In fact behind Lo Jay, Laurence Jay is hiding …
Laurence Jay the all-round artist has been hiding behind Lo Jay since her early childhood when she was singing before she could even talk! Then at eleven years old she picked up a guitar which was lying in the corner of the room and started playing it! Since then as if driven by some internal subconscious power she has pursued this life to the exclusion of everything else regardless of personal risk.
Her talent for melodies soon saw her composing and at sixteen she made an effortless transition to performing on stage, writing music and contributing to studio sessions with her first rock group, Vertige, which they mixed original composition with well know songs from The Police and U2. The band was formed with the Brosson brothers, Dominique on bass and Frédéric on guitar, as well as Franck Rouleau on drums.
A real passion was born !
In 1998 they together scoured the hotspots of South-West of France performing on the of the NRJ radio station stage, with French stars of the time, Phil Barney, Préface (Jean-Yves d’Angelo & Kamil Rustam), Dani, Gérard Presgurvic, Wenta, les Vagabonds, Nicoletta, etc…
Producers became interested … but only in Laurence by herself so although she didn’t want to leave her friends the group was finally driven apart …
Doors have been opening for Laurence ever since but she always plans her path, towards new musical adventures and teamwork.
Very soon she was contacted by the Music Plus label, specialists in techno and house music. This new style was exploding and together with her manager Eric Wendel she produced 7 singles and 2 CDs which were promoted in discos worldwide. Laurence wanted to stay incognito and took Lisa Koening as a stage name, but she also performed with Total Control and the Pilots.
For two years she played in the rock & folk group Public Address singing well known songs from the Beatles, Lou Reed and The Doors. From this time on Mickey Fourcade the group’s drummer joined Laurence in all her pop rock projects and it was with this group she would perform her first Parisian concert at le Gibus.
Her confidence, vocal qualities, presence and spirit…
led her naturally to create her first group at the age of 20, Lucky Jay, with Mickey Fourcade on drums, Jean-Louis Bisiacco on bass and the Ballue brothers, Jacques on keyboard and Pierre on guitar. They sang Rickie Lee Jones, Toto, Bryan Adams, Heart, but most importantly her own songs and most notably ‘Sortez-moi de l’ombre’ which she recorded much later on her first album. The group toured for 5 years hoping to find a producer but it is was more difficult to break through than they thought, so Laurence decided to work exclusively as a freelancer.
Because Laurence is a natural linguist she writes and sings as well in French as in English, and simultaneously writes in both languages.
She loves working under stress and was always working on albums, film music, shows and concerts.
In addition she participated very closely with the success of the group “Les Pèlerins de Navarre” ‘J’irai de Pampelune jusqu’à Bayonne’ and on their album on the Agorila label in 1994.
During that time recording opportunities came slowly. BMG asked her to write for David Charvet’s sister, Angie Lee (“All I want is” and Lo Jay recorded it on her album “Ma Trace”). Sometime later she got involved in writing the film music for “Gunblast Vodka” with Sony Publishing.
Stage never leaves her.
Laurence’s drive to always do more and better, her qualities and professionalism didn’t change together with her simplicity and attachment to real human values. She likes exchanging, communicating, that’s why she turned naturally towards music, languages and travelling, linking the hedonistic pleasures of body and spirit. She always feels a deep and honest desire to leave a part of her dream with anybody that listens to her music.
Mick Lanaro, among others asked Laurence on stage at “le Petit Journal” in Montparnasse, and Club Med World at Bercy, in Paris.
She also met a unique musician who had already done a world tour with his guitar, Patrice Rozier. Together they formed a country music duo « Lo & Paddy » which helped to develop her rhythmic guitar skills.
In 2004, she will finally make her own album ‘Ma Trace’, as Lo Jay. On this album she collected everything she had developed in previous 16 years of rich human and musical experiences with loyal artists she liked performing with.
‘Ma trace’ mixes simultaneously energetic rock acoustic and intimate moments, with a country undertone, in which the guitar, her favourite instrument, is always present, from pedal steel to mandolin through dobra … and violin …
But Lo Jay isn’t satisfied! Her next venture is a new pop rock album with a talented musician, composer and arranger Manu Martin, ‘Lo Jay’ released in 2007.
Meeting with jazz in the year 2000 makes her an all-round artist.
Her first jazz experience in 2001 started a new dream and she recorded in Paris with Paris Jazz Big Band directed by Nicolas Folmer performing Edith Piaf’s songs, “La vie en Rose” and “Padam” for a planned tour of Japan. However despite the tour not taking place the jazz bug had infected her.
For the next four years she became the leading light and made the New Bumpers Dixie-swing Jazz Band famous. They recorded three albums and a DVD in the jazz city of New Orleans with guest stars like the unforgettable clarinettist, Jacques Gauthé or the trumpeter Duke Heitger. Thanks to this group she now becomes a banjoist.
Ever since she has worked with the best of all French and New Orleans jazz musicians. Hundreds of shows have allowed her to make a giant leap forward and she now has very good jazz reviews.
As a result of this she was invited to join the Bordeaux Big Band of Pascal Drapeau and together they produced “Oh man! Play that Thing!” in 2007 with the help of Leroy Jones. You can see her particularly near Stéphane Belmondo or even Denis Leloup.
A chameleon voice and style !
Among her most recent records is an amazing but exquisite rendition of in “Squaring the Circle” by the electro pop group Kowalsky in 2008.
Chosen in 2008 by Keane fans she appeared on the cover CD of the group “Under the Iron Sheets” on behalf of the world-famous association “Warchild”, child victims of war.
In the meantime she released the single of the “Enfants-Rois” a charity which fulfils the dreams of sick children, which she writes with piano player Lionel Fortin and with the help of the gospel group Fitiavana with Ben l’Oncle Soul.
Always promoting humanitarian causes, she was part of the compilations for cancer 2007, 2009 and 2010 of Composit-Music.
French singer famous in the American Jazz birthplace !
Laurence “LO” Jay has confirmed her place in New Orleans jazz history by producing her first Jazz album released under the world famous catalogue of GHB Records in 2009 “Yes, I know what it means”, with legends like Sebastien Arruti, Jacques Gauthé, Ryan Burrage, Guillaume Nouaux, Julien Brunetaud, Duke Heitger and Sébastien Girardot.
In 2007 she started her collaboration with piano player Serge Moulinier which in 2009 resulted in the album “Imagine a Wonderful World” which enhances the growing reputation of the duo.
Serge then formed a trio with Christophe Jodet on contrabass and Pascal Legrand on drums in order to start give Lo a platform with her tribute to Anita O’Day : ‘Lo Jay plays O’Day!
The concert has become a show produced by Guy Lenoir and light and visual effects by David Cappellazzo and the CD “Lo Jay joue O’Day” was released in October 2011.
In brief, from solo to big band and stage this sensitive lady has found her style, le Pop Jazz.
Lo is a “charismatic and captivating artist for an original music”