Leon Norville is definitely in the right field if it’s a challenge he is seeking. The soca industry is not for the faint of heart. Artistes spend money, time, and energy just to get one hit song that can propel their careers. The young recording artiste is currently experiencing this as he tries to decide what his next steps will be to ensure a lasting career.
Leon Norville started singing at the age of thirteen as part of the National Youth Choir of Antigua & Barbuda. The group toured the region and even attended Carifesta 10 in Guyana in 2008. Later, at university, he pushed music to the back burner while he focused on his academics. That is, until he met a producer from St. Lucia who started building beats and invited him to record at his studio. There Norville recorded a demo for his debut song “Body Move,” which he later remade with fellow novice Guyanese-Antiguan Amanda Tappin. From then on music was his mission.
And while he has made a name for himself in Antigua, Noville has now set his sights on Guyana.
With the growing popularity of Guyana Carnival and the well-attended Guyana Day in Brooklyn, now may be the best time for up-and-coming artistes to break into the South American market. Yet Leon Norville has a more compelling reason. Norville was born in Antigua but to Guyanese parents and has maintained a passion for the country and the culture. In fact, he recently found out that one of the Guyana Day headliners, Shelly G, is actually his cousin!
But don’t expect him to imitate the raunchy, in-your-face style of his cousin. Norville plans to stick with groovy, emotion-based content, which he insists on writing himself. “I do write my own music. I am a firm believer that an artiste should have that skill because at the end of the day that’s coming from within you. I feel more connected and I feel like I am giving my fans a piece of me when I actually put pen to paper.”
Connecting with Guyanese audiences may be difficult as he will have to compete with bigger names like Jumo Primo, Timeka Marshall, and Adrian Dutchin. However, Guyanese artistes often complain that a major obstacle for them is limited distribution. This may be the leg up Norville needs to compete with the more established names. His music is currently distributed by Julian’s Promos and streaming on major platforms, making it easier for listeners to discover and purchase his music. His 2018 hits “We Jammin” and “Di Wuk” have official music videos that were professionally shot by Viva Caribbean Films and have real story lines that set his apart from the typical wining booties videos.
Perhaps after enjoying the mithai and chicken foot he mentioned craving, he can bring a unique perspective to the Guyanese socaholics who may be ready to embrace a new artiste - especially one of their own.
Check out his 2019 track “Music Inna Me” and drop a comment below to tell me if you want to hear more from this breakout new artiste!