LOURETT RUSSELL GRANT
Major Record Label Recording Artist -Songwriter-Musician - Record Producer
Photo: Michael Keller
Lourett Russell Grant is a major label recording artist. She is a songwriter, singer, and record producer who was sought after by some of the most powerful legends in the music industry during the late 70's and early 80' and is known for her hit disco single "Hot To Trot". New York City was the mecca of Disco and Lourett Russell Grant took center stage !
Amet Ertegun/President of Atlantic /WEA Records signed Ms. Grant to his label WEA International and Vice President of RCA/BMG Warren Schatz signed her to his label with a publishing deal . Many of New York's top musicians also collaborated with Ms. Grant on many of her music recordings such as Keith Diamond (Mic Jagger, Billy Ocean, Michael Bolton) Paul Pesco (Madonna, Michael Jackson) Bobby Chouinard (drummer for artist Billy Squier ), Fernando Saunders (Sting, Marianne Faithful, Cheryl Crow), Ray Gomez (Miles Davis, Patty Symth, Michael Narada Walden)and Bobby Chouinard (drummer for artist Billy Squier )just to name a few.
Her career began when she met Silvio Tancredi of Atlantic /Atco Records at the New York Hilton Hotel Disco Baquet Convention on February 28, 1978. Silvio Tancredi (Son of Italian Consulate Armand Tancredi) was captivated with Ms. Grant's odylic force and apitude. Her mother accompanied her and presented Tancredi with an elaborate production and disco remake of the famous Greek song "Misirolu." The recording production featured a 31 piece orchestra and the plaintive vocals of Lourett's mother who was seeking a major label contract where upon Ms. Grant sang back round vocals . But Silvio was more interested in the marketing and artistic skills of Ms. Grant . He immediately recognized her charisma and was determined to establish her as the new Dance Music Star of the 80's .
Ms. Grant moved in with Silvio and his parents in the Italian Consulate on 69 st. and Park Ave. Together they worked endless hours on their first demo recording and wrote " HOT TO TROT." Tancredi and Grant then created "Northcott Productions" and released the song on their custom label "Alverez ." The song featured live horse gallops which panned from speaker to speaker, which added great excitement to the dancing audience and one of the most hard hitting percussion bridges in disco recording. But even that wasn't enough, Tancredi flew in a talented Synclavier musician from Italy and added the innovative rousing electronic sound as well as the driving bass guitar riff which he personally played. This well thought out production between Tancredi and Grant provided the appropriate surroundings for Ms. Grants " hot " vocals and cemented the song as a disco hit . Her marketing image was also a spectacle of intrigue and sent the audience's senses soaring. In perfect correlation with the western theme, the ex model dazzled her audience wearing a slick black leather cowgirl apparel including holsters and guns. It was a powerful marriage between a great production and an unforgettable image.
Tancredi's shrewd business skills were heightened when Tancredi and Grant created their own custom record label Alvarez Records. They hired a staff of experienced disco promoters putting into motion Tancredi's plan to begin an underground buzz of the single .Tancredi kept the single "Hard to Find " for a period of time and still profited sales in the large digits . With sales under his belt pairing with the allure of hype ,Tancredi knew he could negotiate a lucrative contract for Ms. Grant with the major labels. Private meetings with Clive Davis ( President of Arista Records, Whitney Houston ) were in Ms. Taj's itinerary on a daily basis, but they decided to sign a contract with WEA International (Warner,/Atlantic/ Electra Records) and Quality Records in Canada .
Ms. Grant performed on Montreal's T.V. dance show "Feel Like Dancing " and at the famous night club Baby O's in Acapulco, Mexico. Ringo Starr of the Beatles flew down to Acapulco , Mexico and watched the beautiful singer perform. It was known that he made a scene trying to grab at her legs when she was on stage . He then called her the next morning apologizing. Such incidences kept Ms. Grant in the constant spotlight and in the news . As Tancredi predicted , Hot to Trot suddenly went mainstream and broke wide open in the music industry when it entered onto the billboard chart with a bullet. It shot up the chart at #70 ahead of such legends as Michael Jackson and Donna Summer.
It was a dance staple in every top disco club in New York City and was spun regularly by DJ's at Studio 54 , Xenon's , the Ice Palace, Crisco Disco, Plato's retreat and The Garage just to name a few . From there it spread nationally and internationally . Hot To Trot was added on the NMR (National Music Report) and every major National Dance Chart in the U.S . It was heard on famous radio stations such as Disco 92KTU FM . Early supporters such as Jellybean Benitez (Producer for Madonna / DJ at Xenon's Disco ) was an avid supporter and had a great interest to produce a follow up recording with Ms. Grant but Tancredi expressed signs of exclusive rights and turned him down.
Ms. Grant is an artist people took notice of . Italian movie director Fredrico Fellini (La Dolca Vita ) , Francis Ford Copalla ( The Godfather), and Richard Moses (executive producer of United Artists) were captivated by Ms. Grant's inveigle beauteousness , but Ms. Grant was aloof and not easily swayed by Hollywood. She was only intrigued with the art of making music . After the disco age , rock, punk rock , dance music and rap entered the scene . Ms. Grant continued to write original songs and land contracts. She was offered a spec deal at the Intergalactic Recording Studio where A list musicians contributed their exceptional musicianship, they included Fernanado Saunders (Sting) Bobby Chouinard (Billy Squier) etc. Grammy Award winning engineer Jeff Jones was assigned to assist in her recordings .She also signed on with Warren Schatz /Vice President of RCA-BMG .He offered her a publishing deal with Perfect Sound . They wrote and recorded her next single " I Know What You Need ".
She performed at such places as the Limelight Night Club in NYC and continued to have access to the top recording studios in New York by way of studio contract deals . Janna Allen , hit song writer for Hall and Oats (Kiss On My List, Private Eyes) befriended Ms. Grant and was enthusiastic in forming a band with her. She set up a private meeting with Ms. Grant and Tommy Mattola (music executive Sony Music/ Mariah Carey, Gloria Estafan, Shakira) but Ms. Grant comment on that meeting was " I felt a bad vibe. I just couldn't follow though". Janna Allen unfortunately passed away shortly of luekemia.
Ms. Grant modeled in numerous rock videos for such artists as grammy award winner/ guitarist Rick Derringer's "Shake me " which was written and produced by Jake Hooker for Jake Hooker entertainment . She often crossed paths and was seen with celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Billy Idol , Peter Townsend ( The Who) , Billy Squier, Bobby Chouinard, Herbie Hancock , Ace Frehley (Kiss) and John Paul Getty III, (grandson of J.Paul Getty/Getty Oil ) just to name a few.
Ms. Grant was also the inspiration of hit songs in the states and internationally. Jean-Marc Fustier is a Parisian lyricist and journalist that wrote the song " Tant Besoin De Toi " (Need You So Much)for French musical artist Manu Lanvin about Ms. Grant. She was also the inspiration for several hit songs like " Red Hot Lover " written by grammy award producer Keith Diamond ( Mic Jagger, Billy Ocean, Michael Bolton, Donna Summer) sung by artist James Ingram and " Kidnappin Lover " by Herbie Mann on Album Yellow Fever which tells a story from the eyes of Tancredi expressing his warnings to Ms. Grant's ex-boyfriend who was stalking her.
Rap music and hip hop infiltrated the dance scene in New York and Ms. Grant exited the music scene . She was known as saying " Sorry, but I like a song with a melody. " She wrote and produced some of her most profound music during this time but she put her mic down for another stage. She embraced her first love of "dance" in the performing arts .
Ms. Grant later ventured into academics and studied "German " as a second language. She received a scholarship from the Goethe Institute in New York when scholarships were rare. To propound the scholarship, the Institute proposed Ms. Grant produce and write a theme /promotional song for the institute. If they approved the production, she would be offered a scholarship including airfare and accommodations. Ms. Grant galvanized them with her polished, commercial production and a scholarship was honorably given. She studied in Bremen, Germany. Ms. Grant later used her new founded fluency of the German language recording the classic "Ich bin von Kopf bis fuss "along with writing and recording an original German pop tune called "Lass mich oder lieb mich baby."
On a more personal note, Ms. Grant married a native German man of nobility . They married in Spyker Castle in Vorpommern - Rügen . They resided in various regions of Germany such as Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany and Berlin but unfortunately the marriage did not last .
Lourett Russell Grant Photo: Vogue Photographer Marco Glaviano
Atlantic Records Producer Silvio Tancredi and CEO/ President Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records /WEA International Records
Grammy Award -Winning Artist Herbie Hancock and Lourett Russell Grant
Lourett Russell Grant Photo: Michael Keller
Lourett Russell Grant Performing Live at THE LIMELIGHT IN NEW YORK CITY
Advertisement for the first single HOT TO TROT
The First Disco Performance Costume
Grammy Award -Winning Musician Rick Derringer ( Johnnny Winter, Cyndi Lauper ) and Lourett Russell Grant
Lourett Russell Grant, World Class virtuoso Bass Player Fernando Saunders (Sting , Jeff Beck) and the Grammy Award Winning Recording Engineer Jeff Jones (Wynton Marsalis, Willie Nelson). The best of the best contributed to Lourett Russell Grant's recording session at the Intergalactic Recording Studio in New York
Photo : Michael A. Keller
Lourett Russell Grant modeling with her then boyfriend Nico Karnet
CHARTS REPORTS AND REVIEWS
NMR NATIONAL MUSIC REPORT- HOT TO TROT IS MOST ADDED In WHITE and BLACK CLUBS Throughout all states
ENTRY #70 HOT TO TROT Lourett Russell Grant
Silvio Tancredi and Lourett Russell Grant
ON THE RADIO
Entry #77 On The Radio - Donna Summer
LISTEN TO HOT TO TROT
ROCK WITH YOU
Layla Taj began her career when she wrote a dance song called HOT TO TROT which caught the attention of record producer Silvio Tancredi (Son of Italian Consulate Armand Tancredi) of Atlantic Records. Together they joined forces and formed their own custom record label called Alvarez Records .Ms. Grant later signed with WEA International (Warner,/Atlantic/ Electra Records) and Quality Records in Canada due to Silvio's firm support ." HOT TO TROT " a dance song sold incredibly well and was added on every major National Dance Chart in the U.S . Early supporters supporter Jellybean Benitez (Producer for Madonna / dance DJ) had a great interest to produce a record with Lourett but her producer Silvio Tancredi expressed signs of exclusive rights and turned him down. Hot To Trot received National Radio Airplay and entered onto the billboard chart with a bullet (shooting up the chart) at #70 out selling such artists as Michael Jackson and Donna Summer. It was a dance staple in every top disco club in NYC. Ms. Grant was an artist people took notice of .