( Los Angeles, CA) Musical genius, composer, orchestra arranger, conductor, music producer, and music editor Leon Lacey fresh back from orchestrating Beyoncé’s historic successful Dubai concert, jumps right into work on Showtime’s The Chi, Nat Geo Genius’ MLK/X, and prepares music for global tours for Wyclef Jean and Little Wayne, Chis Brown, and Janet Jackson.
The in-demand, multi-talented Los Angeles resident serves as music editor on both the Chicago-based Showtime series The Chi, and the Nat Geo Genius’ MLK/X episode of the anthology series. Lacey says, “I’m officially the music editor of The Chi. But I also make music for the show along with Wyclef Jean. As the music editor, I act as the liaison between the composer and the network. Wyclef and I make the music, and pass the music to the music editor, which is me…It’s a fluid position. It’s always moving…I enjoy it, but my big passion is making the music.”
Lacey’s love of making music and longtime friend, songwriter, and producer Corey Rooney (Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson) led him to co-produce Smokey Robinson’s song “How You Make Me Feel,” a feel-good song reminiscent of Robinson’s classic hit “Crusin.’”
“Corey called me about two years ago and said ‘Hey I’m working on a song for Smokey Robinson, I want you to co-produce with me…He had me come to his house in Calabasas, CA, and Smokey Robinson was there. Corey introduced us. He gave me the file. He gave me directions and told me to do what I do… Smokey had pretty much written it,” remembers Lacey.
A married father of a baby boy, Lacey is known for a quick turnaround in prepping music for some of the world’s biggest recording artist’s tours and special concert performances, including Beyonce’. He’s currently working on the global tour and album for Wyclef Jean and Little Wayne. “I can’t say much because I am under confidentiality, but I can say there will definitely be some heavy hitters on the project. And Wyclef wants me to co-produce and orchestrate a few things,” says Lacey.
The common threads of personal relationships and referrals have landed Lacey one major gig after the other over the years. His college buddy Mitch Cohn, who happens to be Chris Brown’s music and production director led to the Chris Brown Tour. Lacey will orchestrate the music for both the Chris Brown and Janet Jackson Tours.
“Basically, when famous artists call, they usually have a band, singers, dancers, and all those things to make the production nice and memorable…one of the elements that go into producing music for their tour is orchestration. So, a lot of times, they don’t have a full orchestra on stage, but they would like the music to sound big and cinematic with strings, harps, bells, and whistles.
My job is to take those hit songs from those famous artists, embellish those songs and also make segues and transition music from song to song. Also, a lot of those concerts have visuals, they have a video playing in the background, onstage, on those big screens…The beginning of the concert, the intros, and the ending of the concert, when the artists are changing clothes…when the set is changing…
So, a lot of the music is pre-produced and that’s where I fall in line,” explains Lacey.
The Chris Brown Tour started back in February, while the Janet Jackson Tour is set to start in May.
The always gracious Lacey is grateful for what he calls blessings for all of the opportunities he has been afforded since arriving in Los Angeles from New York about two years ago. He attributes some of it to treating others right, “My parents instilled in us that a good name is better than riches. A lot of times, people burn bridges way too soon. On your journey for the long haul, eventually, the right people for your life will be there, and you’ll be able to have a wonderful relationship with them, whether it’s career or just family or friends.”
What’s next for the extremely busy musical genius Leon Lacey? “I plan to produce more concerts featuring full orchestra, cinematic sound, like the sound you would hear in the movie theater, not necessarily a classical sound but a more dynamic type of sound, film scoring type of sound. And this concert will tap into a few different cities in our country as well as some outside of the U.S. It will feature a few well-known artists that everyone knows their work, and I will reimagine their music, reproduce it, orchestrate, arrange it, and have about a 50- or 60-piece orchestra on stage to play the music, and also I’ll perform some of my original music as well.
You’ll hear more about it in the future…I envision opening up for those icons, and then just giving them the stage and letting them do what they do, while I’m conducting.”
Leon Lacey is a man of faith and purpose on a mission to score, create, produce, and orchestrate, concerts, movies, television shows, and events that reflect positive life and culture.