Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011
R&B/Soul artist JL (Jawaskia Lake) is not just stepping on the stage and singing songs, he’s bringing back the true sound of R&B and soul music, providing true entertainment for his fans. I first became acquainted with JL when I heard him sing at a First Friday event about 3 years ago. He describes his music as 90s style R&B and soul. Originally from Bolivar, TN, most of his fan base is located in Jackson, TN. Having opened for major artists like Keith Sweat, Brian McKnight, and Keisha Cole, he is definitely making his way to the front line in the music world.
At the young age of 8 years old, like most musical artists, JL got his start in church. Coming from a musical family, his mom being a gospel artist and his older brother being a member of a musical group out of Memphis, TN called Perfection, it was only right the he also became involved in music. He soon found himself traveling with his brother’s group playing the drums and eventually filling in for other singers in the group. After about 7 years of singing gospel JL ventured into the world of secular music and started experimenting with R&B, wanting to try something new and different from what his family was doing. His new sound soon garnered him a new fan base and he knew he’d made the right move. That’s when he decided to start buying his own equipment and set up a studio in his home so he could write and produce more music.
He was determined to be heard and noticed for his style of music. When he debuted his song Paint A Picture, he did just that. Even though he had been recording for years, Paint A Picture was his breakout hit and what made people want to hear more of his music. His music was now being heard by more people, but this new-found popularity came with a few bumps in the road. People that he’d worked closely with no longer wanted to be in his shadows and decided to break away. When booking shows, he found that promoters didn’t want to pay him much. Although performing, for JL, is not all about the money, he also didn’t want to be taken advantage of. Which is one of the reasons he started hosting his own events, sponsoring several shows at Miss Ollie’s, a venue located in Jackson, TN. These events are made affordable to his fans and provides local, much-needed entertainment to those of us that enjoy great, live music. He also does a lot of charity events for free.
JL says that through his music, he wants to bring back that 90s style R&B sound. Because his music is relate-able, JL has built a huge fan base. He writes songs that are true to life…touching on things and situations that everyone can relate to. Most of his songs lyrics come from his own life experiences. His sound is a blend of melodic, soulful music you can slow dance. Now when is the last time you slow danced? In the 90s right? I know, me too. And how many times have you said or heard people say that music just isn’t what it was 10 or 20 years ago? Music doesn’t give you that same ‘good feeling’ it once did because artists today aren’t true R&B singers. Most artists don’t do it for the true passion and love of music, rather for the love of money and fame. If you’re ever fortunate enough to have the JL experience you’ll hear the same feel good, classic R&B music that came from artists such as Joe and Donnell Jones. JL’s music has that soul sound that you aren’t likely to hear from many artists today. In 2011 JL started his own label, SouLink Music. Although he hasn’t signed any artist, other than himself, through SouLink JL is able to be an artist, producer and song writer. He’s already gotten calls to write songs for some major artists, so if singing doesn’t work out he has some eggs in other baskets. In one way or another JL’s name will soon be well-known in the music industry.
JL’s Laugh Story
“I’m not a drinker or a smoker, but one time I was at a show in Nashville when one of my band members decided we should have some drinks before the show. This was my first time performing at this particular venue and it was a full house. Well I had TOO many drinks. Once I got on stage I forgot every song I was performing that night. I almost fell when I was going on the stage. Eventually I gathered myself and was able to get through the show successfully, but I will never drink before a show again. That was my worst show to date.” ~ JL
JL’s new album will be released August 2015. In the meantime you can go to iTunes and download his EP, The Appetizer, which features the single Paint A Picture.
As always…Keep Laughing!