There’s times when you hear a singers voice for the first time and your taken in an instant. It was in 2009 that I first heard Cleo Sol, although back then she was known as Clea. It was on the track ‘Riding for Love’ which was produced by her long time producer Davinche and also featured Bashy. There was a rawness and attitude that reminded me of an early Beyonce and from then on I was a fan. Cleo herself has said that Beyonce and Erykah Badu are big influences in her own career.
Still only 20 years old Cleo Sol is a talented singer/songwriter who was born into a family of 7 other siblings in Ladbroke Grove, West London. Both the singers parents were in bands of their own so it was no surprise that there daughter carried her own special talents. Most of us remember our parent’s music collections from when we were younger and these sometimes rub off on ourselves. Cleo is no exception, as she would listen to her parent’s music, which ranged from the Motown era as well as the 60’s and 70’s rock to Latin.
Although not as popular now, Myspace is what got Cleo Sol the attention she rightfully deserved like so many other artists before her like Lily Allen, Kate Nash and Sean Kingston to name just a few. It was Davinche that took notice of the young singer. The producer is know for songs such as Kano’s ‘P’s & Q’s’ & ‘Brown Eyes’, Tinchy Stryder’s ‘Something About Your Smile’ & ‘Breathe’, as well as Giggs ft. Shola Ama ‘Blow’. The two have worked together ever since and have formed a partnership reminiscent to Keri Hilson and Polow da Don. Davinche had this to say about Cleo “When we first began working in the studio, the musical chemistry was instant; Cleo’s ideas and energy help us to create the music we want naturally not forced. I’m excited for the world to hear Cleo Sol.”
The two have worked on many singles including ‘Riding for Love’, ‘Tears’, ‘Hero’ as well as the new promo single ‘LoveBass’. I played the song for the first time yesterday and instantly turned up the volume on my speakers. The sound is a mixture of feisty R&B blended with dubstep and you have Cleo riding the beat to great effect with her striking vocals. I dare you to keep still to this song, which has a very catchy hook. The verses are just as strong as Cleo belts out “It’s caressing my legs / like a lover in bed / I’m losing my head / But it feels so good” in the second verse. The haunting vocals remind me of Katy B riding her dubstep beats as you get taken away into the song.
She certainly knows how to use her voice to great effect and it could be due to the karaoke machine she received on her 7th birthday. Performing in front of family and friends whenever she could, even though at the time it drove them crazy, she never gave up. School was another place that she would showcase her talent as well as her local youth club, which would hold monthly showcases. Songs she covered ranged from the brilliant Stevie Wonder to everyone’s favourite girl band the Spice Girls.
Last night myself and some of the Yin & Yang family had the pleasure to witness Cleo in action at Shoreditch House for the monthly Wired event. It was my first time to see her live on stage and I left the event an even bigger fan. I also got the chance to talk to her for a bit and she comes across as a very mature and elegant young women and I wish her the best in her career. The debut album is said to be coming out in the winter of 2011, which I’m very much looking forward to. Make sure you check back for more updates on Cleo Sol in the future.