Russell Leonce
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Russell Leonce

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"My Songs Are My Sermon"

In walks a confident, good-looking young man with a genuine smile. Heads turn, eyebrows raise and people whisper, "he's singing here tonight."

Sporting long dreadlocks and trendy wear, no one would believe Russell Leonce is a pastor.

The 29-year-old's focus is ministry through music and he has been singing professionally for ten years.

"I remember singing I Am a Promise in granny's living room in Santa Crus," he said.

And the singing continued in choirs at the Point Fortin Church of the Nazarene and the Tunapuna Church of the Nazarene.

With a sincere expression, Leonce said that God called him into full-time ministry so he does not have a nine-to-five job.

The articulate and expressive young man studied theology at the Caribbean Nazarene College. Though he is a pastor, he does not believe that he is ready to lead a church. ...

"My songs are sermons and I want my songs to encourage and heal others."

His life, therefore, took a different turn - to the music industry - and he has been singing not only locally but also in various other countries.

Leonce wants to launch his 14-song album in October. ... His songs are versatile but he has a neo-soul style, which is a mixture of R & B and jazz.

- Sunday Guardian, March 23, 2008


"Leonce launches like no other"

Gospel entertainer and youth minister Russell Leonce is getting lots of praise for the quality presentation of his debut album, Culture of Love.
The 14-track CD, which features 11 songs and three interludes, was launched at The Corner Bar, Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, on March 14.

Presented by the Culture of Love team, which is spearheaded by Leonce, Keith Kirk and manager Erica Ashton, the event was hosted by Sean Heywood. One patron said, “I have never witnessed an album launch like this in T&T. Leonce has raised the musical bar.” The first half-hour of the event was dubbed a “media listening” segment, during which selected songs from the CD were played.

Leonce was then introduced to perform the title track, then LIVE and Troubles Won’t Last. The programme also featured a question-and-answer segment where Clico San Juan Jabloteh head coach Terry Fenwick showed interest in becoming involved in projects of this kind. The world premiere of Culture of Love is the culmination of five years of “hard work,” said Leonce.

“There’s a sense of relief. It’s like we were in labour for five years and, on Saturday, we gave birth,” he said, laughing. “We had all the pains and everything to go along with it. Now, it feels good.” Publishing of this work comes almost six years after Leonce went “pro.” Producer Isaac Blackman worked on the selection Runaway Child at his Jamoo Good News Studio in Piparo. Leonce expressed satisfaction about the almost flawless presentation of the launch and said fans can get more of his music on www.russellleonce.com, where two tracks are available for free download. - Trinidad And Tobago Guardian


Discography

CD entitled Culture of Love released on March 14, 2009

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Bio

Russell Léonce adds a refreshing, new, standout sound to Caribbean music that will appeal to audiences across the nation of Trinidad and Tobago and the world. His versatility is astounding, as his voice channels soulfulness, earthiness and neo-soul cadences.

Having worked with nearly all of T inidad and Tobago's top gospel artistes as a backing vocalist, including the
brother-and-sister duo Ceejay & Luckey, and The Love Circle, Russell decided to go front stage with his music and his talent. “Singing background vocals for many years with many artistes including sharing the stage with international Gospel recording artist Deitrick Haddon at the annual Pilgrimage, Yolanda Adams and Stichie, I felt it was time to bring my brand of gospel music to the forefront,” says Russell.

In November 2006, Russell placed second in the local gospel competition in the south of Trinidad, also collecting the prize for Most Spirit Filled Song. ‘Unchanging', a song written by Russell copped the winning position.

In November 2008, he gave a rousing performance of “Troubles Won't Last” at the Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) Music Awards, for which he garnered a standing ovation. In December 2009, he was one of the featured artists in the Trinidad and Tobago Showcase at the Miami Music Festival.

Russell released his debut album Culture of Love in March 2009, which continues to enjoy local and international acclaim. It was featured as one of the top twelve gospel albums of 2009 by PrayzeHymn Online. In January 2010, the Album won in the Gospel Category of the 9th Independent Music Awards, and in July won the Vox Pop Poll Award in the same category. The Album was nominated for ten (10) awards at the 2010 Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards, garnering three of them: Contemporary Vocal Perfrormance of the Year – Male for “L.I.V.E.”, Contemporary Recording of the Year for “Smile” and Packaging of the Year for the Album.

Russell is an anointed worship leader which is apparent in his live performances. With his command of the stage and his gifted vocal ability, he is unquestionably the new musical sensation within the Caribbean region that will take the gospel to new heights and greater possibilities.