“If nothing came of it, then that was fine,” James said. “Music was always something I wanted to do. I was always passionate about it. I just didn’t know the first thing to begin on that road. So I took the songs to Nashville thinking that even if the album ended up on my mom’s coffee table and nothing comes of it, at least I did it. At least I can say I did it because it was the one thing in my life that I wanted to do but never have done. All these doors started to open.”
James has performed her songs at numerous shows and gained some exposure in the country music world. The driven entertainer hopes to build on her success with “Somebody’s Gonna Pay.” A Kickstarter fundraising campaign online gave fans or members of the “James Gang” a chance to help make the project a reality. An initial EP of six songs turned into a full-blown album. Last month the music video for the first single, the same name as the album, premiered. Among those in it is her friend and WWE Hall of Fame rival Trish Stratus.
“I’m really grateful for that,” James said. “I called her on the phone saying, ‘Trish, I need to ask you for a huge favor. You can say no. Would you come down and be a guest star in my music video?’ She said, ‘Are you kidding? Absolutely, I’m so excited for you and happy for you.’ So she took time out of her busy schedule, which is obviously just as busy as mine if not busier some days running her own company at the same time.
“It was a real honor, plus it was fun and made the day go by faster. It was a long day shooting, but for us, we had the same silly stuff that we would do in WWE to make the day go by quicker. We just bounced off each other as far as our personalities. We were complete goofballs, and it was awesome. I was grateful that she was able to do it.”
With Stratus and James reuniting in front of the camera, it begs the question if we will ever see one more match between the two down the line.
“We talk about it,” James said. “That would be awesome, but it would have to be the right stage and the right setting.”
Another person from the wrestling world fans will recognize in the video is TNA’s Magnus, who took quite the guitar shot. James can now add accomplished swinger of stringed instruments to her impressive resume.
“I have never swung a guitar before, which I know you may find surprising,” James said. “So I had to get Jeff Jarrett to come in -- luckily we were shooting in Nashville -- to show me how to swing this guitar properly without killing anyone. So he showed me how it was done and where the sweet spot was. I had songwriter friends and musicians there. We only had two guitars, so we only had two takes to get it right. We did it in three because in the first swing I stopped mid-swing. I got nervous.”
The former WWE diva is thankful to have TNA’s support as she continues to pursue her other projects outside the wrestling ring.
“I hate to compare the two companies, but I will say my schedule has been much lighter with TNA, giving me more time to work on that album,” James said. “[TNA President] Dixie [Carter] has been super supportive. When I first got signed to TNA that was one of the things she wanted to embrace was music. Not a lot of people know this, but Dixie represented Tanya Tucker for 20 or so years I think. I don’t know the timeline, but she was working with her forever. So she comes from the country music world and knows how it works. She was able to lend a ton of advice and help me out as far as that aspect goes. TNA let me do my own music video and helped write my entrance music, which we added to the album as a bonus track for fun for all the wrestling fans.”