Professional wrestler releases her debut album, "Somebody's Gonna Pay," on E1
Mickie James releases her debut album, "Somebody's Gonna Pay," this week, and she says getting the disc out is bringing about a full slate of emotions. "The full album is out, it's on iTunes, and we've got a video out on it. I'm excited but also so nervous at the same time. I've definitely been praying about it," she told Billboard.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that James has a built-in fan base already thanks to her exposure as a multi-time champion in the world of TNA Impact Professional Wrestling. When asked about how the worlds of music and wrestling are the same, she said "I think they run very parallel, especially with the fan base being so loyal. I think the schedule of the performances is also similar. I've been a performer all my life. That's what I love to do – to make people feel something. I've been fortunate enough to do it on a grand scale in the wrestling world, pulling on people's emotions, and make them feel something. But, doing it on stage is something altogether different because you are so vulnerable. You really put yourself out there, but I think it's cool to see someone that if you can touch them in some way, or move them, I guess you are doing your job, I guess."
She smiles when she describes the reaction of TNA fans to her over the years. "I started as a bad girl, but as I went along, the fans turned me into a good girl. They know when you're good, and if you can make them hate you, then they know you're doing your job. They may hate you, but they will still come out and see you because you entertain them. A lot of the fans have been very supportive of my music, and have come to shows. It's been really awesome."
James did admit that playing a villain of sorts gives her a license to steal. "Being the bad girl, you know you shouldn't be saying and doing all the things that you are, but because it's for entertainment purposes, it's ok. I would think back to some of the stuff I would do or say, I couldn't believe it. Then, you get the heat or hate tweets, it's very entertaining," she says with a mischievous grin.
She marketed and promoted her first release by herself, so with Somebody's Gonna Pay, she's glad to have a helping hand from a label standpoint.
"I just got signed by E1, which is a huge honor. I learned a lot doing it by myself, as far as the inner workings go, but now to have E1 behind me. Van Fletcher is there, and he is really pushing me. It's great to have that backing from someone who really believes in you, and wants you to be successful. They've also got Shooter Jennings and Bucky Covington there as well. It's all been really a cool experience."
The album took on a different life of its' own – as she was first just looking at a scaled-down version of the release. I used the Kickstarter program to do the first six songs. Then, my management team started shopping them to the labels. I was just going to release the six on an EP, but Van heard it, and we talked. He said ‘Let's just go back in the studio, and make a full album, so that's what we did." From first listen, we think you'll be impressed. "Whatever Turns You On" has a funky 80s sound to it, and "If I Can't Be Me" gives her a chance to show a raw and bluesy side.
Having gotten the record making process behind her, she's grateful for the experience, and now, she's ready to take her music to the masses. "I have a lot more respect for the world of music now, learning the process and the reasoning behind why you pick every song and why you write a certain way," she says. "I'm excited to get out there and perform and share my music and get in front of people. I'm just excited to kick ass and hope people love it."