The track ‘It Don’t Have to Change’ features many of his own, soulful family, in a way, which
so naturally blends together their voices, with harmonies, complimenting each other and this
track showcases their gospel roots. It makes you imagine those wonderful family gatherings,
where someone starts to sing, someone starts to play guitar and 2 hours later, there’s a
whole choir and band in full swing. John probably doesn’t have much time for these now,
but I can imagine those times are embedded in his mind forever and give him the inspiration
to do the music he is doing today. John left Ohio at the age of 16 to attend college in
Philadelphia. Whilst there, he served as musical director at a local church and was soloist for
a student cappella group, as well as producing and arranging. It was just a few months
before releasing ‘Get Lifted’, that he ended his 9-year association as music & choir director
at Bethel A.M.E. Church. After finishing college, he moved to New York where he started
playing in nightclubs and a loyal following ensued. Bringing out two independently produced
albums called ‘Live at SOB’s New York City’ in 2003 under his real name John Stephens and
‘Solo Sessions Vol.1: Live at the Knitting Factory’ under his new name John Legend in 2004.
One of his first major collaborations was with the Fugees. Lauryn Hill hired him to play piano,
whilst he was still a teenager, on her single ‘Everything is Everything’. This particular CD
became a Grammy-winning, multi-platinum CD for her (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill).
Contributing to the albums of many artists, which include Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli & the
Black Eyed Peas, he names Lauryn Hill, Al Green, the O’Jays and Curtis Mayfield as influences
on his music. Making his film debut in ‘Loverboy’, directed by Kevin Bacon, John has also
tried his hand at acting. John has a big future ahead and an adoptive name to live up to.
Somehow with his family roots, his gospel upbringing his endearing sound and the direction
he is taking his music, I think he’ll do it.