Singer/songwriter Lee Carr is ready to make his mark. After several years of growing as an artist and perfecting his writing and producing skills, he believes that 2008 will be his breakthrough year. Armed with his nascent talent and tireless spirit the native New Yorker is gearing up to hit the scene running with his eponymous debut.
Writing and producing the majority of the album himself, as well as serving as co-executive producer on the project, the disc is a wonderful introduction to a multi-dimensional artist who has been waiting in the shadows. “Signing with Jive was a real blessing,” says Carr. “There were others that showed interest, but Jive has such an impressive history, how could I say no.”
Currently his laid-back first single “Stilettos” is bubbling on the Billboard charts; it’s obvious he made a wise choice. Co-written by Lee, “Stilettos” is a sassy track that is sure to become a soundtrack for every girl who loves rockin’ her heals and every guy that likes to see a girl in those heels. “Like a supermodel on a runway scene,” he croons over the electro sonic backdrop; as addictive as it is soulful, “Stilettos” is bound to become a summer anthem.
Born and raised in New York, 21-year-old Lee Carr has leapt many personal and professional hurdles before finally landing safely. Beginning with a rocky childhood that found him in foster care from the age of two to more recent battles with labels that didn’t quite believe in his vision, Lee hasn’t exactly had it easy.
“I’ve had all kinds of bad experiences in my younger days,” Lee honestly admits. “I was in the foster care system and various group homes for years. I got into fights with other kids, but I truthfully believe that those troubled times helped make me a stronger person.”
Finding sanctuary in the songs of Stevie Wonder and other rhythmic luminaries, Lee began singing around his aunt’s house when he was fourteen. “At the time I was living with my aunt, and she was the first to encourage me towards a musical direction. Prior to that, I was just into playing basketball and rapping.”
Yet, as he points out on the sizzling R&B tribute song “Radio,” where he shouts out “Mary B. and Luther V.,” music can be a healing force. Lee remembers, “Back in the day, there was a spot on 42nd Street called Soul Café, and they had a singing contest every week where the winner got $300. I thought I would go in and win on the first night, but it wasn’t that easy.”
Returning to his aunt’s crib somewhat disappointed, Lee just kept singing in the bathroom mirror and practicing his dance steps. Finally, belting Blackstreet’s classic “Before I Let Go,” the young singer finally won. Smiling at the memory, Carr explains, “It took me five times to get the first-place prize, but after that there was no looking back.”
Afterward, Lee’s talents also secured him a slot on Showtime at the Apollo, where he performed the Stevie Wonder hit ‘That Girl.’ Smiling, Lee recalls, “I discovered Stevie late in the game, but once I was exposed, I couldn’t get enough.” Also citing Dave Hollister and Hi-Five’s late Tony Thompson as influences, Lee has shaped his album, with a series of beautiful love songs, which resonate with a pop freshness.
“After I won the contest at Soul Café, I did lots of shows and met with a lot of people, but I also knew I had to focus more on my songwriting skills.” Disappearing from the scene for nine-months, Lee started filling notebooks with ideas and lyrics as well as recording with various aspiring producers. “I knew that if I wanted to be considered serious, that I had to bring some slamming material to the table.”
Briefly signed to the now defunct Russell Simmons Music Group in 2006, Lee’s one released song for the label was “Act Like You Know,” from the Waist Deep soundtrack. “Russell loved me, but when the label folded I was caught-up in a kind of limbo over at Universal,” says Lee.
Now, Lee is more determined to be 2008’s breakout R&B man; and without a doubt, that “shooting for the stars” resolve can be heard in his records. From the player swagger of the surefire club hit “What’s It Gonna Be,” the synth seduction of “She’s A Keeper” and the sexy, slow dance groover that is “Breathe,” Lee Carr has only just begun winning our hearts.