An Interview With Rebel/Interscope Records R&B Singer-Songwriter, LEROY SANCHEZ!
Posted On 15 Apr 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Beyonce, By My Side, Danja, Finatik & Zac, Frank Romano, Futuristics, Grammy, Harry Potter, High School Musical, I'm Not The Only One, Interscope Records, Jenn Decilveo, Jim Jonsin, Kate Voegele, Kelly Rowland, Leroy Sanchez, lil wayne, Lollipop, Motivation, Rebel Records, Rico Love, Sam Smith, Stevie Wonder, Sweet Dreams, T.I., There Goes My Baby, Usher, Whatever You Like, YouTube
Leroy Sanchez was discovered by GRAMMY® Award winning producer/songwriter Jim Jonsin while surfing YouTube. With more than 47 million YouTube views to date, Leroy’s videos caught the attention of Jonsin and countless others, who flew Leroy out from his hometown of Spain, directly to Jonsin’s recording studio in Florida. Leroy was then signed to Rebel Rock/ Interscope records!
Since signing with the label, he has worked with an impressive array of producers and songwriters, including Jonsin, Rico Love, Danja, the Futuristics, Frank Romano, Finatik & Zac and Jenn Decilveo.
Learn more about Leroy in the following interview:
Can you remember the moment when you decided to be a performer? Was there ever a time when there was something else that you wanted to do?
I always felt inclined towards music, even when I was very little. I remember being fascinated by a guitar that my mother owned. She always kept it in my parents room, and when they were gone, I used to sneak in, sit in front of it, and just touch the strings pretending I knew how to play it. The singing came along with the same passion. I was always singing – in the shower, in my room…it was fun, like a game, and with time, I realized that some people made a living out of singing. Once I realized that this was possible (and extremely difficult at the same time), I set a goal in my mind, and I haven’t stopped since.
How did you get started posting videos on YouTube at age 15?
The first video that I uploaded on YouTube wasn’t even of me singing. It was some boring trailer that I created for one of the Harry Potter movies that I deleted soon after. The second video was the one that started it all. It was a video of a performance that I did in high school for our Christmas festival. It was of a friend and I singing a “High School Musical” song. After that video, I got so curious about what other people had to say about my voice, that I continued uploading more videos of myself singing.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment so far and what do you have your eyes set on next?
I’m very proud to see how much my YouTube fan base has grown over the years. It was something that I never expected to happen, and it’s so rewarding to see how many people appreciate my work and passion. My next step will be to release an entire piece of original content and share it with them and everyone.
How has your sound and style/technique changed over the years?
It has changed so much, and it’s still changing. I always loved to sing, but I never ever thought I had to figure out who I was as an artist, my style, my sound… that search has been a main focus since I began my career here in the U.S., and it’s constantly changing. As an artist I feel that it is very important to find a strong identity in your art, but also as a person, I’m changing every day. I’m not the same Leroy that I was two years ago—personally or artistically.
What’s it been like working with the producer Jim Jonsin who is known for working on “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne, “Motivation” by Kelly Rowland, “There Goes My Baby” by Usher, “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce, “Whatever You Like” by T.I. and much more? How did you first meet Jim?
Jim has been my mentor since day one and I have learned so much from him. Having such a legendary producer interested in my voice was completely insane! We first met through the internet on a Skype call. I was really hesitant about the call because I genuinely believed it was a scam. However, after we spoke for about 20 minutes, he told me that he saw my videos and that he wanted to fly me to Miami to work with him. You can imagine my reaction. Then a month later, I was in Miami with him and his whole crew in my first professional studio session.
Let’s talk about your debut single, “By My Side”. What was the inspiration for it?
I started writing “By My Side” while I was in my room playing guitar. I had this cool and simple guitar progression and I started singing some random melodies. When I tried to sing the chorus, most of the lyrics came out of my mouth without even thinking. At the end, I had this guitar progression with some really cool melodies and a few words that didn’t quite make sense (lyrics have been always tougher for me since English is not my first language). Then the team suggested to send the idea to Rico Love who plugged the missing pieces together and finished writing “By My Side” in just a few minutes. He is unbelievably talented and a huge inspiration.
What was it like touring with Kate Voegele ? Any favorite venues and/or crowds?
It was so amazing! I’m so sad that the tour is now over. I’m so blessed that I have had the chance to tour with her and the whole band. They are all so cool and it’s so much fun. Performing with her is the best! We have so much fun on stage. Every city is a different experience and fans always give 200% on every show so it’s very tough to choose one.
What is the best and worst thing about touring?
The best thing about touring is getting to see the fans and their faces every night. I’m very new to this, so for me, it’s amazing to put faces to all those people that follow me on the internet.
The worst part of touring is probably the lack of sleep. There’s a lot of driving to do, and there are days when you’ll only get two hours of sleep…and then you have to play a show. It’s very important to be healthy while on the road and to get as much sleep as possible.
Do you have any interesting pre-performance rituals?
Not really, just warming up and if I’m feeling sluggish, maybe I’ll do some push ups (but that barely happens lol).
Living or dead, who would you love to collaborate with and why?
So many artists.. From the top of my head right now I would say the legendary Stevie Wonder. I would be happy even if I just got a chance to say hello.
What artists have consistently inspired you? Who are your all-time favorite musicians?
I never really had an artist I looked up to. I grew up listing to a lot of pop music, mainly from the Top 40 (strongly influenced by the English and American charts) and for me it was more about the song than about the artist…
What cover songs that you’ve released are you most proud of? What songs are you working on now?
Every time I post a new cover I always think that it’s the best one yet, but if I had to choose one right now, I would say Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One”.
Right now I’m very focused on my original material and I’m working on my own songs.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
I remember a funny one that happened on my fist week in the U.S. Jim Jonsin told me that he wanted me to sing to Kelly. I said sure. I wasn’t quite sure who Kelly was so, I jumped in the studio and I started singing for a couple people in the room. Then halfway through the song, I looked up and realized that I’m singing to Kelly Rowland. I almost choked.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope that they get what I got with music — an emotion, a feeling, the chills. Feeling alive, in connection with someone that might be going through the same things as you. Music helped me go through certain phases of my life, and if my music does that to somebody else, then that’s all I can ask for.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started posting covers on YouTube?
Have fun with it and always post stuff you’re proud of. YouTube is a great platform to get discovered and to get exposure, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything so my advice is to have a good time with it.
Is there anything else that you would like new fans to know about you or your music?
If it wasn’t for all my fans out there who believe in what I’m doing and support me in every step of the way, I wouldn’t be doing what I love the most, so THANK YOU SO MUCH! And more new music will be coming out soon!