“Legrand”; brings originality back into the hip- hop community as well as his unique sense of diverse cultures, and his passion to keep audiences captivated. This amazing lyricist has opened for Black Moon, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and other respected hip hop artists and has toured extensively overseas.
Legrand garnered the moniker- “the professional” early on in life. “The Professional” album is a foundation of hip hop that experiments with traces of world music, and still retains the “fun” and party element. "The Professional", started out as a fusion of hip hop and world music, but then ultimately I made some songs that were fun to record and added them to the album.” he states. He credits his musical peers and influences such as fellow “2-5” natives, Kurupt and El-Drex because of their lyrical skill and the hometown vibe they bring to their respective artistic offerings. You can visit www.reverbnation.com/legrand or follow this great artist at http://twitter.com/legrand4790.
Legrand- MC/Producer, Motif 6 keyboard, MP
Marcellus Waller-fender Rhodes, keyboards
"The Professional" -
available on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Emusic, Napster, and direct from the artist at www.reverbnation.com/legrand.
"Illusions of Legrandeur" available on I-tunes
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The professional never has to brag, boast, or hype up their style to get attention, Legrand is doing...The professional never has to brag, boast, or hype up their style to get attention, Legrand is doing just as a true professional in the industry should do. His smooth style with soft melodic tones will have you nodding your head to the catchy sounds and phrases. This isn’t to mention there is actually a real message behind it all, Legrand’s music is very addictive in a refreshing way.
In these days rap and hip hop is filled with uncreative talent, LeGrand said it best, “get shot 7 times and then you could be a star.” The gangster mantra of hip hop is becoming so overrated to the point American listeners have begun tuning out the music and labels are loosing sales. The foreign market is much more receptive to the original and classic underground style that influences positive actions and drives the culture to new heights. It seems that the European market is the place for artists with creative vision to go to in order to make their mark in the hip hop world. “Wherever I have toured outside of the U.S., the greatest difference I have come to observe is that, people are more genuinely open to listening to new music and appreciate the overall talent level of the artist. They generally welcome unique opportunities to see people from the U.S. perform. True story: I did a show in Canterbury, England and I ended up staying around signing autographs and talking to fans so long that I missed the last train back to London. I actually ended up staying at the house of two fans, and they drove me to the station the next morning. Who does that?” LeGrand said.
LeGrand was modest with his explanation of his global marketing strategy for his music. He definitely has insight into feeding the hungry untapped markets with a positive style that will prove to have longevity for years to come. “Initially, I thought that I was off to a great start by signing on with W.O.A. International out of Goa, India to assist with marketing and promoting me as an artist throughout the country of India. They were excited to promote the “Mr. International” single because they knew that it would appeal to younger people due to its fusion of Bollywood and Hip-Hop. Secondly, I hope to continue the spins that I get on www.live365.com/stations/djnittygritty and other internet radio stations, as well as continuing to feed my music to international dj’s via myspace and facebook. I am willing to try everything possible, within legal and professional limits to get heard, so if there are opportunities that anyone wants to suggest that I am not doing; I am all ears.”, Legrand says.
I had a chance to ask Legrand if he has encountered any haters after releasing his album that gives a refreshing new look on hip hop creativity. LeGrand said, “Honestly, I think that it is too early to tell. However, for the most part the feedback has been that the music is great, it is professional, and that they (fans) have not been able to find too many artists doing what I am doing with my music, so it is original. My prediction is that initially there will be haters, because I am initiating change and doing things that often contrast with what people are used to. Then once they feel comfortable that it is okay to support something real, and that they are not alone, then they will come around to love it.” I certainly feel the same way, people can’t hate on something that is positive or something that will move the masses in a positive direction.
LeGrand’s music will cross diversity lines and cultures of most or all genres in hip hop and pop, I can also envision rock collaborations too. Things may seem to move slowly when indie artists are looking to reach new levels. I know life as an artist can be extremely difficult if the support for pursuing your endeavors is not available. So I asked LeGrand, have the people that matter in your life been supportive of your efforts? LeGrand said, “Absolutely, my wife Kelly has been supportive of this project, and has had an even greater role in this movement than ever before. My children have been very supportive also; from doing online radio drops, to Christal singing a part of the chorus on “I Wonder If You Love It Enough?”. Everyone…Mom, Dad, siblings, nieces and nephews, neighbors, classmates, fraternity brothers (A PHI A), etc. Please bear in mind that I am still employed by Corporate America; and hopefully the support will still be there after I stop working there.”
I was also wondering about the big money and commercialism question. So I asked him, have you encountered any pressures to change your style and really go commercial? “No, in fact that is one of the things that I specifically went up against. Fortunately me and my crew have been making songs since high school, so we know how to make albums. We have been making albums with consistent themes since cassette tapes. As I mentioned before, it is still early and the haters might show up right after this interview.”
An Interview with The Professional
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S.T.I.L.L.: NOW, YOUR CURRENT ALBUM, “THE PROFESSIONAL”, IS OFF THE CHAIN! TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT TH...S.T.I.L.L.: NOW, YOUR CURRENT ALBUM, “THE PROFESSIONAL”, IS OFF THE CHAIN! TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE ALBUM AND THE PRODUCTION ON IT.
Legrand: From the production standpoint, I stayed with the team from the last album. “El-drex” has been making beats and doing his thing for some time now, and he’s actually living in Delaware now. But, I started out making the album trying to have, like, a fusion of music that incorporates the different languages that I speak, and then fitting those cultures' music into hip hop. And, it was going to be called “Mr. International” at first because I speak Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, etc., but there was no way I could get this project out rhyming in a different language for each song. So, then I reached out to “Drex“, and “Drex” had beats for days. He’s kinda like “Pharrell” because he’ll come to me like, ‘Well, LeGrand, I think these four beats are hot. I think you should write to ‘em.’ And, when you do songs like “Mr. International”, and then do a song like “Pose”, that raises the bar for the rest of the album. So, once you do a song like “Pose”, it’s easier to have the confidence to do the rest of the album, and once we got in the studio and started doing hits, we just stopped after the 11 tracks because we didn’t want to put out too much.
S.T.I.L.L.: WELL, ONE OF THE TRACKS I LIKE ON THE NEW ALBUM IS, “LOVE IT ENOUGH”. THE TRACK HAS A REAL “STREET” APPEAL. WHAT WAS ON YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WENT IN THE STUDIO TO RECORD THAT TRACK?
I’m glad you asked that…If you listen to the “Illusion…” album, there’s a song on there called “Music-ill”. And on that song, we had taken a real sample and asked my keyboardist, “Marcellus Waller a.k.a. Waller Wee”, to recreate the sample by playing the Fender Rhodes. Well, the “Music-ill” song was real soulful, so we got back together and did the same formula for “Love It Enough”. We really wanted somebody to sing on it, like a female voice on the hook, but the way the sample played it was good, and I actually had my daughter sing on the first four bars of the song. So, it was speaking to whether an artist really loves this hip hop thing, or otherwise is willing to just let it die.
S.T.I.L.L.: YOU ALSO DID A SONG ON THE ALBUM CALLED “THE PRoFESSIONAL” WHERE “NITTY GRITTY” RHYMES WITH YOU. WHAT INSPIRED THE TWO OF YOU TO COLLABORATE ON THE SONG?
Legrand: Well, you know, “Grit” and I have been doing the rhyme thing together for a long time now. He’s on my last album, and we’ve done songs together for years. And, I actually brought him into the project, originally, just to have his perspective and his "ear", and he sat in on a couple of the sessions. Then, we heard that beat, and as I went in on my first 16, I looked at him and said, ‘You gotta spit 16 on this’. So, that night, we just wrote the verses, and he came back a couple days later, and we went in the studio…We might’ve done four takes, max, because we were so eager to spit the verses. We really wanted to give people a good eight bars in the beginning, and once we started rhyming, it was nonstop. It’s just that the formats for songs are so predictable, so we just went in and did something different to change that.
You Found Me
That's How It's Going Down
Successful vs Professional
Do You Love It Enough?
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