Soulful Session, Cheryl Lee
Soulful Session aka Simon ‘Schoolboy’ Phillips is a seasoned professional in the music business and a prominent DJ and producer in the dance music arena. He began his career as a radio and club DJ rising quickly to present radio shows on Choice FM and Capital, and he has been pivotal in showcasing and promoting some of the music world’s best known talent. Having received many accolades and awards for his work he is one of the UK’s best-loved personalities, and a regular performer at events including Southport Weekender, Vocal Booth Weekender and the Amsterdam Dance Event. Relatively new to production, he seems to know exactly where to place each note and beat to create high quality releases which have included the series of ‘Future Divas’ EPs, the dance floor anthem Hostile Takeover and a string of successful chart hits – Keep On Lovin Me, Mr Weather Man and My Baby. Schooly is a well respected member of the worldwide dance community and is presently very much in demand in his current location of Dubai.
Cheryl Lee is a Scottish singer-songwriter with Ghanaian heritage. From a young age she explored her parents’ eclectic music collection, being particularly touched by the soul tracks that she heard. Cheryl and her sister enjoyed singing for leisure and entered numerous talent shows and competitions. In the summer of 2001 she really found her groove when spending the summer with a friend who shared her passion for music, and together they spent every day singing and writing songs. She started university the same year and found herself entering music competitions and working with local DJs such as DJ David Craig, and subsequently connecting with development director and music producer, Alan Benzie who offered her the opportunity to work on her own music and take part in various showcases. Now fully hooked on writing music and singing, Cheryl felt a sense of belonging in the studio which became her haven where she felt free to fully express her emotions. The pressure of study took over, and for a while music took a back seat, but her first love could not be suppressed and she longed to perform again. She moved to Dubai in 2011 where she met Simon and he suggested that they collaborate. Her passion was reignited with the writing and recording of “Feel the Beat”, and buzzing off the vibe the duo reunited to record the Thankful EP where Cheryl has showcased her talents over a range of genres. This EP is a taster of a full album which is due for release in 2016. Cheryl names Jill Scott, Conya Doss, Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann and India Arie among her major influences and she certainly has the talent to join them in the vocal hall of fame.
The Tony Record Label was established in 2005 and is the concept of world renowned DJ and producer Tony Humphries. A name that is renowned for quality cuts, the Tony label consistently releases fresh and innovative soulful dance music..
Thankful is the title track with its Soulful House dance beat, it is a bouncy, spiritual uplifting track, about being thankful for having inspiration, purpose and direction in life. It gets the classic Schooly treatment making the listener move from the opening bars, and Cheryl delivers the vocal with accomplished ease.
Let Me Be Me has more of a UK Garage vibe, with a great bassline, and is about staying true to yourself and embracing your individuality.
Feel The Beat first featured on Tony Records ‘Miami Uncuts’ in April 2014, and is an upbeat dance track drawing parallels between the passion of being with your lover and being at one with the music on the dance floor, heartbeats and dance beats entwined.
Wait For Me is another Soulful House vibe about journey of forgiveness in the name of love, whereas He Is (So Fine) slows the vibe right down with some R&B describing the wonderment of being with somebody who you unconditionally adore.
Relax & Breathe is a soulful funky groove, reminiscent of Norman Connors, and focuses on patience and waiting for your time to shine while Kisses On My Neck is a slow sexy groove, with jazzy guitar, a broken beat and soft sultry vocals – a nice ‘last dance’ to finish the EP.
The package demonstrates the versatility of both artists – Soulful Session with his ability to mix genres and tempos to create seven skilfully crafted tracks which complement each other perfectly to give the listener a whole array of soulful sensations, and Cheryl bringing her amazing vocal talent to convey different moods and emotions with maturity, class, and sophistication.
This album is a joy to the ears and the feet and will have the listener captivated from start to finish, showcasing a partnership that is destined for great things in the future.
TR056 ‘Thankful’ released on Tony Records March 2015
Review by Sue McDonald (Twitter @SueVMcDonald)
© Sue McDonald 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue McDonald with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.