What you know about Mina Leon?
Born in Washington D.C. and the first generation American of an Algerian household, Mina’s early childhood was saturated with the resonating rhythms and beautifully weaved melodies of her parent’s homeland. Artists such as Cheb Khaled, Fairuz, and her mother Farida (a singer herself) laid the platform for vocal intrigue during her pre-school years. At the age of five, an encounter with Prince’s “Purple Rain” sparked an addiction to R&B’s sharps and flats that only more musical training could curb.
As Mina matured, her infatuation became relentless once she stumbled upon a television special highlighting the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. From there, her fascination with female vocalists and entertainers expanded even further; listing her major influences as Tina Turner, Teena Marie, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, and even Madonna.
However, she quickly became disillusioned with the direction music as a whole was headed and became determined to take R&B and other urban genres outside of the cliche realm. After many failed attempts of gaining exposure in the DC Metropolitan Area’s underground music scene as one-half of the group Jade Avenue, she was finally approached by Eric “T.E.F.L.O.N.” Wesley of 27 Deep Productions to begin work on a solo debut. The chemistry was undeniable. While writing and recording the project entitled “Running Red Lights“, she began connecting with, writing for, and recording features for other local artists. As her features were heard by the masses, more requests poured in. Though Mina is featured on well over 100 records, her most notable feature works to date, are on “Inglorious Beta” – K-BETA on which she wrote and performed the hooks for “Come Closer” and “Infinite Possibilities“, and on “The Love Movement” (Libyus Music) where the song “Dreams” with Hus Kingpin reached #4 on the iTunes Japan music charts.
Though she currently resides in Japan, Mina Leon is undeniably among the most sought after songwriters and vocalists in the DMV and she continues those collaborations today from her Okinawa in-home studio. She is currently working with Tese Fever, DJ Beanz, and Pete Twist on “Soul Danger” due to be released very soon and “Running Red Lights“, her first complete solo album is due for release in 2011.
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