Meraki: The Lee England Jr. Experience
meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective)
This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.
Every so often, comes a story that compels the spirit and ignites the soul. Lee England Jr.’s story provides an inspirational backdrop to his illustrious musical prowess. In a realm where true artistry and musicianship play the background to superficial beats and lackluster bass cadences that drive popular contemporary music, Lee England Jr. stands bold as an anomaly in his approach with an indelible talent undenied and unforgettable. This has to be why someone synonymous with greatness chose him to represent his brand. True enough, Michael Jordan selected England for the same reason the world should embrace him.
Lee England Jr.’s music is eclectic and pronounced. He’s most notable for his violin renditions of Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and my personal favorite Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” England is a classically trained musician, but refers to himself as the “Soul Violinist” due to his entrenchment in the heartfelt sounds that evoke emotion and capture the ear.
Credible in all aspects, Lee England Jr. has definitely put in the necessary work to be recognized as a perennial force in the music industry, especially from a talent perspective. England’s credits include: Graduating from Southern Illinois University with three degrees in music (BS in Music Education, BS in Music Business and BS in Music Composition), appeared on MTV’s “Making the Band.” The first African American to produce music for the NFL, one of only three non- athletes selected to represent the Jordan brand (one of the others happens to be Drake) and is currently working on music with [Wale, R. Kelly, Jeremih], and has even performed with Stevie Wonder.
All of which gives rise to the relentless passion that England displays when performing. Whether it be parlaying on the streets of Venice Beach or exacting an immaculate piece on stage at Madison Square Garden, England’s motivational attributes are never weaned by the number of ears nor overly produced when there are more. There is an endless enthusiasm that thrives in England’s music that pervades the conscience and facilitates an almost transcendental experience. Although transient, the music engages the listener for that brief moment in time to feel a sense of unadulterated freedom, and relieves us from the monotonous routines that plague our lives. I personally consider England’s music a satisfying auditory onslaught of complex melodic tunes that rely on the intricacies that deviate from his simplistic modalities. He creates sonic poetry that lends an edge, but eloquently synthesizes class with soul.
The 30 year old Waukegan, Illinois native expresses an intrinsic desire to help motivate others through his most effective medium, music. England’s non-profit organization, Love Notes, in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club educates adolescents not only of the value of music, but also the importance of creative expression. Linguistically, it is difficult to describe Lee England Jr.’s work on and off the stage simply because we are limited to a finite set of words and symbols. Instead, the best way to define Lee England Jr. is to not compartmentalize his feats, but to inherit the experience he provides, and capture the brief moments you are fortunate enough to witness.
Lee England Jr. is currently performing on a 36 NBA game tour and is looking forward to a promising year. Though the accolades would tempt any man to succumb to ego and narcissism, England remains humble an unaffected by his accomplishments. England is A great example of purity, seemingly the antithesis of hip-hop’s glitzy façade, and hopefully the revolutionary savant in contemporary music; the merakic truth representative of who we all strive to become.
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