The Leonard Simpson Duo share 'My Inspiration' single
Friday 10 January- The Leonard Simpson Duo (Detroit MC Guilty Simpson and New Zealand producer Leonard Charles) share ‘My Inspiration’, the second track from their forthcoming 60’s & 70’s inspired, psychedelic & acid influenced album L.S.D. to be released on on 31 January on Berlin’s Jakarta Records. The single is accompanied by a brilliant animated video by illustrator MC Blue Matter.
‘My Inspiration’ is a track that exudes a hard-won optimism, and is surely required new year listening as 2020 begins with endless bad news. Guilty Simpson’s verses muse on the many things that spur him on - from his city, family and music, to the hard times and haters. “I’m inspired by the scars, it made us who we are. The bumps and the bruises, still shooting for the stars.”
"The song basically is me mentioning a few things that inspire me whether good or bad," says Guilty. "I tend to draw inspiration from real life happenings and apply it to my lyrics."
The first track from the album ‘Nobody’ featured a sample from Marlon Williams’ ‘Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore’ and ‘My Inspiration’ draws from ‘In A Lifetime’ by iconic Kiwi group Citizen Band.
Producer Leonard Charles found the sample when digging through a box of 7” vinyl, left to him by a friend who’d passed away, and says the sample jumped out at him as soon as he played it.
“My Inspiration is really Guilty’s story. However for me, so much of the music I love and inspires me comes from Detroit musicians, from Kenny Burrell and Yusef Lateef to J Dilla and Anthony Shakir. It’s an honour to have Guilty Simpson over one of my beats talking about the yin and yang that makes up his city.”
“I’m glad the sample worked out, The Citizen Band track is so badass from beginning to end that I could have made a beat from anywhere in the song but I chose the intro as it has so much grit in the piano, a grit that Detroit music is also known for.”
Citizen Band Drummer Brent Eccles comments, "A very enjoyable part of my life as a musician and thrilled the CB are still getting into the spotlight - Geoff Chunn (lead vocal, guitar) is a great writer."
The psychedelic sound of the album is heavily drawn from rare acid influenced records from New Zealand’s 60’s and 70’s, carefully selected, picked and sampled by musical multi-talent Charles himself and accompanied by very well placed instrumentals and interludes taking direction from late 60’s jazz/rock fusion, fuzzed out African records and compulsory David Axelrod leanings. All of that combined with the lyrics and the beloved attitude of Motor City’s finest makes this album a beautiful, inspirational and surpassing trip.
The duo met for the first time when Guilty came through Auckland on tour in 2016. Leonard Charles reached out to Guilty and the two connected immediately, getting in the studio to create the track ‘Breaking Over You’, that was released in late 2017. The pair then started working together on what was initially planned as an EP, that soon turned out to become a full-length album with late 70s inspired psychedelic and acid influenced beats by Leonard Charles, overlaid with Simpson’s distinctive and uncompromising lyrics.
Listen to 'My Inspiration' now on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The Leonard Simpson Duo’s debut record L.S.D is out digitally and on LP on 31 January 2020 via Jakarta Records and is available for pre-order now via Bandcamp.