Harlem has always been the city with a whole lot of soul. It’s embedded deep into our roots. It’s considered the home of culture and the birthplace of some of the most significant movements and figures of black history. And it’s not just the legends that came out of Harlem that makes it so great. It’s the people who are living here, right now, working, playing, communing, and creating. Together. We want to share those people with you. The real people that make this city what it is. Each and every day.
James Miller, R&B/Gospel Musician
We met with James in his Mount Morris Park home. A North Carolina native who was raised in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, James had been calling Manhattan his home since the 1970’s. He’s a man of many talents but it the end it all comes down music.
It All Started with Music
James is a Harlemite whose story is the likes of a BET Unsung Special. After receiving his degrees from the Mad College of Music and City College, he went on to start a career in music industry. We’re talking show biz baby. There was a disco contract with Capital Records, a cameo in The Wiz alongside the legendary Michael Jackson, modeling contracts, a stint with the National Black Theatre, and even receiving the coveted Adelco award.
Following God’s Plan
As anyone of a certain age can affirm—ahem—sometimes life takes you on a different path. After surviving a serious illness and the passing of his record executive, James decided to redirect his creativity into gospel music. He spent the next few years playing music for a traveling gospel performance company and today you can find James sharing his musical talents across Harlem. He also spends his time at the Gospel Music Center on 137th and Lenox or acting as the Sr. Musician at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Lenox and 120th.
Sitting in James’ Harlem brownstone abode we wanted to know more about the place he called called home.
What do you like to show off to guests?
My 45 record of the disco track with Capital Records and the picture of me on the piano when I was 16.
Is there a favorite gift you received that you can share?
Yes, my mother gave me this cat statute. She know I loved cates and wanted me to have this.
What makes your home comfortable?
I picked this bed quilt and love it. I also have it on my chair too.