First Listen – Keith James’ “Not My Day” Makes Ours

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    The Chicago-born multi-platinum singer/songwriter Keith James along with producer collaborator Mike Schultz has been making hits for R&B star Jeremih for years, including “Birthday Sex” and “Imma Star (Everywhere We Are).” Now it’s time for the caramel cub with the toothy smile to get his solo shine on with two new singles from his forthcoming debut EP, From the Grey (releasing June 16th), “Treat Her Like A Lady” and the hilariously perfect “Not My Day.” Not quite taking Gerald Levert’s spot as the new lover boy with a little more to love, the comely James nonetheless exudes a charm, humor, and presents the gentleman the game has been missing since LeVert’s untimely passing in 2006.

    While Keith James’ website bio likens him to Teddy Pendergrass and Barry White, the sing-talking baritone vocal on the rollicking “Not My Day” falls a bit short of such PR propaganda. But, that’s okay, we’d rather Keith James be Keith James, since that dude looks like a lot of fun and has a voice that invites listeners to sing along rather than be intimidated by him. There’s also no one else quite like him out here today, double plus. With a lyric instantly relatable by anyone who’s had a Murphy’s Law period in his or her life, which is pretty much every one on the planet, “Not My Day” could be this era’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” In any other era in media, this infectious song would be tearing up the airwaves and pitch perfect video would be on every television music channel on cable, format be damned, but alas it’s a different time. Best we can hope is that folks like you help make it viral, and make Keith James, the original, happen. Hop to it!

    By L. Michael Gipson