With no formal music education, DLee’s innate musical talent manifested itself, from a young age, as he began singing in the church choir. A love for bass playing ensued, aged ten, which organically led to creating tunes and writing lyrics.
Born in Beaumont, Texas, and with strong familial roots in the deep south, his exposure to the world of music was intense, from Gospel and high school jazz band to a home life filled with musical culture, encouraged by his family. DLee was able to hone his musical gifts for melody and lyrics, influenced by such greats as Otis Redding, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.
Self-taught in various instruments, he continually developed his own unique sound, while concurrently excelling in basketball at Loyola Marymount University, which took him professionally to Europe. There, a major modeling agency also scouted his look, and launched a successful modeling career, appearing in over hundred national commercials, affording him time to further hone his craft, in his first love, music. Guitar in hand, along the way, his prolific flair for singing/songwriting became recognized by the industry.
Dedicated and passionate, DLee was able to establish himself as a fulltime musician/producer, working with the likes of Macy Gray, Kim Hill, Monk, Medusa, Keaton Simons. DLee has also collaborated with Leon Ware ( Marvin Gaye ‘I want you’) and James Gadson, written lyrics and shared vocals with Adrian Younge and Will Hart of The Delfonics, and composed music for film and TV commercials. Screen work has included musical supervision and composition for Cassidy Way, The Road to Redemption, A Scanner Darkly and The Making of 300 the movie.
Together with actor/singer Gary Dourdan as Sugar Free the Band, DLee has toured the US, the West Indies, France, Morocco and Dubai, including a number of charity performances. The album ‘Soul Revival’ was DLee’s first episode as a solo artist, featuring ten songs that are a pure expression of his heart and soul. Currently, DLee is putting the finishing touches on his follow-up album – release date to be advised.
DLEE on Radio Venice
Main photo by Ana Pettus