Vintage Sound: Jared Lekites
Listen to one song by Jared Lekites, and immediately you know there’s something different about him. Bringing back the sounds of the 1960s, the Edmond musician is out to show current radio a thing or two.
Lekites’ love of music came at an early age. “When I was little, I always had my ear glued to the radio. I’d listen to anything from Motown to Reba McEntire – just a whole variety,” he says. “I just wanted to make the music that I like to listen to.”
And make music he did. After growing up in New England and California, Lekites moved to Oklahoma eight years ago. By then, music was completely ingrained into his life, and he started his first band in high school. Through influences like The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and with a talent all his own, Lekites’ unique sound began to take shape. “It just so happens that most of the songs I listen to are old and scratchy. I listen to vinyl and stuff from the ’60s. So, I think that’s why it came out sounding the way it did – a bit on the vintage side,” he says with a laugh.
Though his style may be considered vintage, the experience of his music is new. Lekites said he feels that, like himself, listeners are connecting to the songs out of an affinity for the golden years of rock and roll. “I think what draws them to it is probably that they’re uninterested in stuff that’s going on now. I probably couldn’t sit through an hour of Top 40 radio,” he explains.
With the release of his independent EP, “Looking for Diamonds,” Lekites gives the audience an opportunity to hear five original songs. “For the past couple of years, I had just written so many songs, and I wanted to get them out there,” he says.
The process of recording, in which Lekites plays all of the instruments on the EP, is especially appealing to him. “To think up the parts in my head and translate them into what the finished product will be, I love being able to do that,” he says.
Another aspect of this particular career that inspires Lekites is how it feels to perform on stage. “I love the audience reaction because when the crowd is really going for it, you can do anything,” he says.
Lekites hopes to put out a full-length, currently independent CD he has been working on and expand his touring outside of the state. He says the time is right for musicians to embrace today’s new technological platform to boost their careers. The attempt to reach out to people is what inspired Lekites to name his EP “Looking for Diamonds,” as a way to acknowledge the desire in listeners to find musical gems they can connect to. “That’s kind of what you’re doing when you’re shopping for music. You’re looking for certain diamonds in the rough, and I guess it’s kind of a good symbolism for what we’re all doing in life too,” he says.
With his reputation gaining strength, Lekites says he hopes new listeners will find something deeper in his songs. “I want people to feel emotion – real, true emotion. Whether it be happiness or sadness, I don’t want them to walk away not feeling something,” he says.
For Lekites, it’s about proving that what was old is new again. For more information or to listen to some of Jared Lekites’ songs, visit his website at www.myspace.com/lekites.