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    Above: Leee John

    Photograph used with permission by Outside Organisation


    With less than two months until Rewind North, we spoke to Imagination’s Leee John about the festival, new projects and bringing people together…


    Looking ahead to Rewind’s 10th anniversary, Leee expresses his excitement about being part of the festival since it began in 2008:


    “It’s amazing to be part of Rewind’s 10th anniversary, especially as I was there in its first year. You get to meet up with all your friends and it’s more than a revival now. Music brings people together and Rewind brings families back every year - parents bring their kids along and it brings us all together. Music transcends the generations”.


    Following the release of new songs such as ‘Police and Thieves’ and ‘Do it right now’ (No.1 on the Soul Charts), Leee adds that the music discusses the importance of bringing people together and not ignoring issues within our communities:


    “Bringing people together is important. We need to think about and care about our neighbours; what they go through each day. It’s about helping each other”.


    Working on projects in the studio, he adds that:


    “I work with the younger generation on projects like Flashback and we all have something to learn from each other. I’ve learnt things from them and they’ve learnt things from me”.


    An inspiration to a new generation of artists, I ask Leee who were the artists that inspired him:


    “Growing up I listened to a lot of artists like Eddy Grant, Billy Ocean and of course Motown Music, which I love. They were so inspiring to younger artists like myself”.


    Billy Ocean is one of the many artists to be performing at Rewind North 2018 and an artist who Leee has performed with in the past:


    “I’ve toured with Billy Ocean, Kool and the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chic, Sister Sledge and many more. It’s fantastic and I feel so blessed to have had these opportunities. It’s wonderful that I am now inspiring a new generation of artists. It’s been a wonderful journey”.


    Leee John performs as part of Rewind North 2018 at Capesthorne Hall, which takes place from Friday 3rd-Sunday 5th August 2018.


    Leee John's new album Retropia is available now.


    By Sarah O' Hara



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