Forget about American Idol. The next big music superstar may be in the making right here at the University of Miami.
Almost 100 students packed the Rat this Friday night to celebrate the album release of Les, a senior music business major at UM. Collaborating with the Council on International Students and Organizations and other student groups, the release party was held by Cane Records, the on-campus record label run almost entirely by students.
“I felt really good about it,” Les said. “I’m an extremist so I think there’s a lot of room to grow, but I’m really happy with the turnout. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Les, aka Lester Hussie, was signed by Cane Records in the fall of ’07 after the label saw what he had to offer.
“He could dance. He could sing. He had the whole package when we saw him,” said Jessie Allen, a sophomore and vice president of A&R and production for Cane Records.
Although he’s primarily an R&B artist, Jen Mozenter, Cane Records’ album parts and production coordinator, praised how he mixes acoustic and rap elements into his music.
The production of Les’ album, cleverly-titled Les is More, began last fall shortly after he was signed to the label and lasted three months. “It was a really long process and we’re excited to finally share his music with everybody,” Bailey Usdin, president of Cane Records, said.
“I just learned so much, and I feel like I’m going to be much more prepared the next time around,” Les said.
After months in the studio, Les finally made his debut in a live performance at the release party. Complete with backup dancers and lighting effects, the performance featured five songs from his album, which varied from South Beach club hits to more classic R&B.
“Hopefully I can get signed to a major label and just continue to get bigger and better,” Les said.
Les is More can be downloaded digitally on digstation.com, and the physical CD will be available shortly for purchase on canerecords.com.
Kendall Sale may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.