Patrick Lehman, Canada's best kept soul secret
posted by Jesse Kinos-Goodin, April 2nd 2013

Patrick Lehman is proof that three years of classical vocal training can't erase a childhood of listening to Motown and Stax records.
After listening to "Stop Pretending," the lead single off last year's independently released Soul Kitchen Vol. 2, it would be easy to assume the singer is from Memphis, rather than his hometown of Montreal.
"It’s just the music I grew up listening to with my parents, so I've always been exposed to that," he says over the phone, speaking in a deep voice that sounds as if it's being filtered through the baritone sax that gives "Stop Pretending" so much of its flavour.
"Classical training focused on operas and arias, and just a lot of technical aspects of your voice, that sort of thing," he says. "It’s about the technical side of singing, while soul music is just whatever comes out, so I guess I've been influenced by soul more than I realized."

Lehman, who was an early standout in our Searchlight competition despite not moving on, says he's equally as influenced by Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder as he is by the Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival. That would explain his eclectic approach to recording Soul Kitchen Vol. 2, which also forays into singer-songwriter ("I Just Want Love") and rock ("Woman for Me"), even if everything ends up being filtered through soul. The latter, for instance, would seem to owe more to Lenny Kravitz than Mick Jagger.

"I was trying to make an album by concentrating on the songs themselves rather than the overall sound," says Lehman, who also wrote, arranged and produced the album.
The overall result is an album that holds its own with any of the young soul revivalists of today, from Michael Kiwanuka to Mayer Hawthorne, even if Lehman hasn't reached their levels of exposure yet. For now, he's Canada's best kept soul secret.

"A lot of people don’t realize that an overnight success sometimes takes nine years," he says with a laugh, adding that he's been making monthly visits to New York City for the last year — the home of Daptone Records, as well as a big audience for soul music — in an effort to increase his exposure.

"I was actually surprised when I started performing there because I wasn't blown away by the performers I was seeing," he says. "I just thought the calibre would be much higher and it would be a lot tougher. I mean, I've seen some great performers as well, but in a way it just gave me some confidence, like OK, I can handle this city."

And if all goes according to plan, Lehman could also be handling Amsterdam this summer, as a European label plans to release Soul Kitchen Vol. 2 in the Netherlands in May.

"There’s a pocket for soul music that I never knew about," he says. "They have whole radio stations there just dedicated to playing soul music, old and new, and apparently there was an article about me in the Dutch People magazine, so it's kind of cool."

It could be just the break Lehman's been looking for, not that he feels the pressure.

"It’s still just crazy for me that because I wrote a couple songs it’s going to get me a trip to the Netherlands," he says.

Patrick Lehman plays Montreal April 4 and 5, and Toronto April 18. Visit Patricklehmanmusic.com for details.


Posted June 25th 2012, Urbanguy Chronicles

I was first linked into the sound of Montreal’s Patrick Lehman late last year from the strength of his 2011 project The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.1, which is a dope mix of soul, R&B and rock. Consequently, I had this track on constant rotation, I Could Be.

Lehman’s latest effort Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.2 came out this past spring and it’s a solid mix of old school soul and a slightly harder rock edge. Singer-songwriter Lehman (and his band The Preachers) have this laid-back and confident musical approach that beckons you to stand up and notice. Off the new record, I’m particularly feeling “Woman for Me” and “Stop Pretending.”

In Toronto recently for a small gig at the Rex, I connected with Lehman for a few questions…

Q: How is this album different from the last project?

A: With this album, I knew I wanted it to sound more live – live drums, organ, violins, guitars. I am a huge fan of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway – in that time, those artists were recording everything live. I love hip hop and cutting up drum loops, that is an art in it self, but these songs felt like they needed a live vibe, the songs called for it.I would say that Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.2 is a soul album at its core – with rock&roll thrown in once in a bit. My EP which I released in 2011 was a taste, this full length album, volume 2, is the main dish.

Q: Who are your musical influences?

My biggest influences are Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz. I love artists who write and produce their own material – and I’ve always been drawn to artists who can blend styles together and make it seem effortless.

Q: Who is your target fan/demographic?

A: It’s really funny because I get a bunch of different people coming to speak to me after shows, and it’s never really the same type of person as far as age or gender, which to me is a great thing. My hope is to reach as many people as I can through my music, I want anyone who loves music, that’s my target fan.

Q: What are you listening to right now?

A: I’m always switching, it’s funny but I never really get to the end of a song before I change it to something else. This week I just picked up Grace Potter’s new album, it’s really great. I just went to Jersey for a week and listened to alot of Al Green and Emeli Sande on my way there and back.



The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 1
(Justin Time)
Lehman’s musical influences are crystal clear here. But rather than bowing to one genre at a time, the Montreal native displays a blend of soul, rock and jazz on each track. And he does a lot with a little, getting his groove on (“Pain Free,” “Paper”) and then getting intimate (“I Could Be”), all before this six-track EP runs its course.
Trial Track: “Paper” (Gerard Dee)
CD launch with Lady Katalyst, Sule at Club Lambi, Sat., March 5, 9 p.m., $7


Montreal Live Blog Q&A
March 28th 2012

What’s in store for Patrick Lehman in 2012?
I just finished recording my third album. It’s a full length album that fuses Rock n’ Roll and Soul elements. I’ll be launching my new album at the end of March at Petit Campus in Montreal, and CAB will be opening up the night! We’ll be hitting the road all summer across eastern Canada and the New England area of the USA. My goal is just to play live as much as we can and expose people to the new record – I don’t think that that aspect of the music industry has changed. It’s still about making music and sharing it with crowds – Live is still my favourite part.

What’s it like being on tour and where are you playing these days?
Touring for me so far has been a lot of back and forth. We’ll go to Toronto and Vermont and back in the same week! In a week or so we will be in Detroit at Cliffs Bells club. Touring these days is not glamorous, but it’s amazing! To me that’s what I dreamt of in high school – piling into a beat-up van with a duffle bag of clothes, some good CDs and the windows down, driving to the next gig. If we’re lucky we get a hotel room, sometimes we camp between shows. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and meeting new people. Summer 2012, we’ll be performing at various clubs and festivals across Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and northern US states.

What is your favorite venue to play in Montreal and why? What is your least favorite venue to play in Montreal and why?
I love playing Café Campus because the sound and staff are great. I have my least favourites but I’ll keep that to myself. It’s really about who fills the room though, for me.

Who are your favorite Montreal bands?
I’m a big fan of CAB and Soulvation. CAB are an amazing duo who have a great onstage chemistry and really remind me of why I fell in love with country about two years ago – their stories and instrumentation are great. Soulvation is a really sweet R&B cover band that play around Montreal often – the best way to spend a thursday night in NDG!

You have performed in some pretty awesome festivals, how did you get started on the festival circuit and what is your favourite Montreal festival?
The Montreal Jazzfest is great and it’s huge! I was asked in 2006 to perform in the Paul Simon tribute event – which was enormous and really opened me up to perusing my own music. Singing in front of 150,000 people and being well received is always great! Festiblues is a great place to find amazing local groups. We have been lucky enough to play in that festival three times now and played the main stage in the past two years. It is growing every year. I starting doing festivals a few summers ago and have just been pushing to perform in more and more. Festivals are what I wait for all year!

Explain what people can expect from your new record “The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 2″
People can expect it to be a nice mix of my first record Pat Lehman Band and my last EP Vol.1. To me it sounds like soul music – it has the grit of rock and vulnerability of some of my favourite old soul records. We recorded it at Studio Victor in Montreal in the same room Frank Sinatra did in the early ’50s. It had a lot of history and we felt that while we were recording. I wrote, produced and arranged the record myself which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done musically but it was well worth it. I loved the challenged and learnt a hell of a lot. The Preachers helped with some musical arrangement as well and brought a lot to the table. This record definitely has heart and feels complete. This time around I didn’t want to use many drumloops or synthesizers – So Live drums, Hammond B-3, grand piano, 4 back up vocalists, violins and Baritone Sax can all be found on Vol.2 and I couldn’t be happier about that!


Heart and Stroke fundraiser hits close to home for organizer
touched by his mother's medical crisis

The Gazette
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Twenty-four-year-old Patrick Lehman knew that organizing a fundraising concert would be part of his independent studies course this year at Concordia University.
But local musician didn’t know that the upcoming concert at which he and a collection of other West Island artists will perform, would turn out to be something so close to his heart.
The event slated to take place Nov. 27 at Clydes in Pointe Claire Village will benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec.
The organization is one to which, Lehman said, he feels eternally grateful.
His 54-year-old mother, Gisele Cormier, woke up early Aug. 14 with a sore arm and chest pain. But since she had suffered no other symptoms, he said, it took the family by surprise.
A long-time employee of Great West Life Insurance, Cormier survived after being rushed to Lakeshore General Hospital by ambulance and, transferred that same day to Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital where she underwent emergency triple bypass surgery.
Now, Lehman said, he wants to give something back to an organization dedicated to the education of Quebecers about heart disease and its risk factors.
Since the foundation was established 53 years ago, it has awarded more than $88 million to Quebec researchers to fight cardiovascular disease.
“I became much more aware when that all happened to my mom,” Lehman said.
In 2004, more than 72,000 Canadians died from cardiovascular disease, about 32 per cent of all deaths in Canada.
“They (the foundation) have played a big part in getting labels changed on foods,” Lehman said, “promoting healthy living.”
Although, he said, it’s unlikely she will be able to attend the concert, she is recovering nicely and happy about what he is doing.


Written by Jesse Kinos-Goodin
Published March 6th 2013

Montreal's Patrick Lehman easily stands up to any of today's popular male soul revivalists from the U.S., from Mayer Hawthorne to Aloe Blacc to Allen Stone, so I was baffled when he didn't make it through. His vocals are sharp, the lyrics surrounding a troubled love are on point for the genre and the band sounds like it would feel right at home on Menahan Street. If you're not nodding your head when that sax kicks in, then you have no soul. Do yourself a favour and catch up on his two independent releases, because I suspect it's not the last we've heard from Lehman.


Midweek Mixtape: Patrick Lehman
By Stephanie Noel — January 09, 2013

Patrick Lehman is a Canadian singer, songwriter and a producer. The modern day soul artist began performing at the age of sixteen and later studied vocal performance while in college. Testing the waters with the rock and hip hop genres over the years, Lehman decided to stick with a genre he grew up loving listening to, soul. Lehman has created and mastered a sound that can be considered a fusion of pop, jazz, and soul. He has released three full length albums first being a self titled album in 2008 followed by Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.1 in 2011. Most recently Lehman released Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.2, a follow up to the well received 2011 release. Having toured the US and Canada extensively over the past few months, his music has been heard and discovered by many. His most recent single “Stop Pretending” has been added in regular rotation on Canadian radio networks such as Galaxie and CBC.

As the new year begins, Lehman doesn’t have any plans on resting any time soon. With a fifteen date winter tour already in progress, he will be hitting many of the large cities in Ontario and Quebec as well as some northeast dates here in the States. Additionally, he plans to release an Electric Soul Kitchen Vol.2 remix EP this spring.

Whether in the States, Canada or China, Patrick Lehman is a voice that shouldn’t go unheard. Take a listen to some of his latest album on Spotify and pick up a copy on iTunes, you won’t regret it!

Here is a playlist Patrick put together of some of the songs he has been obsessed with lately. While taking a listen to Patrick Lehman’s playlist make sure to follow him Twitter and Facebook.


Blog post Q&A: What Patrick Lehman’s got cooking
posted by Ryan B. Patrick on Mar 05, 2012

Off the buzz created from his soulful 2011 EP, The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 1, Montreal-based R&B singer Patrick Lehman has left soul music fans wanting more. With a mature, church-honed voice that belies his relative newness to the game – and musical influences as varied as Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and the Roots to draw from – there’s an unequivocal “next big thing” aura around him. And in talking to Lehman as he puts the finishing touches on his followup project (slated for release in the coming months), he offers that people will definitely want more of what he’s got cooking.

Q: How happy were you with the feedback for The Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 1?

A: People seemed to like it, which was cool. Everybody was comparing it to a lot of people I looked up to for a long time. I was worried when putting it out that it might be reaching into too many genres, but people responded to it really well I think. It wasn’t too much to go from soul in one song to a bit more urban hip-hop in another, and to something that’s a bit more acoustic. That’s always been my dream: I always wanted to blend stuff. I look up to people like K-OS, who did it so easily from one song to the next – rock ’n’ roll to rap to anything.

Q: Can you talk about your love of hip-hop and how that comes out in your music?

A: I grew up listening to hip-hop. I grew up in the days of Missy Elliot, Puff Daddy – that was my start I guess with rap. I moved on to the Roots, Talib Kweli, I guess more conscious rap. How it comes out in my music is rhythmically: A song like “Paper” on my last project had a somewhat urban feel to it – somewhat rap and R&B. I don’t do it consciously; I think it just comes out in my arrangements. I just try to write songs that I would like to listen to. I want to be proud of it at the end of the day.

Q: What topics or themes do you like to tackle in your music?

A: I always like to write about what’s going on in my life. It could be a breakup song, relationship or love song. I don’t think that anyone can escape that unless they are talking about something very political or [what not]. But I do like to include a couple of songs that are more about social issues I would say.

Q: How would you describe your sound as a Canadian artist?

A: I guess I would have to say organic soul. I definitely consider my sound at its base to be soul music with rock ’n’ roll influences. Like I said, the new album is a bit more organic in the sense that there are some songs that are very Motown sounding and then there are songs that are a bit more R&B rock like Lenny Kravitz. Just in the sense that there are a lot of live drums – I mean that there are some samples but I wanted to bring a lot more musicians and have that raw sound to it. 

Q: What can people expect with the new album coming out soon?

A: It’s a little bit more organic and it’s a little bit more of the same. It’s a blend of style. To me it’s a touch of rock, a touch of soul and hip-hop and other things. That’s what I was going for: I basically wanted my album to sound like “The Seed” by the Roots. I guess that’s a little presumptuous but I was trying my best with that.


Written by Ashley Joseph
Published March 22nd 2013

As the birthplace of Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen, Bran Van 3000, Chromeo and more, Montreal musicians have some very large shoes to fill. In a 2005 piece, the New York Times described our little city’s music scene as “explosive”. Luckily, there are more than a few local bands and musicians working hard to live up to that reputation. Today, we’re pointing the spotlight on three of our recent favourites, all from very different musical perspectives, from soul to pop to indie rock.
Patrick Lehman‘s music is the kind that takes only one listen to fall in love. A blend of soul, blues and rock, Lehman grew up on artists like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. You may have spotted him at the Jazz Fest over the years, where he performed for over 150,000 people as part of the fest’s Paul Simon Tribute show. Look out for his latest single “Come Together” on CHOM 97.7, where it’s currently on rotation.


Q&A with Patrick Lehman
Posted on April 2, 2013

Patrick Lehman is a talented musician with a lot of cred to his name. He’s based in Montreal (for now), but he’s constantly touring on the road which means you should obviously go see one of his shows.

From sharing the stage with Elvis Costello to what the tattoo says on his left forearm, Patrick Lehman continues to cook up a whole lot of soul in the electric kitchen.

Q: You have quite the resume to your name, such as sharing the stage with Elvis Costello. What was that like?

Patrick Lehman: That was an amazing experience. It was infront of 150,00 people at an outdoor festival. The crowd was amazing and the artists I worked with were all so kind, such proffesionals. I was able to meet alot of great performers that week.

Q: I see that you were also featured on hip-hop artist, Karma Atchykah’s first album. Does that exist somewhere on the internet? ..I think that would be awesome to check out.

Patrick Lehman: That was a great album I sang on many years ago now, probably about 7 years. I did a few hooks and improved on some tracks too. I don’t think it’s out there but I was contemplating posting it on youtube after finding it last night in a pile of CDs.

Q: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future? Any other hip-hop artists?

Patrick Lehman: So many artists I’d love to collaborate with. Hip hop is one of my first loves and I grew listening to alot of Missy, Roots, Puffy, Talib, Outkast, Biggie, Kanye, Fugees, JayZ, Lauryn Hill. I’d love working with any of those but especially Kanye, Outkast and Lauryn! We’ll see haha

Q: So you are from Montreal. I’ve been there before but unfortunately have never caught a show. What’s the music scene like in Montreal?

Patrick Lehman: The music scene in Montreal is interesting – there’s many cool little venues to perform spread all over the city. The scene has a little bit of R&B, some jazz and indie hipsters making noise. It’s a great city to live and create in.

Q: Are you fluent in French or any other foreign languages?

Patrick Lehman: I am fluent in english and french. My mom is french and my father is english. I’d love to speak spanish but haven’t learnt yet.

Q: It seems you travel quite a bit. Are there any cities you haven’t been to that you really want to play at?

Patrick Lehman: I really want to make my way to DC! I’d also really like to perform in LA soon, and New Orleans.

Q: I’m a huge fan of ‘Stop Pretending‘ and noticed some writing on your left forearm in the video. Is that a tattoo, or….? If so, what does it say?

Patrick Lehman: Thank you! Yes I have two tattoos on my forearm that looks like one big one. One part is the adress of the home I grew up in, and the other is a line from psalms “I will sing aloud of your mercy in the morning for you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble”.

Q: Is it too soon to ask if there will be an Electric Soul Kitchen Vol. 3?

Patrick Lehman: There will most definately be a Vol.3, and I think I might end that series there. But I have a few things I’ll be putting out first. I have a remix EP coming out this summer, all remixed material from Vol.2 and a few extras. And another album coming out in 2014 before Vol3!

Q: You have a really great voice and maybe you already do this in your live shows now, but ever think of trying out some acoustic tracks?

Patrick Lehman: I actually did many acoustic shows in 2012 – sometimes it’s easier to travel that way and allows people to hear my voice a little better. I’ll be some more this year too. I also want to record a more subtle, with just guitar or piano.

Q: This next one is very important. When do you plan on playing a show in DC?!

Patrick Lehman: I hope to be there this summer with some luck!