Leslie Clemmons - Stopping the World With Heavenly Vocals
Leslie Clemmons (www.leslieclemmonsmusic.com) is ready to Stop The World with her new release. She has constructed eleven fine songs that give the listener a varied palette of musical colors. If it is jazz, pop, rock, or all of the above, Clemmons uses her voice to mold and shape every song around the instruments with a perfection rarely found in today's endless void of watered down Britney Spears-like main stream hits.
Stop The World also reflects some stylistic influences that the artist has been exposed to only in the last 5 years like Hip Hop and Contemporary Urban music, such as India Arie, Music Soul Child, and Jill Scott. While the new album is not a lavishly produced affair, it is a crisp, clear and unpretentious unadulterated musical box of fun that calls out to you, giving your heart a jump-start whether it wants it or not.
MP3: "Stop The World"
I found her vocal style energizing, endearing and sultry all at the same time. A very appealing combination if I do say so myself. Admittedly, if I had the choice, I would rather rock out more than anything, and the album does have its moments in that area. I certainly can appreciate tasteful and well-done music as I found on Stop The World. When music is performed with the utmost attention to professionalism and there are lyrics that make me think and reflect upon my own life, I really pay attention. Music can be the best mirror of our humanity and Clemmons has a knack of reflecting that very well in every song she performs.
Clemmons also has very good taste. I really enjoyed her version of Carole King's "So Far Away." Tapestry has held up very well over the years and remains one of the greatest pop-rock albums ever recorded by a female vocalist. I can see how such a moving album may have inspired Clemmons and many other women over the years. The fact that she aspires to create similarly well-crafted music, and pays tribute to such a legendary performer as King is an indication of her gratitude and respect for her many inspirations.
Leslie Clemmons grew up in New Orleans, LA where music was a big part of her life, enjoying performers such as Barbara Streisand, Julie Andrews and Karen Carpenter as well as New Orleans legends Wolfman Jack and The Neville Brothers. Leslie commented on those early years.
"When I was growing up, I had all kinds of styles on one station to listen to. If it was a good song, it was played. Casey Casem's Top 40 had everything from R&B to Rock to some Country stuff. I miss that."
When you listen to Stop The World it is as if she dialed in her own little private radio station inside her head and started singing. The result is a very eclectically based recording. She sites her mother as being her biggest influence for her love for art and education, while her dad's ability to be just plain silly, inspirational.
I asked Leslie if she ever received professional voice lessons and she responded, "Yes! I have personally paid for so many private voice lessons that I could have probably bought three houses by now. I studied classical voice techniques as well as musical theatre techniques and pop techniques. I wanted to use my voice like an instrument so I could serve any song I wanted to with it."
MP3: "Lie In Your Arms"
The title track, as with every song, has a storyline. Leslie wrote the song when she worked as a Concierge at one of the largest hotels in New York City. One evening, Leslie and her co-workers watched a man die on the hotel lobby floor. The man and his wife were all dressed up enjoying an evening of partying in the Ballroom, when upon returning from the party he fell to the floor with a heart attack. His wife was crying next to him on the floor. Leslie recalls it as one of the most horrible scenes she has ever witnessed.
One of the lines in the song recollects the moments... "Crying and screaming on the floor, dying to remain in the day before." The song is about wanting to go back to the day before something bad happens in order to try to stop it from happening. Everyone wishes a time machine were a reality at one time or another. A jump back in time to alter the events of our lives would change the course of history; in this case, for one woman it would have meant the life of her husband. This is yet one more example of her songwriting talents and her ability to touch the humanness of daily life.
MP3: "Walls Of Jericho"
On the marketing front, Leslie believes the Internet is truly one of the most viable ways, especially for Independent artists, to get the word out about their work. Believing that the name of the game these days is to keep moving will be her greatest asset in creating a buzz about her new album. She put it all in proper perspective when she said, "You can't wait for any one thing to be your big break; it will probably be a combination of situations that finally hit for any given artist these days. We will focus on the Internet and grass roots marketing and then go on from there." I could not agree more, putting your eggs in one basket will be the death of you when your livelihood is at stake, particularly in such a fiercely competitive global market as music.
Life, music, business, and the pursuit of your dreams, this is what Leslie Clemmons is all about. You can find her living inside her music.