Lyfe Jennings Biography
Last updated: 10/28/2008 12:00:00 PM
The revolution of positive music was bound to happen and Lyfe Jennings welcomes the change with open arms. With his authentic, soulful voice, innovative lyrical style and undeniable talent, Lyfe is ready to establish an even deeper connection with his fans and garner new ones with his latest effort.
The platinum selling soul singer/songwriter/producer is poised for success with his anticipated album Lyfe Change. Highlights on the 14-track album include collaborations with Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg and T.I., as well as Grammy nominated producers, Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis, The Underdogs and Rich Keller. “I’m considered to be an R&B cat because I'm a soul singer, but I also enjoy rock, jazz, and all kinds of music,” Lyfe admits. “I'm a musician. I'm not in a box. That’s what I hate about categories. People put you into one and dare you to come out!”
Lyfe had fun making this album, experimenting with different genres and taking his time to craft a beautifully sonic, expressive album. “My music has always been positive, touching people socially and emotionally,” he says. “But I named this album Lyfe Change because this time I wanted to take it a step further and invoke people to make a change in their lives and in the lives of others. That's how we'll change the world, one life at a time.”
Chester "Lyfe" Jennings, a native of Toledo, Ohio, transformed the music world in 2004 after the release of his critically acclaimed debut Lyfe 268-192. Hailed as gritty and raw, the album created devoted fans everywhere and sold over a million copies. With brutally honest lyrics and dynamic live performances, Lyfe walked listeners down his turbulent road, giving them an edgy autobiographical history lesson that made him relatable.
He captured an even broader audience in 2006 with his sophomore effort, The Phoenix, which expanded on his life story, taking listeners through different phases of a man. The album featured the smash hit, “S-E-X,” a cautionary tale for young women from a male perspective.</p>
<p>Besides showing his growth as a musician and vocalist on Lyfe Change, Lyfe opted not to include his signature speaking interludes or any explicit content on the album. "I wanted people to just flow from song to song without blushing if their kids were around. I also added more up tempo songs to this album. Some can be played in the clubs and some are happy and funny; but there are serious songs as well.” He also says that he wanted Lyfe Change to be a fly album. “I just went in the studio, kicked it and came up with the songs.”
Lyfe admits that the ballad “Will I Ever” is his favorite song on the album, not only because it poses the common question “Will I ever fall in love?” but also because it's a live band track that showcases his amazing vocal range. On “Never Never Land,” the first single off Lyfe Change, Lyfe delivers rich lyrics with such appeal that they’re guaranteed to tug at anyone’s heart strings. On the track he talks about how his friends don’t understand why he’s chosen to fall in love and leave the player behind. He sings, “Those fellas live in never never land/right next to Peter Pan/ nobody wants to grow old/those fellas live in never never land/ they’ll never understand what it’s like to be in love…” After he sings the catchy melodic hook, he smiles and says “the younger Lyfe saw women come and go; the mature Lyfe understands family never goes out of style."
Then there’s “Midnight Train,” a beautiful love song where Lyfe asks his woman to grab her keys and purse in the middle of the night to come see him because he misses her. “I was in the studio mixing a song with Rich Keller and he played Midnight Train for me; the lyrics just came to me. I went right into the booth and laid the track down. That's a big song,” he says.
Lyfe Change is a personal testimony, every lyric a seed for the soul. With “Cops Up,” a fast-paced love tale that’ll move any crowd, and “Wild Wild Wild,” written by Wyclef Jean, Lyfe says the hooks are catchy, the beats are hot and the lyrics are dope, but his heart is definitely with the ballads. “A lot of artists won't touch taboo subjects,” he explains. On “It’s Real,” Lyfe tackles the AIDS epidemic, letting people know that just when they think they have it bad, there’s someone out there dealing with something much worse. Lyfe shows that he can relate to his audience by discussing the things that everyone has experienced on one level or another.
Lyfe has definitely evolved and is ready to invoke positive change in everyone else. “I’m just trying to do something meaningful and classic; something that can be remade in 20 years.”
And so the revolution of positive music continues.