Tone Talk with Soleil Laurent

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Soleil Laurent is an artist dedicated to empowering the people. The core of her message is “OWN YOUR GREATNESS.” Her inspirations are Carlos Santana, Spiros Exaras, Robert “Smitty,” and Gary Foster (three of those people were her mentors, I bet you can guess which ones). Currently, Soleil Laurent is working on her project Black Butterfly. Her project is about how she overcame the most painful parts of her life and claimed her power. Her motivation is to help people that suffer from depression. To be able to go through the journey in life and choose yourself, your purpose, and your power.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Tone is all about frequency. To me, when you have great tone, you can play one note, and it will hit your soul. I truly focus on the roundness of my sound, and what I mean by that is the “fullness.” I feel it in my body. Great tone will allow the player to access someone’s deepest emotions.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’m currently a Fender Strat girl. I’m actually looking to buy another one of their guitars because the neck is sooooo smooth; also, they are a company that truly supports black people (which is important to me). I have another guitar that I love, but it’s hard for me to pick it up and play because of the company’s lack of support for #blacklivesmatter.

What about strings?
Strings always vary for me because it keeps me on my toes—lol. I love trying different gauges to challenge myself and gain more strength in my fingers. For my comfort, I usually go with 10s/11s and Ernie Ball.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Yes! I do not use the plugins the computer has because I feel that my pedalboard gives the sounds that I am looking for. I’ve truly perfected my sound in my pedalboard, so I always want to real that in a song.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Saving your settings is key! Also, people think I am crazy, but I will carry my preferred amp everywhere. (no matter how big). So I get the exact sound I want. I am crazy like that because when you plug in different amps, you will get different sounds, no matter how much you tweak the pedalboard.

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What does your practice consist of?
A lot of YouTube. Also, I will review the knowledge I already know, but during practice, my goals are to expand my knowledge. When you practice, you shouldn’t sound good; it’s an opportunity to make mistakes and GROW.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Take advice, but never let anyone discredit your greatness. You have the vision of your artistry and what you stand for—BELIEVE IN IT AND STAND UP! Do not leave wiggle room for any doubt.

Follow Soleil Laurent – @thisis.sol and at her website www.soleillaurent.com

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