From the opening notes of the Postmodern Jukebox version of Beyonce’s “Halo,” it’s clear that LaVance Colley is truly a world class vocalist. Audiences that attended our recent US tour were blown away by his tremendous range, rich tone, and natural charisma in the role of emcee, and his stripped down version of “Halo,” accompanied by Todd Schroeder on piano, was a #PMJtour highlight, night after night. Watch the YouTube version with over 1 million hits here:
Download / Order “Halo” from our ‘Top Hat on Fleek’ album:
We asked LaVance a few questions about music and his inspirations – check them out here.
Q: How did you first get interested in music?
Well, I come from a family of singers and musicians so I started singing at a very young age. I got my very first big break in the music industry at 18 years old, singing background for Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore. Under their guidance, I learned so much about the industry and met so many people.
Q: Your style is heavily influenced by the Gospel tradition. What are your two favorite albums?
Number one is Karen Clark Sheard’s Finally Karen. I used to idolize her. She is an amazing gospel singer and I copied every riff and run she did and studied her vocal intensely.
The other one that I have to mention is Kim Burrell’s Everlasting Life. This gospel singer literally changed the way the singers that came after her sang. She is a singers’ singer and everyone from Beyonce to Brandy sing her praises. Look her up!
Q: Your debut PMJ video now has over 1 million views. What was it like the first time someone recognized you in public following the release of the “Halo” cover?
Now that was a surreal moment for me! I was at the LAX airport and a woman came up to me and asked me if I was there with PMJ, and I was like, yes I am! She then proceeded to tell me that she is a big fan and that she loved my video. It was absolutely amazing! I mean, I felt like a straight up celebrity.
Q: You recently completed your first tour with Postmodern Jukebox. What are some of your best memories from that?
One of my favorite shows was in Orlando, FL. I had about 10 friends that came to support me in the audience, and afterwards, we all went back to their house and hung out all night, singing songs at the piano. Casey Abrams was with me and everyone loved hearing him do his thing on the piano. What a great night that was. Good friends and good music!
Q: Any other favorite memories from tour?
Well, the Orlando show also stuck with me because I was up early that day to sing on the radio with PMJ. I had never sung on the radio before and was very nervous because my voice was a little hoarse, but I warmed up as best I could and gave it my all. Later that evening, at our show at Hard Rock Live, people came up to me and told me they heard me on that radio show and that I sounded fabulous! I was so happy to hear that because having to sing early in the morning on a hoarse voice is no fun. But it all worked out – to all the singers out there, it’s amazing what a good warmup can do.
Q: What’s your go-to vintage fashion item?
Hats, hats, and more hats. A stylish hat has always been a key element of the vintage look. Ironically enough, i accidentally left my hats at home after I left for tour, so that was a bummer!
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for young musicians looking to break into the industry?
Learn the business side of the industry because if you don’t, you will not achieve the financial success you want- no matter how talented you are. Fame without fortune is not fun!
Follow LaVance on Facebook and Instagram, and watch for a new PMJ video with him coming soon!
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No, you’re not tuning in to a rerun. But when Kenton Chen made his Postmodern Jukebox debut last November singing The Chainsmokers’ #1 hit “Closer,” more then a few viewers clicked in expecting the Nine Inch Nails classic of the same name. Well, we know a good idea, no matter how accidental, when we hear it, so we invited Kenton back to make it a reality. Check it out:
Kenton became a fan favorite singing backups on our remake of “Say My Name” and especially showing off his stunning range on “MMMBop,” where he sang both the bass and soprano lines. So he was the obvious choice when it came time to tackle the biggest song in the country at the time: The Chainsmokers’ ode to making bad choices together, “Closer.” Kenton’s virtuosic ‘50s-style crooning won over even those who dialed in hoping to refuel their ‘90s-era angst – as one commenter put it, “I came expecting ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails… and stayed for the breathtaking rendition of a song that I don’t really like.”
Still, the idea stuck in PMJ creator Scott Bradlee’s brain, who figured if anybody could find the soulful side of Trent Reznor it would be Kenton. Trading in his powder-pink prom jacket for dazzling blue satin, Kenton and his back-up singers kick off their heels (literally) and proceed to make tortured romance look sleek and stylish. The band locks into a tight ‘70s groove that you can feel from the inside, and while Kenton may make you believe that his whole existence is flawed, his performance is anything but. He’s too discreet to mention exactly what he wants to do like an animal, but trust me, this funky rendition gets the point across.