Boston Party Machine’s Lorenzee Cole is a singer of amazing breadth, purity, and power. She’s the real deal. We sat down with Lorenzee and asked her a bit about what makes her musical soul tick. Hope that you enjoy getting to know Lorenzee !
Allison C: How did you become a singer?
Lorenzee C: I’ve always been a singer to one degree or another. It seems to be one of those things I was compelled to do. If I’m not doing it in some form or fashion, I fall into a wrenching slump. Before BPM, I sang in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, wedding ceremonies of my friends and family, and other choruses. My membership in BPM marks my maiden voyage in singing with an event band 🙂
AC: What are your musical influences?
LC: My brother was a DJ and there was funk, disco and R&B being played in and around our house all the time. My dad also used to sing in a doo-wop group before he married my mum, so much of the music I grew up listening to is also from that era. I really wanted to spread my wings musically and listened to a lot of different types of music. My first album was a 1970 compilation of Barbara Streisand’s greatest hits that I bought with my own money when I was a preteen. I danced around the house with a hairbrush singing every song on it. I listened to country, folk, rock, metal, alternative, classical, etc. I love all kinds of music according to my mood.
AC: What are some of the highlights of your singing career?
LC: I had two solos in the premier of a Boston Symphony Orchestra commissioned piece that was performed in Boston’s Symphony Hall and in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The lines were unaccompanied. Filling those halls with my solo voice was an incredible experience. That runs a close tie with singing our National Anthem for Game 5 of the Celtics/LA Lakers NBA Championship series last year.
AC: Do you have any favorite songs that you perform?
LC: “Use Me” by Bill Withers is one of my favorites. I’m not just a fan of his, but I’m also a fan of James Gadson. The drumming on that song captured my attention right away. I’m honored to be performing it now with Boston Party Machine.
AC: What song do you sing that always gets people up and dancing?
LC: I’ve never seen people get more worked up and grooving than when we do “Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner. I squeek with delight (on the inside) when we do that song. Not just because I enjoy doing it, but also because I enjoy the audience reaction to it. People really let loose on that song and it makes me feel like I’m in good company.
AC: What is the most romantic song that you sing?
LC: I think it’s “At Last” by Etta James. Lots of people I talk with say they would like that song performed at their wedding. I love Etta James’s version so much that it can be tough to listen to it sung by someone else. While I’m certainly not Etta James, I try to keep it as true to the original as possible, and it seems to work.
AC: Is there anything special you do to make each performance or wedding “fresh”?
LC: I go to each wedding as if it were my first time. It’s a new day, a new crowd, a new song set – it’s not just a re-do of things done before. I like performing, so it’s easy for me to approach each new venue like it’s a fresh start. In my mind, it is.
AC: How does singing connect you with the audience?
LC: We’re ALL there to have fun. I love singing, bringing out the feelings and messages in the songs that resonate with me. I try to keep the lyrics alive and accessible, so people feel like they can sing along at all the really big payoff parts. I don’t identify with any feelings like I’m there to make pretty noises and be impressive. The audience is really what makes these gigs, or it would be just me singing along along with Babs on the record player, with the hairbrush in my hand 😉 Fun, but nothing like singing at an event with BPM!!!