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SINGER, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER, LIVE PERFORMER, A COMPLETE ARTIST
The talent of Lonny Bereal is a throwback to an era of the complete entertainer. A time when artists not only had skills in the studio but most importantly could perform live and write their own songs. Lonny Bereal is destined to bring back that level of true artistry. Having started professionally as a background singer for the likes of Jamie Foxx, Tank, Kelly Rowland, Ruben Studdard, K-Ci & JoJo, Teddy Riley, Brandy, Monica, and a list of others, Bereal’s exceptional vocal ability has kept him in demand. His range goes from tenor to soprano without a strain drawing comparisons to contemporaries like Brian McKnight and Maxwell. Over nearly a decade working in the music business, Bereal has skillfully and methodically developed himself into an award-winning songwriter and producer. A few of his most recent credits included: Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx, Keri Hilson and Keyshia Cole. Among the most notable hits he’s written include Tank’s“Please Don’t Go” Pleasure P’s “Under” and Chris Brown’s “I Can Transform Ya.” These gold and platinum successes have yielded other writing opportunities for Bereal on several top film soundtracks including “ The Seat Filler”, “Wifey,” and the critically acclaimed Lebron James documentary “More Than A Game.” Bereal earned an Emmy Nomination for music he created for the “Life Support” telefilm while he has also contributed songs to Tyler Perry’s “Meet The Browns” and the top rated BET show “The Game.”
Alas, with multiple Grammy Award Nominations and several ASCAP Songwriting Awards under his belt and a list of collaborators that reads like a 106 & Park Countdown, Bereal is ready to take center stage under the limelight. Signed by Notifi Records in 2011, on the strength of potential songs he’d written and sung for their artists Ginuwine and Johnny Gill, the label CEO Ira Dewitt was impressed by his fresh perspective as a songwriter and his full ranged, endearing vocal tone. The first glimpse of the amalgamation of Bereal’s talents are on display on his first single, “Favor,” a duet with superstar Kelly Rowland. Bereal originally wrote the song for singer, mentor and lil bro Chris Brown but is now using it to launch his own solo career. When thinking of a duet partner for the song Rowland immediately came to mind not only because Bereal has been friends with her for nearly a decade but serving as her longtime songwriter and vocal producer, he knew her sultry voice would bring the kind of sensuality the song demanded.
As Favor blast onto the radio charts at a faster clip than normal, Bereal and Rowland just finished shooting the sexy video for Favor which is due out soon. In the meantime, Bereal is holed up in the recording studio completing tracks for his forthcoming CD, The Love Train, due in late 2011. The album is an expression of love and relationships. It’s almost a personal history of his own love life filled with pure and true emotions that are expressed over beautiful melodies and infections rhythms. In addition to Rowland, Bereal will be joined on The Love Train by other music luminaries such as Busta Rhymes, Trey Songz, Tank and Chris Brown. The disc will be executive produced by Ira Dewitt, Lonny Bereal, Kenny Bereal along with Troy Taylor who signed Trey Songz and has executive produced all his albums.
Q&A With Lonny Bereal
Lonny Bereal: I was pretty much born in it. The Bereal family, is a pretty big (musical) family in the gospel world & if musicians weren’t family, they were close friends, who were treated like family. Some of us, ventured out into the secular world of music. I was always doing music, as a child. Groomed in gospel. Tank ushered me into the writing side of the music industry.
BS: I know you’ve worked hard to achieve the success in which you’received today. What experience would you say was your biggest break?
Lonny Bereal: I’d say, my biggest break was “Please Don’t Go”. A song performed by, Tank. It stamped me as a songwriter. I received my 1st ASCAP award as well, as attended my 1st Grammy Awards from that song.
BS: You have written for some of the industry’s most prominent and successful artist. Explain to us what that experience is like?
Lonny Bereal: It’s still surreal to me. I look back & say, wow! God is great! It’s a blessing & I’m having fun. I enjoy the friendships & bonds I have, that have come from the music.
BS: How much of a passion would it have to be in order for you to do so much work? When do you give up? What keeps you going?
Lonny Bereal: It’s my 1st love! I was doing it for free, before I ever got paid. It’s fulfilling purpose. I’d never give up! I’ve overcome so much because, I didn’t give up & the music that’s out there is a result of that. Life’s experiences, love & the fans keep me going.
BS: What advice do you have for current and future song writers who are looking for that big break, attain clientele within the prominent realm, and want to receive recognition?