Sep 13 2011

MEET LAURA CHEADLE

Published by at 9:45 pm under Interviews

This week, I’m jazzed to introduce my guest, Laura Cheadle. Her billing goes like this: “Not just a thoughtful singer-songwriter, and not just a soulful funk diva, musician Laura Cheadle offers audiences a lively performance filled with upbeat introspection.”

I’m thrilled to have such a talented funk mistress as my guest this week. Please, Laura, tell the cool peeps about yourself.

I am a born-and-raised New Jersey girl. I’m a funky singer-songwriter who performs with my all-family band!


When did your passion for music begin? Did you always know this was what you wanted to do?

I truly believe my passion for music began at birth 🙂 I was groovin’ my way out of the womb. It’s not just that I knew this is what I wanted to do, it’s what I knew I HAD to do to feel complete. Music is like a best friend to me that holds my hand through any and every emotion and guides me through it all.


(Laura Cheadle singing at age two (Bonus Track of “Change (It’s Alright)” Album)

How would you describe your personal style of music?

I would say my personal style of music is a “Funky Singer-Songwriter.” I write songs with deeper heartfelt lyrics and also include a mixture of funk, soul, blues, pop and jazz within the music.

Music is truly a family affair for you. Your dad and your identical twin brothers are part of your band. And your mom is the band’s biggest fan. Would you introduce us to these fine people?

Absolutely! My biggest inspiration is my father James “Papa” Cheadle who plays keyboard in the band. He has been around for over 30 years and can be heard on many recordings including his own fusion band Sahara, which recorded for Columbia Records during the late 1970s. Sahara opened for such bands as Chick Corea and Michael Urbaniak at several top Philadelphia venues. I could go on and on about him. I’ll provide a link for him at the end of this interview.

My brother Jimmy Lee Cheadle plays amazing lead guitar in the band along with my other brother and his identical twin brother Nick Cheadle who plays second keyboard in the band. My brothers and I actually had a band when we were younger called “Sibling” where I sang and played drums 🙂

My drummer Ben Smith is an “Honorary Cheadle.”

(Laura and family band onstage at a Sellersville, PA concert)

(Performing at New York City’s famed “Bitter End.”)

The band really, truly feels complete now and we all have such a great time at every single performance. A very important honorary member of the band is my mom, Sue Cheadle who gives me great material on stage when she is in the audience. 🙂

(Laura with her awesome maternal unit, Sue Cheadle)

I know you’re very excited about your latest CD, “Change (It’s Alright).” Please, tell us about the themes in this CD and why they mean so much to you.

Change (It’s Alright) is an album that is one hundred percent my heart and soul. This album has themes of not only love, but personal growth and changes I wish to see in the world. Musically, this album features elements of soul, pop, funk, R&B and even folk. I really expressed myself in this work and learned so much about myself as well. My song “Blue Sky” is my anthem at this time of my life. It’s about never changing myself and always being completely true. I had amazing people that worked on this album with me. My father James S. Cheadle produced, played on, recorded and wrote music on this album. The great harmonica player Steve Guyger is featured as well as Tony Sailer on violin. My brothers and even my mother are also featured! My best friend from childhood Nora Targonski co-wrote with me on lyrics, too!

The song “Hey There Devil” is your favorite song from the CD “Change (It’s Alright). Tell us how the song came about and why you have such powerful feelings about it.

As I just previously mentioned, my best friend from childhood, Nora Targonski, co-wrote lyrics with me on this album. Nora is one of those people where musically, it just clicks and our ideas become one. We wrote the lyrics for this song five years before it was recorded for this album. This song is about a person in your life that you are dating but you know they’re not right for you but you just keep going back to them. I had been trying to write the perfect music for these intense lyrics and could never quite make it right. Finally, as we started the process of recording “Change (It’s Alright),” I sang the lyrics to my dad and he came up with the music. It instantly felt perfect and I sang it in one take. The marriage between the music and lyrics really sum up the tone of the song I was looking for and it was worth the wait!

Your upcoming CD will be your new LIVE album, a collection of recordings from your recent Philadelphia area performances. With all of the shows you’ve done, was it difficult to choose your favorites for this CD? That said, would you tell us about some of them?

Yes, it has been a difficult process choosing my favorites but it became easier based on the audience reactions on the recordings. I have so much fun at my shows with the audience (and even having the audience sing along with me) so this new live album will be featuring a TON of audience reaction and fun with my family on stage!

(L-R: Drummer Ben Smith, James S. Cheadle, Laura, and Andy Macaleer. Andy is sporting Laura’s “Stay Funky” T-Shirt in the photo. He is the professor of a “Funk Class” at Drexel University where Laura recently performed.)

I know there is some touring in your future. What lucky cities will be honored with your presence? Any dates yet?

Absolutely! I am currently adding to my full tour schedule but currently I’ll be in New Hope, PA, Philadelphia, PA, NYC, Minnesota, Miami and more to come! Full schedule TBA at http://www.lauracheadle.com/dates.php I look forward to touring!


You’re a big jazz fan. Who are some of the artists who have inspired you along the way? Who might we find you listening to when you’re not working?

I have to go with the greats: Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday. Although, my favorite thing to do is put on my local jazz station at night (It’s the best when it’s raining for some reason) and just feel what jazz is currently being aired on the station.

You’ve opened for such acts as The Jonas Brothers, Sister Hazel, and The Spin Doctors. Can you tell us about those experiences?

It’s always a great experience opening for an artist and a new audience. I soak up the new environment and give it my all. All of these experiences were very positive and I happily walked away with new fans and great memories.

What haven’t I asked that is a must-know about you?

Well, I am a very strict vegan and I live on tofu and broccoli with sauce on the side and brown rice. 🙂 Ha ha. I also run nine miles a day. It’s such a natural high and makes me feel amazing. It gets me ready for all that dancing I do on stage!

You’ve got a lot of energy and are very focused on your career. What do you see for yourself down the road? Anything you can share?

I honestly just see myself always performing and staying true to myself and to my music. I live for this and it will always be a part of me and I will always share it. It’s a passion that I can share with my family/friends/fans and that, to me, makes life worth living.

I’ve been forever called picky, but I maintain that we’re all picky creatures. What are you picky about?

Ha ha. I am very picky about what I eat just because it can be a challenge for me to find vegan food in just any restaurant. Although, I’m always safe in an Asian Restaurant!

Where can peeps find you and your music in cyberspace?

Facebook
Twitter
ReverbNation
YouTube
Laura’s Website

Jim Cheadle’s Website

Any parting words for the masses? Any shameless plugs?

STAY FUNKY!

And be sure to check my Tour Schedule

You can also buy any of my five Albums out (Including A Christmas Album) and my new “Stay Funky” T-Shirts at: My Store

I will personally ship it all out to you!

My music is also available on iTunes 🙂

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “MEET LAURA CHEADLE”

  1. Lisaon 13 Sep 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hey Molly and Laura,

    Confession time- YUP been a fan for some time now 😀 ‘In the AM’ is a Fav! 🙂

    Love hearing about talented musicians who are going places, doing what they love. What a brilliant family you have as well. Love it.

    Looking forward to the live album.

    Cheers from Oz

  2. Stuart Ross McCallumon 14 Sep 2011 at 1:28 am

    Hi Molly & Laura,

    Music is definitely in your genes, and it is wonderful that you are a close-knit family all doing what you enjoy the most—playing beautiful music.

    Living here in Australia we haven’t seen you and your band live (yet), but we have become long-distance fans.

    Thank you, for allowing us a glimpse into your world. And wishing you – great success – with the live album, keep rocking.

    Best, Stuart

  3. Rayon 14 Sep 2011 at 6:11 am

    This was one of the best interviews I have ever read on Laura Cheadle. I have been her fan ever since her first Album release and have followed her career. This article really went deep inside o her life and from a fan stand point, it really means a lot! I just received her new live album and it’s great! Highly recommend it.

    Also, those in New Hope, PA catch her october 21st at bob egan’s and november 12th in nyc at Arlene’s Grocery for a 9/11 benefit. I’ll be there.

    Thanks for this great article on an amazing artist who deserves all the success in the world,
    Ray

  4. Sheri Wilkinsonon 15 Sep 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Molly,
    Great interview. What talent…I really love Laura’s voice and the music is excellent.
    Thanks for sharing these video clips..It was obvious from age two, that Laura is meant to sing!
    Sheri

  5. Kateon 17 Sep 2011 at 11:22 am

    What an excellent article! It really captures everything Laura is all about – music, passion, family and groovin! When watching this band perform, you feel as though your part of the family. With their personal and humorous dialog throughout their amazing performances, they leave you wanting more!

    Definitely take the trip to see her live. It’s an event you must experience for yourself 🙂

    Kate

  6. Christa Polkinhornon 19 Sep 2011 at 5:49 am

    Another great interview by Molly. You meet so many talented people here. This is the first time, I’ve heard of Laura Cheadle but it won’t be the last time I’ll listen to her.
    I love her performance at two years of age and of course that beautiful song from “Change (It’s Alright).”

    Good luck to you, Laura, and to your family!
    Christa

  7. Mikeon 11 Jan 2012 at 8:12 am

    I am a big fan of Laura I am also a facebook friend of hers and I have had the chance to hear her sing live and to meet her after a concert. And her version of hear comes santa claus is right up there with Gean Autreys , elvis and others

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