A new R&B singer appears
on the R&B/soul scene is nothing new but then again one of
this caliber is. You've already heard him (really), if you've
ever listened to Kanye West's
'Jesus Walks', Black
Eyed Peas 'The Boogie that
Be' or Jay-Z's
'Encore' and wondered who
sings the hooks on the records then you've just found out - it's
young gun John Legend.
The Philly native has always
had music in his blood as evident in his childhood singing and
performing in the family's church. That path led the way for John
who turned all his efforts into what he now realised was an attainable
reality. It materialised in college where performed with his collegic
acapella group in between classes. He would met friend and producer
Dave Tozer and the two got
together and worked on material for John which was later released
(2000's self titled and 2001's Live At
Now that he's got a taste
of the action, the singer/songwriter (born John
Stephens) is gearing up to make a name for himself
with his debut set called 'Get Lifted
(due December 28). The album was done in demo fashion long before
the singer signed his deal with Columbia
Records. It wasn't until Kanye
took him under his wing, however, that people really started to
take note of his talent.
"I was getting turned
down by labels with the album that I am now releasing," Legend
said. "I guess timing is important. So the timing worked
out, and it is all good. We re-recorded everything and finished
the album in June."
During the shopping around
his album process, he had the opportunity to work with several
artists including Alicia Keys,
Lauryn Hill, Janet
Jackson and Britney Spears,
among others, all coming with his affiliation with West which
would eventually get him noticed.
"Clearly, it gave me
a lot of experience working with great artists on classic albums,"
said Legend. "Anytime you get that kind of experience it
will rub off on you. I learned to make the best of those opportunities,
and it helped me to make my project better. The exposure for me
was great, as well, It all started to build excitement around
my project for both consumers and labels. Kanye's album. really
got things going and now here I come."
The lead off single is the
somber groove 'Used to Love U'
but the track I'm reviewing here today is the smooth groover 'Let's
Get Lifted'. The song has some quality moments in particular
with the production (sounding like Wyclef in some respect) but
the temperment of this young mans vocals makes the song what it
is - an original old soul track.
If this song is any indication
to what we have to look forward to on the full length then we
are in for a treat. A worthy TY-D pick
indeed - period
Listen to John
Legend - 'Let's