Having either Pharrell Williams or Jermaine Dupri by your side and help guide your singing career would be a dream for any recording artist, but to have both industry legends having your back must feel pretty damn good. That’s the fortunate situation 25-year-old singer Leah LaBelle is currently in, as the Epic Records signee can be seen at any show and you’ll see JD and Skateboard P right by her side. Although it’s nice to have those two by her side, it’s the Seattle native who paved her own way to where she is now. From auditioning as a teen several years ago on American Idol to getting signed by L.A Reid of Epic Records to dropping her first single entitled, “Sexify” (complimented with her first music video) off her upcoming debut album, Labelle is steadily leaving her footprints (whether in heels or sneakers) and making a name for herself.
The self-described tomboy-turned-lady is gearing up for her debut album, which is currently in its finishing touches as of now, and is ready for an end-of-year release. KarenCivil.com caught up with the fun-loving, “Sexify” singer (minus her “dads” by her side. More on that later!) and chatted about being a tomboy, basketball, what is sexy, what to expect from her debut album, her relationship with JD/Pharrell/L.A Reid, and much more.
KarenCivil: So you’re a Seattle native, and you also used to be a tomboy. Do you still have some of that tomboy in you?
Leah LaBelle:Yes, I do. I would say that I’m a bit rough around the edges, still. I’ve grown up and become more polished. I’m a lady now but I’m still laid back. I’m not the biggest athlete, but I could get down if you wanted to play some basketball with me. I love to wear sneakers and to be comfortable but I can still throw on some heels and be a lady as well. I’m that girl that’s comfortable and cool but I still have moments where I want to be a lady but the tomboy comes out for sure.
KC: That leads me to my next question, I’m assuming you followed the NBA playoffs, so were you happy the OKC Thunder lost?
LL: Well, I was kind of upset that Seattle doesn’t have the Supersonics. I was a huge fan back when Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton were on the team. When they left, the whole city was really sad but I didn’t follow them to OKC. I became a Celtics fans and it was hard for me to watch them be in the playoffs was a slap in the face. It was a bit exciting because it was our old team, but it was also sad and it could’ve been our city. No hate or no love lost, but still so sad. [Laughs]
KC: You recently dropped your music video for Sexify. It was your first video, so how was the experience?
LL: It was really fun and nerve-wracking. I was really nervous because it was my first video and you don’t know what to expect, especially with all eyes on you. I just had to deliver and put forth my best effort. I’ve been in a few videos such as Jordin Sparks since she’s a good friend of mine. I had a little character role in her “S.O.S” video. I was also in Keri Hilson’s “Turning Me On video,” so I have been in music videos but to have it be my own, it was an exciting and nervous feeling. I had the best time ever. It went by so fast. My mom was there and it was a really awesome day.
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Pharrell’s resident techxpert Jonathan Geller shows us his favorite apps for the Android, iPhone and iPad. Find out why innovative apps like Paper by Fiftythree, 1Password, Path, Flipboard, HBO Go and more top Jonathan’s list.
By Eric Montgomery. Pharrell Williams has teamed up with Miami streetwear brand Unknown to release a Miami Heat themed tee to honor the 2012 NBA Champs. The shirt is available now at unknwn.com and is the first of a set of five scheduled to drop this week. The BBC X Unknown shirts were seen at the Heat’s Championship Parade and celebration on Monday (June 25) worn by none other than Pharrell himself.
Unknown will drop a new unique shirt everyday this week with each shirt speaking to the spirit of the newly crowned champs. Unknown has connected with four additional streetwear brands —Staple Design, 10 Deep, No Mas and Undrcrwn— to complete this special collection. The shirts are limited in quantity and will be available both online and in stores this week.
“Spend some QT with Natasha in a more Personal setting & get to know The Gilman Girls. Another Day in her Journey…”
Natasha Ramos – A Day In Her Journey Part 2
Natasha Ramos – A Day In Her Journey Part 1
Check out this new Web Series of Natasha Ramos ‘A Day in Her Journey’ Part 1 & 2 for now.
“Randonly singing one of my favorite child hood songs, Frank Ocean- Thinking about you
Will still be going up sometime next week.”
This is the new single from ex-forum member Helgi (Otherwise known as Electro V). He’s the latest in a long line of people from the site to launch his own music career. Check out the video for his new single Overtime below:
It seems like we’ve got a lot of talented people coming from the grindin and #theneptunes community. As we’ve mentioned before, in the past the site and IRC channel were regular haunts for everyone including The Internet, Tyler The Creator, M.I.A., Diplo, Drake, DJ Benzi and Keri Hilson to name but a few.
Hopefully Helgi can be the latest to achieve success on their level with his gospel meets electro-pop single.
By Mark Graham. Whatever you do, don’t call Leah LaBelle an overnight success. While it’s true that she walked into an audition for LA Reid last year and was given a deal with Epic Records on the spot, she’s been putting in work to become an artist for the better part of the last 10 years. A former Berklee College Of Music student, LaBelle was a contestant on the third season of American Idol back in 2004, but even with the support of Paula Abdul, wasn’t able to advance past the semifinal round.
She kept grinding, though, posting covers of artists like Beyoncé (“Sweet Dreams”) and Frank Ocean (“Thinking About You”) on her MissLabelle1 YouTube Channel, eventually catching the eye of superproducers Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri. The trio of music industry heavyweights — LA, JD and Pharrell — have been working on material for Leah LaBelle’s debut album (release date still TBD) for close to a year now, and the stunning LaBelle decided to give the new songs a live trial-run during a 6-song showcase in front of 200 or so sweaty onlookers at New York City’s Tribeca Grand Hotel last night.
Before she took the stage, each one of these gents took some time to explain what they see in LaBelle, where LA explained that “She has soul. She has real soul, like real, real bonafide singer soul, like you don’t hear. And you especially don’t hear this from girls that are so cute.” You would expect that kind of praise from a born promoter like LA, but once LaBelle hit the stage, she more than delivered on that promise, both in the voice and looks department. There’s no use tiptoeing around the fact that LaBelle is gorgeous —the moment she hit the stage, we witnessed a hundred or so jaws simultaneously dropping to the floor— but to LA’s point, her vocal chops are legit, and she’s got that charismatic “it” factor as a performer.
Truth be told, she kind of reminds us a bit of a female Robin Thicke, in that her sound is perfectly suited for the urban market in a way that feels both wholly authentic and completely organic. All that said, not all of her material sounds like it’s quite ready for primetime. On her song “So Hot,” for example, she betrays a seriously funky bassline and an near-great chorus by uttering the phrase “Won’t somebody please retweet this love?” during the bridge. This particularly lyric sounds not only very calculated, but also the kind of thing that people will laugh at (not with).
However, on her song “Sexify” (which some might argue has an equally cringeworthy title), she’s able to use her command of her vocal register to demonstrate that she definitely knows the difference between “Sexy vs. Skanky” (it should go without saying that she is firmly in the corner of the former). The song drips with so much sex appeal that it must’ve collected near a power outlet last night and caused a short circuit in the Tribeca Grand’s air conditioning system; it was straight up sweltering in the room! No one seemed to mind, though, as her sultry R&B style is perfectly suited for hot and sweaty nights, regardless of the season. Check out the Live Performances Here !
By Kayleigh. Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, Joe Jonas, Zac Efron and Pharrell have all got together to create the hottest fivesome ever. Thanks to the clever folks at Rad Nails, having Ryan Gosling or Robert Pattinson at your beck and call has become a reality because (deep breath) now you can have them on your fingertips. The Hot Mani-cure set costs around $18, allowing you to sport five of the hottest dudes in Hollywood on your nails. Whether you’re in lust with Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, Joe Jonas, Pharrell or (you know it!) all FIVE of the guys, this nail set allows you to mix and match between 20 designs to get just the right handful of man for you.
So, yes, it’s a little creepy. Or, depending on your point of view, a LOT creepy. But there’s no denying that these miniature impressions of the famous five are actually pretty impressive – Pharrell even has a tiny baseball cap drawn in! The clear designs look set to be a hit across the US and, as Twilight hysteria kicks in, we imagine that women will be spotted nailing Robert Pattinson everywhere. Of course, this all raises one very important question for us; will Eva Mendes and Kristen Stewart be sporting a Hot Man-icure at their next red carpet event?
Mac Miller revealed this morning via twitter another Pharrell tune off his upcoming ‘Pink Slime’ EP which will be due later this year. He said that the new tune is called ‘Coffee Table’. “me and p got this jam called coffee table tho.” Thanks to BlueSky2308.
Mac Miller – Onaroll (12′)
Mac Miller – Pink Slime (+ 7 Track) (2012)
Leah Labelle – So Hot (Live At NY Showcase)
As we posted before, Leah LaBelle has been in New York this week to promote her new single “Sexify” (Get It Now On iTunes!!!!) and to perform some of the tunes from her debut album which is planned to be released due later this year. She performed “Sexify” with a Medley Mashup with Pharrell’s ‘Frontin’ from 2003, (which I though Pharrell woulda jump in himself with her on that) as well as the other Pharrell produced tunes such as “So Hot” and “Mr. Scissors” and the ballad What Do We Got To Lose produced by JD. Leah also covered an odlie from 1982 the Prince produced tune titled “Nasty Girl” by “Vanity 6” and at the end Leah introduced the crowd with a new tune from the debut album titled “Box Chevy” which (judging by the sound) is probably also produced by JD, check out the performances below, thanks to EclecticE.
Leah Labelle – Sexify/Frontin’ (Live At NY Showcase)
Leah Labelle – What Do We Got To Lose (Live At NY Showcase)
Leah Labelle – Mr. Scissors (Live At NY Showcase)
Leah Labelle – Nasty Girl (Vanity 6 Cover) (Live At NY Showcase)
Leah Labelle – Box Chevy (Live At NY Showcase)
Check out the newest Cover of Maxine Ashley, covering Sixpence None The Richer’s ‘Kiss Me’. “New cover next week: Frank Ocean – Thinking About You” – Maxine Ashley
Kendrick Lamar has been interviewed by Theboombox.com where he revealed that Pharrell “has the sound that Lamar envisioned” for Kendricks debut album. “Definitely Q-Tip. And Pharrell [Williams]. Them two, as far as major producers that I’ve worked with. Q-Tip because he got that sound of the early ’90s that I love. I’m just a fan of his work, period. The Renaissance album is probably one of my favorite albums. His whole abstract sound is kinda the vibe of where I was going as far as my production.
Pharrell, as far as the melodic notes and the vibe. I played him a few records before I got in [with him] and he’s like, “It’s already there. What you want to add onto it?” Other than that, I kept everything real in-house and tight-knit with the people I started off with from my earliest mixtapes. Soundwave… Willie B… Everybody who know my music know that they a part of my actual sound as far as the mixing and vocal production.” Thanks to menamearenick.
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