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Ro James On One of His Biggest Musical Inspirations: Prince Was a Huge Influence


Sarah McColganRo James has a busy year to look forward to, including headlining his first tour and attending the 2017 Grammy awards as a first-time nominee.

Still, the recording artist remembers the one performer who greatly influenced his music at an early age — Prince

“My aunt, Rosie Gaines, sung with Prince– ‘Diamonds and Pearls,'” he tells ABC Radio.  

“And at the time I didn’t realize how big of a song that was. I just thought ‘Oh, that’s my auntie singing with Prince, that’s cool.’ But Prince was a huge influence, watching Purple Rain gave me perspective, and I felt like I could relate to that. And I think that’s kind of where it started for me.”  

Ro also fondly recalls how living in different states as a child, due to having a father in the army, shaped his musical sensibilities and, ultimately, his unique path within the music industry.  

“I got to know all different types of people from different places all over the world. And with that, people listen to different types of music. I listened to a lot of reggae music, a lot of Caribbean, a lot of gospel, a lot of rock, a lot of country, hip-hop… you know, so it just gave me perspective when it came to music and what I liked,” Ro explains.  

“You have to definitely be yourself in order to stand out. You have to bring your perspective and your story and the thing that separates me from other artists is experience.” 

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