The 1st song to be released by the J Project was “Delusions of Grandeur” produced, arranged and performed by LaSalle Gabriel for the Paramount/Showtime short film “The Great Commission”. The film was directed by Rockmond Dunbar (Sons of Anarchy, Soul Food, & C.S.I. Miami) & co-produced by LaSalle Gabriel. “Delusions of Grandeur” (co written by LaSalle Gabriel & J) was added at 200 college radio stations its 1st week and spent 21 weeks on Billboard’s Top 40 chart reaching #15 & #10 on Hot/AC. “Delusions of Grandeur” would log over 150,000 spins at radio the EP with independent distribution would generate sales in excess of $650,000..
A 2nd song “Leaving” was licensed to the STARZ film “Strange as Angels”. However it wasn’t until LG received a call from Paramount Studios wanting details about the band including whether or not they were signed that LG realized he had a hit on his hands. Completely off the cuff he told the exec the band was The J Project...& YES they were signed, indeed!
Nonetheless, The J Project was now a group with a hit track record that needed a face and a brand. LG had worked with such stars as Jamie Foxx, Charlie Wilson, TLC, & Anita Baker in the past so he knew he wanted a group of highly skilled, dedicated professionals with the drive and backbone to go the distance! The lead singer in particular would have to be stellar! LG conducted dozens of audition/interviews in Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis later casting an even wider net in Asia and the U.K.
Back in the states a total of 37 vocalists and musicians auditioned before the final band was set in place. The JPR was now fully armed for battle. Gabriel states..."The vision for the 1st Black female led rock band was simple...write and produce Rock tracks with outrageous guitars, over-the-top drums and strong infectious hooks to capture and mesmerize radio listeners in the highly coveted 13-35 male/female demographic to create a loyal fan base and robust sales.
After a string of successful tour dates sponsored by NASCAR, the JPR caught the eye of veteran rocker Bret Michaels (Poison) who eventually chose the band as an opening act for his U.S. tour. A tour that would serve as the ramp up to his highly popular VH-1 reality show "Rock of Love" . Michaels and the JPR had also just begun work in the studio on a duet single to be released in support of the tour.
However, the night before the tour after an amazing live performance at the 3000 seat Myth Nightclub in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a tour bus full of gas waiting in the wings, "J" inextricably suffered a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately J would never recover or recapture the confidence necessary to sing live professionally again and eventually left the music industry for good. Thus an artistic chapter which began for the 1st rock band in music history with a Black female lead singer to chart on Billboard and one of the country's most promising rock acts in over a decade came to a dramatic close.
A proposed 3rd single for the J Project entitled "A Little Rough" (produced and co-written by LaSalle Gabriel was later licensed to Funk/Rock lefty guitarist Malina Moye on WCE/SONY records (www.malinamoye.com. After a performance on Arsenio Hall in the fall of 2014 the song entered the Billboard Charts at #43 in May of 2015 and entered the final round of consideration for a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Rock Performance for 2015.
Music industry icon & Master Guitarist LaSalle Gabriel founded the J Project in 2005 as a creative think tank to meet growing soundtrack demands from Paramount Domestic Television, Showtime & Starz networks. LaSalle Gabriel has been featured in articles by the Washington Post, L.A. Times, Billboard, Detroit Weekly, Pioneer Press & over 50 publications in the U.S & U.K.
The letter “J” corresponds to the 10th letter of the alphabet, symbolizing Gabriel’s 10th recording project. As a member of the 3-time Grammy award winning Sounds of Blackness, (A&M), Gabriel was accustomed to the pursuit of production excellence. He produced the Sound of Blackness’ CD ‘Unity’ which entered Billboard’s Gospel chart at #11 its 1st week & spent 56 weeks on Billboard’s Top 40, & 77 weeks on the Hot 100, crossing over to the R&B chart at #38. LaSalle Gabriel won a ‘Best Gospel Album’ Stellar Award for ‘Unity’.
A maverick deal maker in his own right, LaSalle Gabriel is the 1st African American to land a multi-million dollar strategic partnership with IBM in the company’s 100 year history. Armed with funding, LG signed an exclusive music distribution deal with Lightyear /Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Records (WEA) & immediately began to flood radio airwaves & Billboard with chart topping Hits! Over a 70 week period LG charted 5 songs in the Top 40 on 5 Billboard charts simultaneously; (Pop, Gospel, Hot/AC, R&B, & Country).
Armed with a chart presence in 300 issues of Billboard Magazine, the prolific songwriter known for producing 50 songs a year was now in high demand commanding producer fees of $50,000/song. Finally LG would have the financial backing & studio location needed to craft a creative road map for the JPR. He tapped into his vast political ties within the industry to land choice gigs for the JPR such as NASCAR tours & music festivals. LG also licensed JPR songs to several films & TV shows, systematically creating the aural landscape to produce high energy rock radio ready tracks for this chart topping musical enterprise.