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Laurnea | Features



 
 
 
 
Artist Of The Month

LAURNEA

Soul Sophisticated

Q: You have a phenomemal style of phrasing! Can you tell us how you have developed or discovered this style of phrasing?
A: Well,I don't know if I discovered or developed the phrasing that I do. It is something that I have always done, writing and singing is quite personal inner-body feelings that come out (for me) just how I feel at that time just from just living. Really didn't know I had a special kind of phrasing but thanks, I really don't know where it comes form "It's just a feeling that come out"

Q: Are there any artists who have influenced you musically?
A: I like the old school artist like Marvin Gaye, Minnie Ripperton,Donnie Hathoway and some Joni Mitchell

Q: Do you have a technical background because you produce, engineer and mix?
A: Well I relly have not had any type of training or schooling to engineer and mix, but this is my fourth album, and before that I lived in L.A. where I did a lot of commercial jingles as well as working on other artist CD's and song background for Patti Labelle, Jefrey Osbore, Chaka Chan, James Ingram ,Baby face and wrote for various artist. Theatre and recording is all that I have ever done, either on film or radio.

Q: How was it to work with India.Arie?
A: The best! That is my Girl! We are best friends, forever, friend, sisters, cousins, all of that.

Q: How did you got to know each other?
A: I have known India for a very long time. I think she was 19 years old and we met out at a place I think I was performing or she was performing (can't rememember) we started talking and have been friends ever since.

Q: Is the song "Trash" autobiographical, because it could be our "Trash" as well?
A: Yes exactly, it's my trash, your trash, everybody's trash. I wrote with that in mind that all those things could be anybody's trash Yea.....

Q: What is your favorite song on the album "I Remember" and why?
A: I like "Trash" because it makes you think a little and I also like "Run Away", it flips back and forth who knows later I might like something else....

Q: Will "I Remember" be released in Europe?
A: Yes, I am working through that as I answer these questions, I am in negotiations with some companies in Europe to release it hopefully by May 2004.

Q: Although we know that singing is your first love, will we see you on screen soon again?
A: Yes I will be moving back to L.A. soon so that can happen. In Atlanta it is very slow for that kind of thing and I really miss the water so I'm looking to move back to L.A. (Hermosa Beach) which will enable me to go to auditons and do more film. Hey! a thanks for asking.

Q: What is the latest album you bought and why did you buy it?
A: Bedde Belle, I love that woman in the group the lead singer, she has become my favorite CD to listen the first thing in the morning. India told me about her and I knew she must be great because her taste in music is great.

© 2004 SaveOurSoul

Her name is Laurnea, and she's an amazing, progressive song stylist and composer whose distinctive, hauntingly passionate voice and soul-affirming lyrics defy traditional r&b/pop categorization. The heart and soul-affirming lyrics that pass through her gifted golden pipes make indelible impressions so strong they'll surely last a lifetime. Which brings us to Betta Listen, Laurnea's appropriately titled Yab Yum/Epic Records debut album.

Betta Listen, partially recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in London, is a glistening collection of exceptionally well-crafted original songs. And although she is the album's primary composer, Laurnea shares co-writing and production credits with such top urban hitmakers as Speech (Arrested Development), Kwesi (a/k/a DJ Kemet), Omar, and Raphael Saadiq (Tony Toni Tone); additional tracks were written and produced by Yab Yum producer Jon-John Robinson.

A serious listen to Betta Listen confirms Laurnea's estimation. Highlight tracks include "Sun Don't Rain," a beautifully sung and bountifully arranged future classic; "Happy," a fierce jazz/funk foray into love's ecstatic possibilities; and "Can't Let Go," a heartfelt declaration of devotion with prominent acoustic guitar and heavenly backing vocals. "Today" is a svelte blend of silk and satin soul; "Infatuation," a saga of insatiable sensual stamina; while "Gone" features one of Laurnea's most straight-ahead, jazz-inspired performances.

Always inclined to follow her own lead, Laurnea's entry into the solo recording spotlight offers refreshing contrast to the seemingly endless string of similar-sounding r&b/hip hop "divas" being force-fed the public these days. Her music challenges yet champions the listener, never underesti-mating one's intelligence or taste. Her stylized musical approach ÷ an irresistible R&B/jazz/soul hybrid ÷ offers serious heartfelt images amplified by an understated but always effective vocal delivery.

In addition to the release of Betta Listen, Laurnea looks forward to the Spring '97 release of the M-G-M movie Hoodlum, directed by Bill Duke (Deep Cover, Sister Act 2) and starring Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Andy Garcia, and Vanessa Williams. In the role of a '30s nightclub singer, Laurnea performs the big band jazz classic "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," accompanied by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. (This isn't her first time on the big screen: Laurnea had a cameo role in Spike Lee's acclaimed School Daze.)

Laurnea Wilkerson was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Los Angeles; currently, she resides in Atlanta. Her late, beloved mother Velma Brock once sang with the legendary Sam Cooke; four of her five daughters were also singers. Laurnea remembers vocalizing since the age of nine; nevertheless, she insists, "I never dreamed of making it a career ÷ it's just something I did, in addition to being a dancer." (In her teens, Laurnea became the lead dancer of a critically acclaimed, nationally touring drill team.)

"In fact," she adds, "although I grew up singing in church, acting in a few plays, and even doing secular gigs, for a long time I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with my life."

"Acting is something I love," Laurnea explains, "but music is my first priority. The process of making Betta Listen was an exhilarating creative experience for me especially when a song, once it was recorded, went beyond the result I'd anticipated."

A former member of England's pop/r&b group Loose Ends, and later a pivotal part of Bobby McFerrin's famous "Voicestra" ensemble, Laur nea was recruited by McFerrin to record the singing voice of Dorothy for Ringling Bros.' acclaimed touring production of "The Wizard of Oz On Ice." Her concert tour credentials include sharing stages with Jeffrey Osborne, singing background on the Patti LaBelle/James Ingram tour, and performing with Arrested Development. In addition, she has sung on tv commercials for J.C. Penney, the Cotton Corporation, South- western Bell, Burger King and Coca Cola; appeared in four films, including Spike Lee's classic School Daze; and played Whoopi Goldberg's younger sister on the ABC-TV after-school special, "My Past Is My Own."

Betta Listen is a sensational breakthrough album, but longevity is the key to a hit-making present and a chart-topping future. This is one young artist whose clear vision and multifaceted talent will surely serve her well in the long run. "My music is my legacy," Laurnea assures us, "and giving it to the people is what I knew I had to do before leaving this planet for the next phase."

 
I Remember
2003
Laurnea - I Remember Track Listing:
1. Ain't Nothing Wrong
2. I Remember
3. Who I Am
4. Doin' It For Me
5. Trash
6. Runaway
7. Never Never (Interlude)

8. One Knight Stand
9. Love Peace
10. No Shame
11. I Don't Know Why
12. This Is The Last Song
13. Lust (secret track)
click here to buy I Remember
II
2000
Laurnea - II Track Listing:
1. I Thank You
2. Come Inside
3. Just A Little
4. Still Come Back 2 U
5. Music
6. Wrong

7. Groovin
8. Peaceful Waters
9. She's Hurtin
10. Mary
11. U Changed Me
click here to buy II
Betta Listen
1997
Laurnea - Betta Listen Track Listing:
1. Happy
2. Infatuation
3. Sun Don't Rain
4. Can't Let Go
5. Over And Over
6. Superstar

7. Today
8. Have You Ever
9. Days Of Youth
10. Been A Long Time
11. Betta Listen
12. Gone
click here to buy Betta Listen
Soul Sophisticated
2004
Soul Sophisticated - Various Artists Track Listing:
1. Friendly Pressure - Maysa
2. Never Knew - Kloud 9
3. Do Ya Wanna Do - Karen Bernod
4. Who I Am - Laurnea
5. Hands Of Time - Carmen Rodgers
6. Queen Of Sheba - Nadir
7. If You Ever - Kloud 9
8. Spirit - Karen Bernod
9. Runaway - Laurnea
10. Free - Carmen Rodgers
11. Soul Mate - Nadir
12. With Me - Kloud 9
13. Pray - Karen Bernod
14. Trash - Laurnea
15. The Way - Carmen Rodgers
click here to buy Soul Sophisticated
 
 
 
 
 
 
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