Lina Loi's Facebook reads that she is a singer/songwriter who boldly discards all artistic blueprints, with a musical fusion thriving on rich, jazz-era orchestration complemented by R&B. With a writing and singing background that spans the genres of soul, jazz, opera, hip hop, pop, and country, LINA is an original, bringing a fresh, arresting sound that is passionate,
organic and timeless. In effect, a one woman Harlem Renaissance, reclaiming decades worth of musical heritage for a new generation
G-C - You began singing at the age of 4, at a Church in Texas, which lead to going on tour and performing with your mum. What was the experience like?
LL - It was my first experience I just wanted to be like my mom it was fun! It was a good feeling to know my mom was pleased with me and the people seemed to be moved, it was entertainment to them they would smile and sometimes cry it was amazing
Did you know that you always wanted to be a performer from an early age
Yes by age 4... I was always surrounded by musicians and music
How would you describe your music
Jazzy Vintage Soul
Who inspires you musically
Jazz greats Sarah, Bille, Ella, Nina, Gladys, Stevie
With a rooted jazz/soul and gospel background, Atlantic signed you to their label in 2000. What was the experience like signing to a major
It was a dream come true! Tons of work but exciting ... chatting with
founder Ahmet Ertegun that was a high light in my career, he told me
stories of when he signed Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack and now
me. He was cute he always smelled good and wore very nice shoes the
kind I like to see men wear... it was special, not all the artist got
to meet him when they signed but he requested to meet me... that was
nice he made a lasting impression on me! RIP beautiful soul.
Your debut album was a huge hit gaining you a #1 R&B album of the year with Tower Records, featured in the top 10 album of the year with Billboard Magazine and a Grammy nomination. However you asked for your contract to be terminated with Atlantic, why was that
911 tragedy changed the industry and accounts were frozen tours were cancelled
After Atlantic you then set-up your own label Moodstar Recordings and released your second album, ‘The Inner Beauty Movement’. Stevie Wonder endorsed the album, how did that come about
My manager introduced my music to CEO Steve Mckeever at Hidden Beach so I did a joint venture with them. The late Skip Miller and Steve Mckeever played my music for Stevie Wonder as they were all friends, then one day Stevie called me out of the blue telling me he loved the record. What an inspiration, such a lovely man, we became good friends but when he endorsed me it was all I needed
As if you were not busy enough you were asked to play a jazz singer in the Sony Pictures film ‘Santa Baby’ opposite Idris Elba and Chris Brown. Did you enjoy acting, would you give it a go again
Yes I love acting, of course I would… I keep telling myself I’m gonna do more acting… I should get started, its a new year ayye!
Album #3 titled ‘Morning Star’ was another well received record. Two tracks off the album featured on the Soul Divas LP’s. You then took a break for a few years, was this intentional
No it was not my plan... Met a mistake I mean a guy lol, but anyway I relocated to Texas opened a boutique which took all my creative energy to operate. I got writers block it was horrible
Your forth solo album ‘The Chronicles Of A Lady Songbird’ (dig the sleeve) has the heavily influenced Motown track ‘Dip’. The song was one of the most played tracks of the year. Must be satisfying!
Thank you and yes it has I love everything vintage and ol school musically. This time I wanted to pay homage to the motown era so the album was inspired by the music of the 50's and 60's
So, who is Lina currently listening to
I've been listening to SADE, some disco music lol, Donna Summers and Chic, Boy George, Ro James, some Jazz instrumentals, sax player Marcus Mitchell, Miles Davis and Ri Ri's new music I’m really digging “Love on the Brain"
What do you think of the current music scene
There’s good stuff out there you just have to dig for it, but I miss a few artist hoping to hear new music.
Will you be performing anytime soon
Yes setting up a big show with Byron Allens SHOWTIME CONCERTS I'll keep you posted
What next from Lina for 2017
New Album this year! Lots of callabos with producers around the world. Touring, writing, playing and scoring for film and tv
Finally, what message would you like those that listen to your music to take from it.
The message of HOPE I hope my listeners are elevated uplifted and inspired by my music
Many thanks to the good folk at SRB Radio (Birmingham, UK) for hooking us up with the interview, as well as Lina in taking the time to answer the questions.