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LE Newsletter - July 10, 2003

  In Essence Interview

(Sean Cordner and Wan Lucas) kindly facilitated me with an interview with the crew of IN ESSENCE this week in anticipation of the release of their long-awaited CD, The Master Plan – in stores on July 15th. Hot HOT CD that will stir emotion in your very soul - I guarantee it.  For sure this is one CD to be added to your collection if you like rhythmic, hard-hitting, emotional, soulful R&B.  The CD release party is on Thursday, July 17th at Bambu on the Lake so come on by and check them out!  See www.inessence.ca for all info related to their rise to success.   

Upon arriving at BMG, I was led into a big room encased by glass with a huge pool table in the middle of it, where a couple of the guys of
IN ESSENCE were playing a game IE, in case you don't know, consists of Dru, Smooth, Que, Pops and Touch.   Obviously, this was going to be exactly the type of interview that I prefer – informal and relaxed.  Amid the jokes back and forth, I was able to chat with this exceptional Canadian R&B quintet. 

Just when I thought I couldn’t love the guys of
IE any more than I already do, our interview was further proof that not only are these guys mega talented, but their personal vibe is one of integrity, “keeping it real” and honouring their Canadian roots.  I will speak of them as a group as they all concurred with each other, no matter who was speaking. 

IE has been hustling their talent for 10 years on their own – from the streets of Toronto to the streets of New York.  I asked them if this leg of their journey to success is what they expected.  They all pretty much piped in that you can never totally prepare yourself for levels you haven’t experienced yet.  They still enjoy control over their project but have the added credibility that BMG enjoys as far as distribution throughout the global industry.

And they're still hustling – out on the streets as recent as last week, flyering for their own CD release party on July 17th, out of a sense of invested responsibility for their debut project.  I just LOVE that! 

When asked what the formula was for remaining close friends (or “spiritual brothers”) over the span of 10 years, IE answered RESPECT.  Respect for each other’s individual’s talents and what they each bring to the table, both personally and professionally.  This was very evident in the kibitzing and playfulness they displayed during the interview.  Just like family.

The entire debut CD was co-produced by IE, so I asked what producers they admire or would consider working with.  Answers came immediately - Lenny Kravitz, Prince and P. Diddy.  I brought up the hot producer Jay Dee out of Detroit (A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, Busta Rhymes) and
IE was visibly excited at the notion of working with him. 

In speaking about the transition from independent artists to working within a
major label and acquiring management, IE mentioned that they were careful to choose their management team (Keidi-Ann Graham and Andrea Chrysanthou) and went with a team that felt their vibe as artists and embodied the same passion for Canadian talent that they have always stood for.  Having success south of the border was incredible (400 spins a week in NYC for the track "You'll Never Find"!!) but IE was cautious not to fall into the boy band stereotype that America can sometimes generate.  IE feels that Canada has many flavours and influences, which directly impacts their music and let me tell you, it’s very evident on the CD.  They wanted to ensure that these influences were not lost or underplayed, but instead, celebrated.

IE has worked very hard to achieve this stage of success and I know that you will agree with me that their CD absolutely represents the soulful side of Canada – and then some!!  They are the personification of what it really takes to not only make a dent in this industry but to also aim for longevity – drive, determination and humility.  It was a real pleasure to hang out with IE and I thank BMG once again for the opportunity. 

Again, their long-awaited CD,
The Master Plan will be in stores on July 15th.  The CD release party is on Thursday, July 17th at 7:30 pm at Bambu on the Lake.  Be there!


245 Queen’s Quay West (east of Spadina)
(416) 214—6000
7:30 pm