And with that, The Sit in Tour 2018 is complete! Thank you to every host for providing space to build community through song. Thank you to every family that opened their home as we drove across the country. Thank you to every person that came out, brought a friend, became a fan, joined the movement- and sat in with us. Thank you to Jacquie, my powerpacked Mitsubishi Outlander that got us from the west coast all the way to the east coast and south in one piece. And last but certainly not least-THANK YOU to Tyler “Eaglebabel” Brooks, for seeing this through with me, for sacrificing, for shouldering, for supporting in every way- this literally would not have happened without you. Here is a taste of what went down over this last month. We sat in together, and it was marvelous. I’m thinking Part II is in order… so if you want us in your town, say something. And last but certainly not least… When we sat in, I told you the album was coming… Well mark your calendars. War Love, my debut album is coming out October 23rd. If you are in the Bay Area, we are having a pre-release listening party Saturday 10/20. It’s free and sure to be an unforgettable night. RSVP at WarLove.eventbrite.com Otherwise get your ears, minds, and hearts ready for War Love to drop next month!
Posted by Jessica Lá Rel on Tuesday, September 11, 2018
From Chicago’s “Wild 100s” to South Holland and the affluent Lake Forest, Jessica Lá Rel has had an upbringing as vast and intense as the music she blesses her fans with. Over the course of a few years she has cultivated an eclectic style of Soul that has enabled her to open for everyone from Macklemore to Omarion and to perform for everyone from John Lewis to Barry Gordy.
Lá Rel credits her hometown and the black church for inspiring the communal and far-reaching vibe that she delivers in her music. She explains that for her, “[Music] is one of the most communal substances we have within our reach…in an instant, a song can bring a room of disconnected people together.” She was able to exhibit this in 2016 when she performed songs for iconic poet Nikki Giovanni and for actor Nate Parker from her upcoming EP Four Freedoms (set for release on September 2, 2016), including #WeCantBreathe, a single that honors the Black Lives Matter Movement and legacy of Civil Rights.
Lá Rel embraces an approach to music called alternative Soul, which she describes as: “[honoring] the past while connecting with the present and future of the genre [soul].” Her musical influences attest to this as she reminisces on listening to her mother’s vinyl records as a child, memorizing lyrics by Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Nina Simone, and Sarah Vaughn.
Her mature, magnetic vocals are reminiscent of her gospel upbringing, but she still maintains a pure, crystalline sultriness that has brought even Oprah to tears. Describing her sound as vast, communal, and soaring, Lá Rel fuses Jazz, Soul, Afrobeat, and World Music to ensure her audience soaks up the raw emotions that she inspires.