Seeds is No.1 on the Solar Sweet Rhythms Chart for the 4th week running! - 3rd June
the debut album
News & Updates
June 3rd 2019 - ‘Seeds’ still at no.1 on the Solar Sweet Rhythms Chart after 4 weeks!
May 24th 2019 - ‘Seeds’ reaches no.3 on the UK Soul Chart
May 21st 2019 - After two great interviews/chats with both Gary Spence on Solar Radio and Tony Jay on Delite Radio last week (podcast links coming shortly), I’m delighted to hear that ‘Seeds’ is No.1 on the Sweet Rhythms Chart for a 2nd week!!! Thanks to all at Solar Radio who are supporting the album!
May 14th 2019
- “Seeds” is no.1 on the Solar Sweet Rhythms Chart!
May 13th 2019
- Soulandjazz.com makes ‘Seeds’ their SOUL album of the week.
May 12th 2019
- The infamous Jeff Young makes ‘Seeds’ album of the week on ‘The Journey’ - his unmissable Sunday morning/lunchtime show, on JAZZ FM.
MAY 11th 2019
- Tune in to David Lewis’ ‘The Saturday Selection’ show on Solar Radio - I’ll be discussing yesterday’s release of ‘Seeds’… The song choices, making of…. www.solarradio.com Listen via their website, their app or on TuneIn Radio.
MAY 10TH 2019
- Following the recent success of both singles ‘It Should Have Been You’ and ‘Working Day & Night’,
’Seeds’ the debut album by Lasperanza is released officially on Dome Records!
MUCH MORE INFO TO COME OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS - wonderful reviews of the album and also news on Lasperanza appearing LIVE at The Hideaway, Streatham on July 4th!
It all started when…
The idea for “Seeds” was born many years ago, way before it ever started. Working as a musician since his late teens/early twenties, Rico hoped to one day record an album dedicated to his first true love in music; that of soul/jazz/funk.
Being a teenager in the south east of the UK during the 80s, having taken up saxophone, he turned the dial on the tuner to discover shows from now legendary DJs/presenters such as Tony Monson, Jeff Young, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards, John Leech and later Mike Chadwick... as well as discovering the early ‘pirate’ stations and the beginning of JazzFM. These guys, and others, started his education in the wonderful world of soul, jazz and funk - and continue to do so today. They literally sowed the ‘Seeds’.
Fast forward to 2014/15, having enjoyed many a year working with amazing musicians up and down the UK and internationally, he set up the Downlight Studio in Hitchin, and thought to himself, “Hey, I think it’s about time to start on that album I always wanted to record.”
Deciding which songs he wanted to record wasn’t easy, for there were many that he had a soft spot for from that 80s era, or that he first heard IN that era. The list started at about forty songs(!) but with careful consideration (and in some cases fate) he whittled it down to ten. However, he did not want to record straight covers of the songs. Instead, the aim was to arrange them differently, give them a twist, so to speak, but remaining in the same idiom and feel within the wide genre. In the end, the ones that did not make the list, still managed to influence the songs that did. For example, being a Tower Of Power fan, one song on Seeds was arranged with a huge slice of ToP ballad style influence.
Having worked with so many wonderful vocalists/musicians over the years, the aim was to invite as many as he could to help this album come to fruition. Thankfully, everyone approached (bar one vocalist who was not available at the time due to other commitments!) said yes to being involved. There are many others too that he hopes to take up on their kind offers, on a second album...
Via the path of social media, Rico became friends with Keni Stevens, the UK soul singer whose song ‘Cannot Live Without Your Love’ Rico recorded first for the album. Though never released, it received a wonderful response from DJs/presenters on their shows up and down the country. This in turn lead him to think that perhaps he should look at releasing this album generally to the public, for it was only meant to be a personal endeavour. Keni liked what Rico had done so much, thankfully, that he asked to be involved. It was a true honour having him involved, and singing the last song on the album.
Cutting an already long story short and moving to 2018, Rico met Peter Robinson from the famous independent label Dome Records in the Spring/Summer. Peter liked what he heard at that stage already....
And here we are in 2019. The first single, his version of the classic dance floor filler, “It Should Have Been You” by Gwen Guthrie, was released officially on March 1st, reaching no.2 and no.3 on the UK Soul and Sweet Rhythms chart, and no.1 on the Grenada Soul chart. The second single ‘Working Day & Night’ soon followed in its success (no.2). Now time to see how the full album does.
By Howard Dukes, May 2019
Review by Chris Wells, Echoes Magazine, April 2019.