Categorized | Interviews

Lee- Laser Focused

Posted on 16 November 2010 by Administrator

What is the inspiration behind your music?

Music itself is what’s behind my music, as music is a universal language and we’ve used it throughout history and in various cultures to connect and to tell stories. So I’m inspired by the opportunity to connect with people through music and share my ideas.

If you were not singing, songwriting or producing today, what do you think you would be doing right now?

I’d like to imagine I’d be a professional basketball player, as basketball is something I really enjoy as well.

I originally started doing music with the hopes of one day being on MTV’s Rock ‘n’ Jock, but the show is done so now I’m stuck with this expensive habit. (I’m joking about the last part obviously.)
Truth is that I can’t see myself doing anything other than music.

Do your tattoos symbolize who you are as an artist and person?

Yes, I believe that they do.

I have various Aquarius tattoos and World Wildlife Fund and other organizations that I believe in inked on me. There’s also a great deal of spiritual significance to some of my pieces. Some Taoist symbols as well as Adinkrah symbols. I think they represent me more as a person and my art is just a reflection of that.

What are some of your methods to get in a writing or singing mood? What is your favorite thing to do while you compose yourself as an artist?

Sometimes I just sit down at the piano and play chords. There’s not really a method to how I write so it can be something I see on the train or reading the paper or a groove may pop into my head or even a phrase.

What seems to be your motivation and drive to keep going day to day?
I’m motivated by the the fact that I enjoy what I do. If the financial part catches up to my passion that would be great. But I sincerely enjoy music and what it has meant to peoples over time. So it’s really just a pure enjoyment of writing songs and performing.

How do you feel about the music industry today? Do you think hip hop has lost its true meaning or do you feel the new artists are changing the game overall?
I think there are some bright spots to music today. But the “industry” part of it causes concern for me in a lot of ways. I think it’s less about art than it is about commerce these days. And I’m not so naive as to believe that no one was trying to make a dollar off Ray Charles or Bill Withers. I feel that the money has become more important that the substance so music has become fast food instead of nutritional.

There’s no artistic value in a lot of the things that go on in the art world in general – not just music. But there’s truly a lot of good stuff going on outside of major media so it doesn’t make me feel one way or the other, as I’m doing what I do for bigger reasons.

I think that Hip Hop, as we see some of it presented commercially, doesn’t understand its true meaning. There’s not a lot of individuality or creative expression. I can’t imagine The Furious Five finding a place in today’s Hip Hop where you had this group of individuals expressing themselves uniquely with their thoughts and fashion.

Today’s men are still trying to “Be Boys” (pun intended) and not represent themselves and the uniqueness of who they might be at their core. And again, that’s not to say all of Hip Hop is that way because there are a lot of unheralded voices doing their thing. It goes beyond Hip Hop and is prevalent in all pop music today.

I see that you have many awards and recognitions such as “Best male vocalist” and “best rap artist”. How does it feel knowing that your talents are being recognized and appreciated by so many different people?
It’s flattering, to be certain. But I want to continue to grow as an artist. Awards are a nice nod I suppose, however I wouldn’t rest on that as any major accomplishment. We strive to get better.

Ultimately I hope to transcend and elevate into that rare air where I’m just a musician without boundary. I only want to make music the way it was before consultants and concern for demographics. But it is nice to be recognized and have folks really appear to get what you are doing.

What seems to be the easiest thing to write about in your music? What is the hardest?
The easiest thing for me to write about is love – the romantic relationships that people share. And that may largely be because we so often romanticize about perfect relationships.

The hardest thing to write about is myself. I’m still trying to find that key to unlock and explore some deeper parts of human conscious and unravel who I am and the experiences in my life that have gotten me here. I’m still working on that. It’s tough to evaluate your own soul.

What challenges have you ran into throughout your career in general dealing with people, and issues?
There have been a few. But one of the biggest career challenges that I’ve faced is having to fight and not allow others to pigeonhole me. From the business and marketing side, radio people, promoters, venues, and the likes have had a hard time placing what I do.

I personally don’t think it’s that complicated at all and really isn’t worth over-intellectualizing. It’s just music. But “DJ So and So” has to figure out if he can play you between “MC What’s-His-Name” or if you can be played after “Neo Soul Diva Sunshine Raspberry Butterfly”.

It’s just music at the day’s end and I’d leave it up to the audiences to simply enjoy it if I had a say.

How long have you known that music is what you love?
I’ve known of my love for music from as far back as I can recall being conscious of what it was – back in the AM radio days. I think rhythm is inherent in us all, as we are driven by it through our very existence. Our hearts beat so we move and feel.

Who are some of your mentors and role models?
My mentors and role models are close friends and family members that inspire and encourage me to keep doing what I love. My musical role models are varied: Prince, Sly Stone, Jane’s Addiction to name a few. There are a lot of talent people making all types of music that make me feel good about the possibilities involved in what we do.

What do you hope people gain from your music and talents as they remember who you are years from now?
My hopes are that people can relate to it and use it as a soundtrack to celebrate life and connect. It sounds cliche, but I just want peace and happiness in this world. I’d like to see it and contribute to it as long as I can and even posthumously.

When is your sophomore album set to drop and what are your expectations for this album?
The album is available right now at

I don’t have any expectations really. I will continue to make music as best I can and perform and challenge myself to get better at what I do. If I wake tomorrow and can continue on that quest I’ve met an expectation.

I personally think of the album as being one man finding his own way in crazy contemporary life, and through his insight, wit, declarative capacities and musical choices, shining a beacon for everyone. Maybe it’s a grand notion. Maybe that isn’t as sexy as what people say in Q&A’s. But it’s how I approach the album Naked and I’m hopeful that I’ve conveyed that.

What can we expect from you in the years to come?

I’ll continue to make music and try to continue to grow as an artist/ writer. I hope to be performing with my band a lot more. There’s a few things bubbling below the surface that may open some doors this winter. I’m hopeful that the Universe thinks I’m ready to accept the blessings and opportunities.

I’d ask your readers to stay tuned and to check back at my website or FaceBook or whatever social media that they use to see what’s developing. My fingers are crossed for some good news and some international touring.

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