality when it comes to anything least of all music. I have listened to some good tracks that had potential, but lacked that extra quality which then did not make it that far.
Music is one of the best measures of quality or lack of quality and like you said, I love good quality and always focus on that. Lastly, I want listeners to really enjoy and get their money’s worth.
ND: How are you capable of being so diverse and multi-talented when it comes to music?
JW: As you already know, I studied music and have two degrees in music and audio engineering. So, the phrase “true student of the game” really does apply to me. Besides that, I am genuinely interested and passionate about all areas of music like songwriting, audio engineering, producing and of course singing.
I even enjoy doing interviews like this one. So, I would say I truly enjoy all aspects of the “music job” and that is a key factor in why I am successful in that.
ND: Tell me a bit more about your family and how you that type of a role they had in your journey thus far in life.
JW: My family was in the music business too. I started young and knew straight away that this was for me.
The support and provision from my family was truly essential in getting me to where I am today in life.
So, I would say family is everything to me and I would encourage everyone to invest in their relationships with their loved ones.
ND: Let us talk about your seemingly abnormal level of dedication. How do you balance things in a day?
JW: If you do not work diligently to progress your life, who will? Putting maximum effort should not be an option, but should be a formality.
Everyone should commit themselves earnestly to anything they really want to be successful in.
ND: It is impressive that your company partnered the English Premier League (EPL). This only goes to show that you are quite a businessman. Could you briefly tell us a bit about your big investments in British companies and the strategy behind it all?
JW: Awesome, I like that you dug into that aspect of my life too. Business is a big part of who I am as a person.
I have been featured on some big United Kingdom platforms about my music and business. I am a co-founder and owner of three Kingdoms Group which is a data analytics driven sports agency.
In response to you about the EPL, yes three Kingdoms has done some work with the EPL as well as many other big companies.
It is quite lucrative and it is important to have multiple income streams rather than just relying on music alone because nothing is ever guaranteed.
Besides, I am big on generational wealth, my kids should be set financially. Also, these ventures enable me to give back more to the community and those in need.
ND: What should the artists in Zimbabwe do in order to get a chance to work with big artists like you, Future, Justin Bieber and others?
JW: One of the most important things is to build connections. Music is not just about the talent and production “quality” even though I really love that aspect.
It is vital for artists to also understand the ins and outs of the music industry from a business and networking perspective.
These Zimbabwean musicians you advised me to listen to are quite talented and can truly excel even further. Now, I probably know them because of you and your eagerness to promote your fellow countrymen.
That there is an example of networking and building bridges. If more artists can learn to do that, this may benefit their music and help as far as who listens to them and who promotes them. However, it is extremely important to have great production quality and vocals as the foundation then you can focus on networking. Lastly, I have identified some Zimbabwean artistes I would be willing to work with. Anita Jaxson, Gemma Griffiths, Jah Prayzah, Enzo Ishall and Holy Ten all intrigue me in different ways.