Vibe is a trio who hail from Coventry City, about
40 miles outside of London, England. They consist of Alvin
Leon (Keys, programming) Andrew
Harding - (Bass & lyrics) and Juliette
Foster (Lyrics & vocals). Their musical message and
sound are influenced by R&B, soul and urban music artists especially
those of the neo-soul circuit (Erykah Badu,
Jill Scott and Eric
Benet). Although they've released a 7 song EP independently
that spawned hits like 'Fallin' for You'
and 'Got me Thinking', they've
yet to catch that 'big break'. I recently caught up with lead singer
and songwriter Joolz on my recent
trip back to England and had the chance to chat about Urban Vibe,
life as a singer and more.
TY: Joolz, do you mind if
I call you Joolz, (Joolz: not
at all) let me say from the off thank you for taking the time to do
this interview. I appreciate it very much.
You're welcome TY
Sir TY: When did you start singing
was it from an early age or did you just recently get into it?
I Always sang , but got into session singing at the age of 19 where
I worked on other peoples tracks for money. Now I only write my own
stuff moving between studios
TY: What does your parents think about your singing are
they supportive or gave you advise on 'something to fall back on'
always told me to have something to fall back on . . .said the music
business is too competitive and not to rely on it . Being musicians
themselves (used to do the folk circuit) they know the pitfalls. Most
musicians never earn as much as they could in a day job. Mum is always
trying to help me make music my ' main earner!' Both are supportive
of my music though.
TY: You're a songwriter also what shapes your songwriting
material, do you draw from everyday life experiences, fantasy or imagination?
of experience, a little fantasy (to add a bit more drama). Imagination
comes into it as I throw myself into the role while writing.
TY: How did Urban Vibe come to be and how did you come
up with the name?
Vibe came to be because we all decided that we needed to get our name
out there. We picked the name without thinking . . we are urban and
on the day we were thinking were listing to one of the backing tracks
; a good vibe, we all said the same thing at the same time ' urban
TY: 'Falling for You' got gravy spins and garnered rave
reviews throughout your native UK, were you surprised by that?
it was really nice to see our name in national mags like Blues and
Soul. It was great to have such support
TY: You're married to one of the band members what is the
working relationship like with you both, is there the clash of personalities
as far as work ethic is concerned or has it been smooth sailing?
is business, of course there are things you would say to your husband
that you wouldn't say to someone else - (for example, 'would you like
to sing that again but in tune this time; was a classic Alvin comment
often made for a giggle)
TY: Are you working on any new material at the moment?
Urban Vibe . . no, but just recorded
4 tracks with Northtown Records
in London with 2 other singers under band name 'Soul
Trinity' (consist of singers Yevais
and Damian and myself) I also
record in two studios in birmingham, Dire
Hard recordings, and Darkman
productions. I am performing the latest ('Unconditional')
at Galaxy radio showcase tomorrow. ('Unconditional'
was recorded at Dire hard Recordings)
TY: At this point in time would you sign to a major label
or stay independent?
would like to stay independant. Most majors offer one path. . career
TY: Who are your musical influences personally?
Gaye and Diana Ross
are my biggest influences.
TY: Who would you personally like to work with singer or
producer in the industry and why?
would love to work with Musiq
Soulchild and Erykah
Badu. Wouldn't mind doing backing vocals, but I think they
do their own mostly.
TY: What was your first live performance like for you was
it a nerve wrecking experience?
Don't really remember being nervous as such,
because we all sing around the piano at home all the time. My life
is a performance.
TY: Are you performing now and if so where?
At the moment I am not performing anywhere for
money as I am doing new stuff so don't have a live band set up.just
TY: Of all the songs you've done to date, which is your
favourite or do you have a favourite?
suppose it would be like having several 30 children and someone asking
you the same, I have no favourites!
TY: Who do you listen to on your time away from singing
TY: To date, what's been your biggest achievement?
Musically? I don't really know . . seriously.
I don't think I have achieved yet.
TY: For someone who's thinking of becoming a singer and
song writer such as yourself, do you have any advice?
am still trying to perfect my own writing, so I suppose exactly that
... Listen to songs, never be completely satisfied that you have written
the best song you could have written.
TY: Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
I've got fans :)
Urban Vibe's latest hit 'Ooh
la, la, la'
Urban Vibe's 'Fallin'