Born Frantz-Lee Leonard, Montreal-based jazz-trained, drummer RockLee started his music career as a member of Lazy Lee. And since then, Leonard has spent the bold of his career as a hired gun playing pop and world music, sharing stages with Corneille and Wesli, Muzion, Claude Dubois, Paul Cargnello, Dominque Fils-Aimé and a lengthy list of others.
Recently Leonard transitioned from being on the state to being behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer. Drawing from his extensive experiences as a performer and songwriter, Leonard quickly developed a reputation for being one of his hometown’s best secrets. However, with the forthcoming release of his full-length debut album, Leonard hopes to make a name for himself outside of Montreal while collaborating with some of the province’s best up-and-coming talent. Describing his sound as “a fusion of sounds meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia,” his goal as a producer is to offer a new generation of music listeners and fans the chance to sonically reconnect with the most important moments — with the tacit understanding that music is most often the emotional center of our lives. Earlier this year, I wrote about the Paul Cargnello cowritten single, the Quiet Storm-like “It’s A Feeling.” The track featured up-and-coming, local R&B talents Featuring two of Montreal’s up-and-coming R&B artists Mel Pacifico and Uness, and their sultry vocals over a sleek production centered around skittering beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, squiggling blasts of guitar, twinkling keys and an infectious, radio friendly hook.
Continuing the momentum of “It’s A Feeling,” the Montreal-based artist, producer and songwriter teamed up again with Paul Cargnello on the shimmering, 80s inspired synth soul and pop anthem “I’m Right Here.” Featuring some blazing guitar work, soulful and plaintive vocals, shimmering synths and a rousingly anthemic hook, the song is centered around a two-step inducing groove reminiscent of the oft-mentioned Cherelle, Purple Rain and 1999-era Prince and several others.
“The very first idea behind the song was to create a nostalgic homecoming sound the same way MGMT did with their record “Time to Pretend.” Leonard explains in a statement. “Along the way, the song musically evolves to a groove that represents the spirit of Prince. This musical production is an attempt to perceive what would Prince and MGMT would sound like if they were to collaborate on a record.”