Lemoyne Alexander has been composing, producing and lending his instrumental gifts to commercial music for years. He’s written on a rash of Billboard Top 10 singles for artists such as Aaliyah, Public Announcement, and K-Ci & JoJo. After consistent success in the background, he’s ready to take on the spotlight with his debut solo album, Solitude.
“I never wanted to be in the front,” he says. “And the only reason I’m in the front right now is because I think our music has changed so drastically…that real music is what people are looking for. I kept trying to find that artist and just said, ‘I’ll do it myself.’ ” Well, not quite alone.
“I had already worked with the majority of the musicians on this album on other projects in the past,” he says of the talent he pulled together. “They gave me something different that I would have never heard if they didn’t participate.”
That additional perspective allowed him to create introspective ballads like “Why Does It Hurt So Bad,” party records like “Scandalous,” and Classic Rock tunes like “Tonight.” Songs like “Cookie Jar” and the title track, “Solitude” feature clever lyrics that accompany the driving guitar melodies. The deeply personal title track is dedicated to his father, Oscar “Smitty” Smith, who passed away prior to the recording of the album. Lemoyne chose to close the album with “Euphoria,” an instrumental track that best showcases his guitar mastery and nods to a time gone by.
“We used to buy records – like real vinyl,” he says, reminiscing about the instrumental cuts that were staples on some of his favorite albums as a youth. They inspired his decision to include an instrumental track on his own project.
Alexander proceeded to paint a picture of a listener queuing up Solitude’s last track, sparking a freshly rolled joint and vibing out as nearly 7 minutes of music washes over them in what feels like half the time. And let’s just say, it’s not a terrible way to enjoy the record.
He plans to include an instrumental track as a staple on all projects going forward, giving him future opportunities to call back to his past.
The Chicago native was born to produce this kind of music. With a drummer/percussionist father and a mother who sang in their church choir, Alexander credits his upbringing and the richness of the Windy City’s musical heritage for shaping his sound. In one breath, he praises the contributions of Buddy Guy, Walter Jackson, The Chi-Lites, Ohio Players and Chevelle. In the next, he recognizes the work of contributors to his own album like Poogie Bell (drums), David Haddad (drums), Johnny Volmer (horn/sax) and Amari (composer/lyricist/vocals).
Alexander, himself, plays guitar, bass, keyboards, piano. He dabbles with percussion but says that leaves the horns to the professionals. The 2020 outlook is bright. “Hollywood Boulevard” has already been released as Solitude’s lead single. Some entertaining plans are in the works for live show dates and the artist hopes to shoot and release at least two music videos – one of which to be directed by the coveted and sought-after director, Video God. Keep up with him and the music at https://lemoynealexander.com/
by Ellen Chamberlain (firstname.lastname@example.org)