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“Explore You” - Herschel Lamont | Review

Have you ever fallen for someone who is pretty much perfect? Well, Herschel Lamont has the perfect song for that with his new single “Explore You”.

A sultry track, “Explore You” is about this perfect woman, the looks the confidence, the whole package. I think more people have had a crush that just checks all of those boxes that just makes the person even more attractive. “Explore You” is an infectious head-bobbing track perfectly sprinkled with a dusting of Pop and R&B. Produced and written in tandem with Hersh's best friend Ben Flanders, a musician and artist currently touring as lead guitarist with former Creed frontman, Scott Stapp. The song came about after Hersh met and talked with what is now an ex-girlfriend. As Hersh explains, "I've got some bad habits, and I wanted her to know if she was cool with that, then we could explore this obvious connection between us."

On his debut EP, Worst Day, coming 2020, Nashville based Singer/Songwriter/Producer, Herschel Lamont stares deep into a complicated past, and a presumed present, while never taking his eyes off the future.

The entire EP Produced and Written by Hersh takes the listener on a journey filled with scars, some earned with pride, some with pain, and others self-inflicted. And with a refreshingly honest and introspective pen, Hersh leads his listeners to life's edge, where together they peer into the vast expanse that is insecurity, pain, self-truth, love, and ultimately triumph.

When asked about the realness of the imagery created on Worst Day, Hersh responded, "When I write, it's from a real experience, and many times the moment that inspires sits a the crossroads of the past, the present, and the future. Hersh continues, "The emotion of that moment is normally so strong I have to let it out, or it will consume me, and music is my outlet."

Hersh's ability to dive deep into the listener's soul and draw out pure emotion makes him different than most artists just looking for a catchy hook or another viral dance craze. Hersh has always has been somewhat of an anomaly as an artist, which is only amplified in the Country Music Capital of Nashville, TN, that he has called home for the past ten years. Most will tell you that Hersh's sound is easy to recognize, yet hard to label, and that's just fine by him.

"Labels are bullshit." Hersh explains, "If you put on a blindfolded and I play you two tracks I released last year, Comfortable, an R&B inspired track and Nowhere to Run with elements of punk and pop. You take off the blindfold you'd be looking for two different artists."

That diversity can be traced back to his early years growing up in St. Louis, MO, in a household that fostered Hersh's love for music. "My mom listened to a lot of Gospel. My dad had more of an eclectic taste; he'd play the OJays, Manhattan's, Stylistics, and James Brown." Hersh continues, "I'm so thankful to have been raised around those artists because that 1970's urban sound was so important not only then but to the history of music." It's obvious young Herschel absorbed the stylings of that vintage era as his cinematic lyrics call back to master storytellers like Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield.

And though the classics are what raised him, it was during his early teenage years that the vibe began to change, Hersh explains, "Hearing Linkin Park for the first time with elements of hip-hop, rock and Chester's vocals. I was like this is it." In addition to Linkin Park, Herschel found himself drawn to other artists such as 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, John Mayer, and Lenny Kravitz. Hersh expands on Lenny, "Seeing and hearing him was a total holy shit moment. Here's this black guy dressed like a smoothed out rockstar, with amazing lyrics set to this blend of rock and soul. Most kids my age wanted to be some sports star; I pointed at Lenny and was like I want to be that rockstar.”

After a brief stop in Arizona, where he studied audio engineering and first began composing his own songs, Hersh returned to Nashville in 2009. Still a teenager, he was determined to become that rockstar; however, it wouldn't be as fast or as easy as he anticipated. In 2014 Hersh released "Rest Assured," a hip-hop influenced project that offers a glimpse of a young artist finding his way and sound.

In Nashville, where only a sliver of the spotlight is shared with those outside Country Music, Hersh found his place as a producer and an artist in the dark of Nashville's underground music scene. It makes one wonder why he didn't leave for Atlanta or Los Angelas.

Hersh explains, "It's such an eclectic scene with some amazingly talented artists. There is a real sense of community; all of us work and gig together." It's that community vibe that has helped Hersh sharpen his production skills while pushing him to evolve as a producer, songwriter, and artist. Hersh continues, "Being able to collaborate on an EDM track one day and a Rap track the next, forces me to challenge myself as a producer and an artist. I think more than anything, Nashville is known for a clean sound, so you have to focus on recording and mixing, which has made me better at both."

That focus is evident on Worst Day, which soars on the wings of the eclectic yet distinctive sounds that have come to define Herschel Lamont. It's a throwback concept to when albums told stories, which was important to Hersh when putting together the EP.

Hersh explains, "I lived every song on Worst Day; each track is a chapter in a story of how love, respect, and intimacy, these beautiful things can get so twisted and confused, inside a relationship. Then this love that brought light becomes darkness."

Review by Hannah Schneider

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