LeVert2 continues group’s R&B legacy
Manny Otiko | 4/6/2017, midnight
Older R&B fans will be pleased to hear the group LeVert is still around and producing new music, even though original band members Gerald and Sean Levert passed away. Natives of Cleveland, Ohio, LeVert broke onto the music scene in the late 1980s and achieved worldwide success with the hit song “Casanova.” Both Gerald and Sean Levert went onto have success as solo artists. Original member Marc Gordon has reworked the group, which now goes by LeVert2, with two new members Blaq Rose and Parrice Smith. Rose and Smith are accomplished singers in their own right. Rose was once signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath records. He also produced “Tell Me It’s Real” for K-Ci and JoJo and worked on their “X” album. Smith has collaborated with artists such as Guy and Tank.
LeVert2 has a new single out called “Commit” and is about to embark on a multi-city tour to promote its new music.
Gordon moved to Los Angeles, when the band was on hiatus, and got into the writing and producing side of the music business working with acts such as IMX, Marques Houston and Musiq Soulchild. He says the original band never broke up, but became dormant while the members worked on different projects. Gordon was family friends with the Leverts, who were the sons of Eddie Levert, a member of the O’Jays.
The new single is being put out independently. LeVert2 says that’s indicative of the changing face of the music industry, where there are few big labels left. But Gordon added the advantage to independent sales is you don’t have to move as many units to make a profit. He also said the new music environment has made it tougher for traditional R&B artists.
“The majors (labels) are not pushing R&B music like back then,” said Gordon. “That’s why we have to do it ourselves. The fans that love R&B haven’t gone anywhere.”
All the members of LeVert2 are active on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, and make a big push to interact with their fans, which is essential in today’s entertainment world.
“We like to stay connected to our fans directly,” said Smith.
They are also reaching out to fans by touring and airplay on the radio.
“You have to use the old and the new,” said Gordon.
So far fans have reacted positively to the new version of LeVert, but some fans still want the old faces and voices.
“Fans have been receptive for the most, but some fans won’t accept it because Sean and Gerald are not on it,” said Gordon.
LeVert2’s new single is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and all the usual digital platforms. Fans can also purchase it at their website LeVert2.com. Another single and an album are in the works.