Tell us about yourself and your music
Lionel Itchy grew up watching his great-uncle play jazz saxophone on weekdays, and his great-grandmother planning songs like “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbit on weekends. Couple that with his mother singing in the church choir and his dad playing anything by Lionel Rich and the Commodores, it’s clear Lionel Itchy’s musical influences are many.
This diverse musical background helped to shape his writing technique and sound. After teaching himself to play all rhythm section instruments, such as Drums, Bass, Piano, and Guitar, he started his first of many bands. To support his interest, his parents purchased a small home studio soon after. Then he entered various talent shows and songwriting competitions, before moving to Boston, MA to attend Berklee College of Music.
Itchy claims he always had an ear to pinpoint a hit song. However, learning what he calls ‘the 2 – 5 – 1’s’ or ‘the 3 – 6 – 2 – 5 – 1’s’ at school is what helped him to pinpoint WHY a song was a hit. Armed with raw talent, knowledge of musical theory and a deep love for songwriting Lionel Itchy transformed into an original singer-songwriter with his own distinct identity.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Lionel Itchy delivers a heartfelt and salient musical work designed to draw attention to the unjust sacrifice of black Americans in the year 2020. With an emotionally dense vocal performance supported by viscerally moving piano instrumentation, I Can’t Breathe dwells on the last words of George Floyd and other victims of the American justice system – turning listener attention to the idea that through peaceful compliance with malicious authority Floyd’s final breath reveals who the real villains have been all along.
What inspired you to write this release?
The unjust death of George Floyd, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, catalyzed for Lionel Itchy to deliver this heartfelt musical work. His primary goal? Give ‘the voiceless a voice’ to be heard, and simultaneously, allow the world to see why a broken justice system, and centuries of systemic racism and bigotry, led to Floyd’s final words…”I CAN’T BREATHE!”
Describe the writing and recording process
Lionel Itchy first decided which instrumentation to use, as his primary tool or writing instrument. Then, he decided what vibe or groove the song would possess. Would it have a classic slow Motown ballad fill or a down-home country vibe? Next, he played around with the 2 – 5 – 1’s or chord progressions and began singing possible phrases/words.
Once the melodies and harmonies were completed, Itchy started laying down tracks. He also used programming sequencers/drum machines and using pre-programmed synth batches, just to keep the process rolling along. Lastly, Itchy would put the final touches on the track, making room for the final mix and mastering.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
As for hitting the road, of course, most live shows are canceled until 2021. However, Itchy hopes a friend will invite him to open a show or two shortly.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Most artists in Itchy’s culture and age-group are classified or fall into the trap/rap or hip-hop/R&B or “Urban” genre’s. In contrast, Itchy insists not to be labeled (#NoLabels, #NoGenre, (drop urban) or put into a box. Besides, Itchy’s love for other sounds of music gives him the ability to write all types of music. The same as ‘Lionel Ritchie’ did in his prime when he wrote (so-called) cross-over hits for Kenny Rogers. Itchy’s sentiment is that “Music is music.” Respectful.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Who are your biggest influences?
Marvin Gaye, JohnLegend
Lionel Ritche, Willie Nelson
John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Pharrell, Alicia Keys
Tell us about your passions
Imagining a time when man will cease dominating other men to his injure.
What else is happening next in your world?
Flying to the moon next stop. Seriously
Thanks for an awesome interview, Lionel Itchy
Connect with Lionel Itchy
Facebook: http://facebook.com/erdnaramalInstagram: http://Instagram.com/erdnaramalTwitter: http://twitter.com/erdnaramalYoutube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5WjLlwWiB3e_oPBBl_S9gwSoundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/lionel-itchy/emastered-breathe-erdnaramalmusicworldwide-2