Kelli-Leigh. Never heard of her? With three UK top 10 singles, two number 1’s, a Billboard dance chart 1 and 2 and a Grammy nomination under her belt you should have. But she is rarely credited for her work, as she used to be hired for a nominal fee as a session musician. She is not alone.
For decades session musicians have been making a gigantic contribution to worldwide hit records but they haven’t been given the recognition they deserve. Now a Portsmouth radio station has set out to change that.
Atmosphere Radio has pledged to start re-writing music history by launching Be Vocal and becoming the first radio station in the world to give featured singers the credit that they deserve.
Programme Director Steve Simms said “As part of our Be Vocal campaign, all of our presenters will now mention all featured singers when they introduce a song.
“We’ve also adapted the artist names on our website and mobile app so that the names of the guest singers will appear on the Now Playing information.
“As a radio business, we provide financial support to the artists we play in the form of royalties via PRS and PPL, but we’ve decided to lead the way in the radio industry and support the artists morally too.”
Speaking to the station’s breakfast presenter Suzi Martin, Kelli-Leigh said “You don’t really think about it when you’ve got nobody looking out for your best interests, but suddenly from 2014, my voice was everywhere and you go ‘oh, that’s not cool, I should probably have my name on this’.
“And if my name was on the record then, maybe I’d have a different path now. I didn’t get given the choice, or the opportunity and just got paid my session fee”
Not only that, but breakfast presenter Suzi Martin plans on literally rewriting the records: “I’ve persuaded the bosses to let our listeners show their support for Kelli-Leigh and send in their singles to Atmosphere Radio. We’ll then send them all onto Kelli-Leigh for her to sign her name on – and then send them back to our listeners with the correctly worded sleeves!”
If you wish to show your support to Kelli-Leigh and send your CD or vinyl single into Atmosphere Radio for Kelli-Leigh to autograph, post them with your full name and address to:
Atmosphere Radio, 65 Brighton Road, Worthing BN11 3EE
Singles that feature Kelli-Leigh, but don’t credit her on the sleeve include: Duke Dumont
featuring Jax Jones – I Got U
Ferreck Dawn & Redondo – Love Too Deep
Second City – I Wanna Feel