Alex Lee &         Le VICE
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Alex Lee & Le VICE

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Beat's 2006 Year-End Awards"

Best Local Artist: A Lee - I've been singing her praises of late, but A Lee and her musical partner Jon Bo are the truf! Her album "The Channel" is a musical mural that would do Diego Rivera proud, with it's lush soundscapes and colorful blends. As a lyricist and singer, A Lee is pure fire. Here's hoping ya girl has a big 2007 in store. - Marc Cabrera

"A.Lee Voted Most Likely To Save Hip-Hop"

While most hip-hop album release parties are dog and pony shows, Seaside hip-hop soulstress A Lee's CD release party was truly a celebratory affair.

Held Friday night at Monterey Live in downtown Monterey, the club was at capacity, with folks getting turned away at the door. I was one of the unfortunate left in the brisk downtown chill, but after some patient chatter with the doorman, I got into the club midway through the band's set (next time I'll make sure to get my tickets well in advance).

By the time I got there, the crew was well into its jam, but there was still plenty to go. I didn't bring my notebook with me, so I couldn't get a proper set list, but what I saw was memorable enough.

The uptempo rhythm of the musicians, most notably the drummer and lead guitarist, complimented keyboardist/producer Jon Bo's fluid arrangements. It added a newfound bounce and depth to the recorded material, which is already pretty potent.

A Lee and her fellow MC kept the crowd captivated. A Lee gets more and more comfortable on stage every time I see her (not that she was ever uncomfortable, but there is progression in her presence). She even took time out to tell a joke involving Clint Eastwood and his fly whip. I thought it was pretty funny.

And of course, she blacked out on the mic all night, eliciting shreaks of "Seaside" and "We Love You, A Lee" in the same breath. This girl could go places if she gets the right guidance and connects. She's young ( just a biscuit over 21), talented and photogenic, which adds up to a hot product.

A. Lee's debut "The Channel," is easily the front-runner for local hip-hop album of the year. But calling it simply a hip-hop album is almost a disservice. There are tons of musical influences, from acid jazz to lounge to down tempo to even a little bit of trip-hop, and all are sometimes contained within the same track.

The title track knocks with a thick, fudge-pudge bass line, which lends itself to ALee's thick delivery. Hearing her spit on record, I sometimes mistake her for a conscious Brooklyn-bred word slinger, as opposed to a Seaside/Monterey artist. That's a very good thing.

Jon Bo's exquisite piano play fills in the gaps, making this a truly melodic excursion. The young virtuoso displayed his skills on the grand piano at the record release party, and you could imagine him in a bow tie and tails, getting his conceirto on at some symphony hall someday.

If nothing else, "The Channel" reveals A. Lee and her crew as being bigger than hip-hop. This is well timed, well-delivered musicianship with a social conscious. I've been calling it neo-soul in print, but that's too easy a label. A. Lee is food for the soul, and with any luck, she'll be feeding the masses in due time. - Monterey County Herald- The Beat


Local vocalist A. Lee and her band stay home but stretch boundaries.

By Stuart Thornton

Local neo-soul singer A. Lee’s debut album, The Channel, is a potpourri of jazzy piano vamps, woozy instrumentals, spacey funk and hard-hitting hip-hop numbers. It opens with “The Pilot,” a minute-long solo piano composition by Lee’s musical collaborator Jon Bo (Jon Bomarito), which sounds like something that could be played at a swanky ‘30s dinner club. From there, hip-hop numbers alternate with instrumentals. “The Season Finale,” a solo piano composition, reveals Jon Bo’s classical training (evident throughout), while “Commercial 3” showcases the musician’s jazzy chops.

The first two full-force hip-hop numbers, “The Understanding” and “I Want 2,” embody two disparate takes on the genre. The airy “The Understanding” recalls both Outkast and Digable Planets, while “I Want 2” is less atmospheric and has a harder-hitting beat as A. Lee raps rhymes like “I want Gucci glasses/ but I would rather see peace for the masses.”

“Apple of My Eye” is a twisted relationship story told over suitably funky music. On “Back/Forth,” A. Lee sounds like a female Talib Kweli while rapping about staying positive in life. On “Ima Menace,” she goes after other MCs with lines like: “Want to find a weak rapper/ Won’t have to walk far/ There they are/ On every avenue and boulevard.”

Both Monterey Peninsula natives, Jon Bo and A. Lee have known each other since they were just 7. While attending Walter Colton Middle School, they would get rides from Lee’s father to jazz band practices. When the two entered Monterey High School as freshmen, they both were members of the marching band.

Back then, the two were more acquaintances than friends. But by the time they turned 16, they had bonded over a shared interest in writing songs and started to record hip-hop numbers in a friend’s garage. “It’s always been me and Jon,” A. Lee says. “We just decided we wanted to make music for the rest of our lives.”

At the time, A. Lee, who went by Ace Lee back then, would try and lay down rhymes wherever she went. “I used to just rap at bonfires and parties,” she says. “People would be rapping, and I’d be the little girl who would jump in.”

Eventually, Jon Bo gave Paul Contos, a music professor at CSUMB, a recorded copy of a song they did titled “My Life.” Contos appreciated what he heard and allowed the duo to record in CSUMB’s Music Hall.

From there, CSUMB student Sara Bailey heard the duo’s work and put a song on each of the CSUMB compilation CDs she put out: 2005’s Unexploded Ordinance and 2006’s Out of Order. When Bailey decided to create her own record label, Fogbox Records, the first act she signed was the pair of musicians. “They had it together,” Bailey says. “They are just one of the most solid bands in the area.”

Before signing with Fogbox, the two were working on a couple of EPs: one titled Make Sense Like Love and an unnamed project with a local rapper named Jack Pres’ (Chris Nolen). (Full disclosure: Nolen is a graphic designer at the Weekly.) A. Lee and Jon Bo used songs from the collaboration with Jack Pres’ along with new work to complete The Channel.

A. Lee also received beats from a Washington DC-based DJ named Mike Smoove, who heard her music on her Myspace site and decided to contribute beats to songs including “Ima Menace” and “Apple of My Eye.”

Even since recording The Channel, A. Lee and Jon Bo’s act has evolved. Just two months ago, the duo added Jack Pres,’ drummer Darrin Thomas, bassist Sean Stillinger and guitarist Glenn Bell. At recent performances with the full band, songs like the CD’s jazzy title track speed along at twice the tempo and hit harder due to the tight rhythm section. The difference between the recorded songs and the live versions of the numbers are not lost on the pair.

“Live, you are going to understand it’s more than just beats,” Jon Bo says.

“With the band,” A. Lee adds, “there’s this energy there you can’t deny.” - Monterey County Weekly


"Le VICE" March 2, 2010.
"Doin' It Big" single featured on WB's America's Next Top Model Season Finale Fall 2009.
"Headphone Heroes" October 2008.
"Hotter" single featured on WB's America's Next Top Model Season Finale Spring 2008.
"The Channel" December 2006.



Alex (A.Lee) has been a successful hip hop solo artist for a number of years. Her singles “Hotter” and “Do It Big” were featured on America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 10 & 13 Final Runway Shows). In her new role as front woman for Le Vice, she has set aside her traditional “hip hop” stylings to experiment with a full band format. Now a seasoned vocalist, she delivers soulful melodies reminiscent of the disco age and early 80’s, which she combines with a powerful pop sound and rootsy hip hop swagger.

While Le VICE has been defined as Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop the band views their sound first as 80’s Electro, Disco, and Funk which is supported by a backing theme of Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop. Their LARGE sound, which includes cosmic and ambient synthesizers, aggressive bass lines, hard-nose drumming, and funky guitar licks, is carefully topped off with potent rhymes and soulful singing.

Sean "Stilli" Stillinger is a precise yet expressive bass player and keyboardist. Originally schooled in jazz, r&b, and classic composition (romantic and post romantic) he eventually found his way into the punk/post punk scene. Over the years he’s performed in a number of bands ranging from Indie/Folk to Jazz to Hip Hop and Drum & Bass. As one of the main songwriters on this record, Sean delivers funk-filled Rick James baselines and moving musical arrangements.

Renzo Staiano simply rips on guitar. As a professional touring musician in both Boston and California, he is well versed in many styles including Funk, Jazz, Rock, Afro-Peruvian, Classical, Son, Metal, and more. In Le Vice, he’s an addictive songwriter who specializes in that essential Quincy Jones guitar sound that makes even the most-self conscious individual want to get down.

Darrin Thomas is a solid, heavy-handed, good old-fashioned hip hop and soul drummer who came from a musical family (both his father and uncle were musicians). He first started playing drums at the age of 7 and as teenager found his way into gospel music and played regularly at his church. He has parleyed his years of experience into solid, driving beats which sound like a perfect balance between relentless disco tempos and the soul-filled drumming of Questlove from The Roots.