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Baltimore artist plays neosoul music to pursue dreams

Neo-soul artist James Sartor
Neo-soul artist James Sartor
provided by and used with permission from James Sartor

His preferences in music center around Neosoul artists Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, India.arie, D'angelo, John Legend, and Raheem DeVaughn, but James Sartor is becoming a force with which to be reckoned as well.

Originally from Washington, DC, the thirty-eight year old strongly believes in following his dreams. Sartor, who used to sing himself to sleep as a baby, has been playing piano since the age of 8. His father, now a minister in Elizabeth City, NC, recognized the talent, and planted the seed by paying for an instructor on a yearly basis. Throughout the tutelage, however, young Sartor realized there was more that he wanted to do. Once he mastered the keys, Sartor says he became bored and never liked playing other people's music. He began to write his own original music.

Sartor says music has always been a part of his life. His greatest influences have been the church and his need to always encourage people. He says he does not like people to be uncomfortable around him and will gravitate toward a person who is not doing well and feels the inspiration for his music comes from his association with them.

This graduate from Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD has been back in the Baltimore area for five years. He has performed in the military in Europe. He says he had his exposure as well as his comfort level in Europe. He even helped to write songs for European artist Jay Luv, but is looking toward moving forward here in the states.

Sartor plans to finish the CD's on which he is working and have the material copyrighted. He will be performing at Baltimore's Artscape Festival Friday, July 18 at 3:30pm in the Brown Center with operatic performer Ruby Weston, www.rubyweston.com, (Artscape, www.artscape.org, is the country's largest outdoor arts festival and takes place all weekend from July 18-20 in the Mt Royal area of the city.)

Sartor believes the sky is the limit and says he wants to be everywhere with no limitations. He says when people hear neo-soul, he wants his name to be known. He has lots of messages to share with the world and also has the gift to get that message out.

So far, Sartor says he has had no challenges, but he is constantly preparing for something as he composes his original songs, whose topics center around unconditional love. He wants to be remembered as someone who cared. His advice to young people is to "remember that the sky is the limit and to treat people the way you want to be treated".

His website is still under development, but Sartor can be contacted via email at jaycsartor@gmail.com.