I’ve been meaning to write something about LeaLea Jones since she more than impressed when warming up for Kinny way back when in February.
It wasn’t one specific thing about her which stood out, more a mixture of many things all coming together in a package that reminds me I should never give up on the UK Urban scene. Just as I was near total disillusionment with the UK R&B/Hip-Hop scene as it continued to turn into a caricature of itself then came the pleasant surprise of LeaLea Jones.
It was R&B; plain and simple. Good song-writing over solid beats with a sprinkling of hip-hop. No over-production, no needless 80s synths, no autotune, no ‘crossover’ attempt, no hyper-sexualisation, no contrived lyrics… it was just R&B; and I have not heard it as honest as that for a while. The UK has a fantastic array of female soul singers (some of the best in the world), however we seem to struggle when it comes to female R&B singers, rhythm and blues in that Aaliyah, Amerie, Mary J. mould. LeaLea Jones gave some real glimpses of that during her short set… (head over to her myspace and check out Oh My and Keep on Tryin’ both big tunes!).
She recorded a Maida Vale session the day after the Luminaire gig, which means she is getting some well deserved attention and she is one that is going to keep on getting better with time. I jhope as she develops the powers that be will let her continue to make pure and honest R&B music because the charts and the radio stations (and I) really need it.
En Vogue, Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, Mary J., never made cross-over records. They crossed R&B over in to the mainstream by making great music, and I hopw LeaLea Jones can do the same… fingers crossed!
for an encore try…