Tag Archives: Soul

Get to know: J.J Leone

It’s easy to simply label a lot of artists as ‘singer-songwriters’, but J.J Leone takes this title to the next level, blending his talented songwriting skills with an easy listening combination of R&B and soul. We were lucky enough to have chat with him:

How did you get your initial start in music?

I was heavily influenced by my older brother’s musical ability as a kid, he was already doing tours when I was growing up but he introduced me to a lot of music and played guitar around me all the time. I looked up to him and still do, so I wanted to learn to play guitar like he could. I picked it up by ear and by watching him, then when I discovered guys like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante and John Mayer, they really pushed me to try different things with the instrument. Eventually I moved on to learning the drums, largely due to heavy rock and metal music I discovered, bass guitar and electronic production, which I put down to my love of Hip-Hop. I learnt everything by ear and with no tuition. I never really had a lot of confidence in my voice until I was like 18, and things grew from there!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I don’t really have an ‘ultimate aim’ or an ‘end goal’ in music, because I’m not creating music to tick boxes along the way or to think: ‘Once I get to this stage, I’ll be satisfied’. I write and perform music because I love it, and the way it can bring people together. ‘Making it’ has different meanings to different people. If someone sits down one day and says ‘I wanna learn how to play Little Wing on the guitar’ and then a year later they can, then they’ve made it! I’m the kind of person who is restless and never really satisfied, so I just want to make music for many years and what will come will come!

How long have you been writing your own music?

I started writing my own music around the age of 14. It was never normally for myself, or I didn’t picture that these songs will have me singing them, or anything would come from them, I just enjoyed it! The first serious music I wrote was for my band when we were 15; we took a couple of them into the studio and we got to open for Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate and tour Barcelona amongst other things, so I guess they went down alright! That was the first time I realised that I could possibly get somewhere with my music, so ever since then every lyric, melody and instrumental section has been written by myself!

Who are your top three influences and why?

Stevie Wonder, Prince and Cody Chesnutt. There are so many more great musicians who i really admire, but Stevie Wonder for the simple fact of how long he has been around and stayed at the top of his game. He has made maybe two songs I don’t like in his whole career. Prince because of his attitude and diversity. Not only an amazing musician, who played all the instruments on his tracks himself, but because he was always coming up with something fresh and was an artist who defied genres and boundaries. You could tell he was just in it for the music and didn’t care about critics or any of that stuff. My brother introduced me to Cody Chesnutt a few years ago. He played me his album ‘The Headphone Masterpiece’. Cody really inspires me because he recorded that entire album is his mum’s kitchen, with some really basic recording gear. It taught me that you don’t have to have this and that costing x amount of dollars or pounds to put your message out there, he had a real DIY attitude, something I’m trying to apply to my own music.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

I suppose I would just like people to know that everything you hear on ‘With You’ is done by me. All the writing, the vocals, the instrument, the production. That and the fact that its available NOW WORLDWIDE!

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m based in Norwich. The local music scene is pretty tight-knit to be honest, every band kind of knows each other. There is actually a lot of singer-songwriters based here too, and a couple of venues that put on ‘Oen Mic’ nights, so there is a really good chance to connect with other artists. Norwich is a pretty artsy place in general, which I like. I’ve played in quite a few places in Norwich, and the county of Norfolk in general, I really like ‘The Owl Sanctuary’ because they are really fair to the artists who play there, its a really chilled vibe.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

There was a rapper I heard a couple of months back called ‘Obongjayar’ (I hope I’m spelling that right!). His stuff is really sick and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t do some bits in 2017.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with: @iamjjleone. My official website is www.jjleone.com, which has further links to my Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud etc.

 

Listen to J.J’s new single ‘With You’ here:

Get to know: Les Kirsh

Les Kirsh has been writing catchy soul-influenced tunes since the 60s/70s, but has suffered more than his fair share of set backs. Now he’s back with a few remastered and mixed versions of old songs, reworked for a modern audience. Know Me Better managed to get 5 minutes with the talented songwriter:

 

How did you get your initial start in music?

After being in quite a few bands since school, I answered an advert in the Melody Maker and met with George Young and Harry Vanda (of The Easybeats) which which led to my first record deal with Phillips.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To have my songs covered by other artists and to be known as much as a writer as I am a singer.

How long have you been writing your own music?

On and off since the 60s

Who are your top three influences and why?

My ultimate influence is Otis Redding, later followed by Rod Stewart and Lionel Richie. These are artists I feel put a lot of soul and feeling into their music and lyrics.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

They are three completely different songs – two of which I feel tell a story and one is a fun, party song with a Four Tops Reggae feel. I enjoy writing all styles of music. 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

Im currently living In Essex – I don’t really have a favourite – each venue always has its own special feel.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music

There is plenty more to come and some already out there. Feel free to check youtube where you will find some other of my songs including the original ‘Tell Me To My Face’. My newest tracks are on sound cloud too.

https://soundcloud.com/leskirsh

https://www.facebook.com/LesKirshMusic/

https://twitter.com/LesKirshMusic

 

Listen to ‘Tell Me To My Face’ here:

Yo Will Make You ‘Shake It’ With New Single!

Post-punk indie single set to hit on June 15th

shakeit_RGB_HQ

Currently living in New Orleans – the birthplace of soul and jazz – Yo are a rock band not afraid to go against the grain. After travelling the globe and making homes in various corners of the USA and Europe, the music and songwriting draws upon a wealth of inspirations and tales from the road.

The latest single taken from the album will be the hard hitting, punk laced track ‘Shake It’ – dripping in punchy bass-lines, quasi-spoken vocals and a distinctly trippy sensibility.

You can hear the track here:

Watch the video here:

‘Shake It’ as a track represents just one of the many facets and styles that make Yo such an interesting band. Each track is specifically influenced by the place, time and events of its conception, so pinning down a genre is something of a challenge.

The single is taken from the album ‘Vagrancy’, an LP which shows perfectly the versatile nature of Yo’s songwriting. Songs such as ‘Shake It’ are seemingly built for the high energy of live performance, but other tracks on the album suit different environments. Whether relaxing out at a festival, going for it on a club dancefloor, jumping around at a live gig or relaxing in a local pub, there will be a song on this album which fits perfectly to every situation.

Altogether, it makes for a heady cocktail which is tough to pigeonhole, sewn together by the originality of vocalist Andre’s delivery.

Single ‘Shake It’ will be available from June 15th.

Links:

https://twitter.com/itmustbeyo

https://www.youtube.com/YoMusic

http://instagram.com/itmustbeyo/

https://www.facebook.com/itmustbeyo

Lateefah

Folder1. How did you get your initial start in music?

Well, I was blessed to grow up in a musical family and have always been encouraged to pursue music even when I didn’t want to. I grew up singing in church, and listening to the musicians that would come round to record in my dad’s studio. When I was about 9 my parents gave me a choice between music and ballet and I chose music. So I started learning classical piano.

2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I grew up listening to a lot of Lauryn Hill and India Arie. I love the feeling that soul music draws out of you; that laid back vibe. My aim or better yet my team’s aim is to leave our stamp on the music industry and for people’s lives to be changed by the music.

3. How long have you been writing your own music?

I started writing when I was 9 and it was so funny because I was writing about relationship problems I had never experienced. The lyrics were really mature for my age. My dad had left us in St. Lucia and gone back to England to work and I guess writing helped me deal with the separation because I was such a daddy’s girl. Still am!

4. Who are your top three influences and why?

Mmmm…Ok. Firstly India Arie because I grew up listening to her and have always admired the ease with which she sings and the messages within her lyrics. Secondly, Lauryn Hill because I love the way she raps and sings. She’s like the total package and her voice is AMAZING! Lastly is Ledisi, who I only started listening to a couple of years ago, but have been influenced so much in that time. Her vibe, her musicality and lyrics blow me away every time.

5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

‘Love Me Through’ is out on the 18th April distributed by CD Baby and available on iTunes, Amazon and other online stores. When I wrote ‘Love Me Through’ I really wanted people to feel good when they listened to it. I was like, “I want to write a ‘feel good’ song”, a song people can listen to on a Monday morning and all of a sudden they actually want to go to work! I want to make people smile and anyone who knows me, knows that’s all I do!

6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

So, I’m based in London and it’s such a blessing. London is so diverse when it comes to music. There are people from so many different cultures. You just have to embrace it. I love the fact that I can be underground at 8:30 in the morning and someone is standing around playing their guitar and telling stories in Spanish. It’s amazing! I had the pleasure of performing at an acoustic night hosted by a company called Live and Unplugged in Café Nero. The environment was so chilled and relaxed and I had so much fun performing there.

7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Well on my ‘at home’ playlist is Joel Culpepper, Greyce and Yasmin Green. Definitely check them out!

8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

The official music video to “Love Me Through” is being officially released on Friday April 18. It will be aired in St. Lucia on Calabash Television with simultaneous streaming on the internet, so definitely look out for that.

So if you wanna keep up with where I’m performing and new music you guys can find me on

Website: www.latekorecords.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealLATEEFAH

Twitter: @LateefahSings

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lateefahsings

Songkick:  http://www.songkick.com/artists/7992443

Jango:  http://www.jango.com/music/lateefah

‘Love Me Through’ is out for purchase on April 18th distributed by CD Baby and available on iTunes, Amazon and other selected online stores.