The members of L.E.J. in 2017 at the Globes de Cristal Awards ceremony. From left to right: Elisa Paris, Juliette Saumagne, Lucie Lebrun
|Members||Lucie Lebrun |
L.E.J, short for Lucie, Élisa and Juliette, sometimes Elijay, is a French band composed of three women from Saint-Denis, a city in Paris' suburbs. They became famous by condensing numerous top songs from the summer of 2015 into a mashup performance. Their song mashup Summer 2015 had millions of plays on YouTube as of August 2015 and was thus a global hit in less than a month. Their music is based on classical and world music, described by MTV reviewer Joseph Lamour as "eclectic". According to Seventeen magazine, the three vocalists were best friends from childhood, and have been performing together since 2013. Reviewer Hannah Orenstein described their sound as "pared-down but strong." Juliette plays the cello and sings backups while Elisa and Lucie are the main singers.
All three members are born in 1993: Lucie on November 21, Elisa on August 26, and Juliette on September 3. They are childhood friends from Saint Denis and have known each other since they were toddlers. Their passion has always been music: Juliette studied cello at the Conservatoire de Saint-Denis, and Lucie and Elisa studied vocal technique at the Maîtrise de Radio France, a prestigious French singing school, acquiring solid classical training. Lucie Lebrun also plays the piano and the saxophone, and Elisa Paris plays the piano and the harp.
In October 2013, they competed in a contest organized by the French band Tryo, covering one of their song with vocal harmonies. It was the first time they sang all together as a band. They won the contest and got to perform for a large audience; at that point, according to one source, the group did not yet have a name. They decided to go on with the band and kept posting videos on their YouTube channel, covering various artists and posting their first summer mashup in 2014. To a large extent, the group connected with listeners through social networks.
They signed a contract with Live Nation Entertainment, and started opening for artists in France, such as Grand Corps Malade. On June 22, 2015, they played as the opening act for Pharrell Williams in Monaco.
Summer 2015 and their first album
On August, 1st 2015, they posted a mashup of 11 worldwide hits of 2015, Summer 2015. It was an immediate success, getting hundreds of thousands of views within two days. On August 3, Time Magazine shared their mashup which launched a craze around the video and brought them millions of views on YouTube in less than a month. French and international media took an immediate interest in the three young women, who were a bit overwhelmed by this unanticipated turn of events. Indeed, they had never intended their video to have such an impact and had not foreseen such a success. Elisa said in an interview that the women would not have worn their pajamas when recording Summer 2015 if they had known that the video would have gone viral.
In December 2015, L.E.J released their first album, entitled En Attendant L'album, which contains 11 tracks, all cover songs but La Dalle, their first original composition. This collection includes a cover of Hanging Tree, the song from the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. L.E.J also performed Hanging Tree at the November 9, 2015 Paris Premiere of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
2016: a year on the road
During 2016, L.E.J went on concert tours, both in France and abroad. The French tour of France began on May 27, when they played at Paris' Olympia Hall. During that time, they also went to Canada (they played in Montréal on March 14) and to the United States (they performed at the South By Southwest Festival and in New York City). In the summer, they toured French festivals, playing among other things in front of tens of thousands of people at Main Square Festival or in the fanzone of Saint-Denis for the final of the UEFA Euro 2016. They went back on tour in the fall of 2016, kicking it off with 3 sold out concerts at Olympia Hall on October 21, 22, and 23rd, and ending the tour with a last concert in Rennes on December 13. They also performed at the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2016 with French musician Ibrahim Maalouf. In total, L.E.J played around a 100 concerts in the year 2016.
On August 4, 2016, they posted Summer 2016 on YouTube, which is a mashup of 2016's hits, the same way they had done in 2015. It contained 23 songs and got more than 5 million views.
In September 2016, their second original composition, Le Verbe, was released on YouTube. It is a featuring with Dave Crowe from Heymoonshaker, and the video was shot in the form of an advertising spot for Audi.
In December 2016, they released an EP entitled Christmas Hors d'oeuvre that contained three tracks. Game Of Bells is a medley of Carol of the Bells and the soundtrack for the TV show Game of Thrones; the video for the song is a giant Christmas-themed Mannequin Challenge. It got one million views in about a week and made it into the New York Times' Christmas playlist. The EP also contains Little Drummer Boy, which is a medley of the Christmas carol Little Drummer Boy and Rihanna's Man Down, and a cover of The Sound Of Silence, by Simon and Garfunkel.
On February 10, 2017, the band won the award for Stage Revelation at the 32nd Victoires de la Musique ceremony, a French award ceremony that recognizes achievements in the music industry. It is the French equivalent for the Grammy Awards.
They toured French festivals in the summer of 2017, presenting a newly arranged show.
Their first original album was originally announced for 2017, but due mainly to their tour, the band postponed it to early 2018. It will be composed of songs the three women will write, mostly in French, and they expressed feeling tremendous pressure not to disappoint anybody. Paris said that recording this album would be the band's greatest challenge. In an interview they gave to Purecharts, the women of L.E.J said they were proud of their work so far. They teased the new album, explaining that some songs will be a lot more produced than previous tracks, with a greater exploitation of Juliette's cello.
2018: First original album
They announced their upcoming original album for March/April 2018. In January, they toured Australia for three shows in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney as part of the French acts of the 2018 So Frenchy So Chic in the Park Festival. They were well received by both audiences and press reviews.
The first single "La Nuit" was released on April 6, 2018.
|2015||En attendant l'album...||4||26||39||2× Platinum (French certified)|
|2016||Christmas Hors d'Oeuvre|
|"Hip Hop Mash Up"||39|
|"Game of Bells"||184
|2018||La Nuit||Poupées Russes|
Other charted songs
|2015||"Get Lucky"||196||En attendant l'album|
Awards and nominations
- NRJ Music Awards 2015: Best French Band/Duo of the Year
- NRJ Music Awards 2016: Best Francophone Band/Duo of the Year
- Femmes En Or 2016: Women of Music
- Globes de Cristal 2017: Best Female Artist
- Samantha Grossman, August 3, 2015Time magazine, Watch This French Trio Perform the Summer’s Most Popular Songs in Three Minutes: From OMI's "Cheerleader" to Pharrell's "Freedom", Retrieved August 7, 2015, "...The musicians call their video “Summer 2015″ and it features 11 wildly popular tunes, including “CoCo” by O.T. Genasis, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, “Cheerleader” by OMI and “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna. .."
- 4th August 2015, Capital FM, These 3 French Girls Have Perfectly Mashed Up The Biggest Songs Of Summer 2015: L.E.J have managed to cram in songs from David Guetta, OMI, Rihanna and more into just 3 EPIC minutes!, Retrieved August 7, 2015, "....4th August 2015.."
- Staff Reporter, August 04, 2015 , HNGN News, L.E.J. Girls Sing Every Song Of Summer 2015 (VIDEO): The musical duo didn't miss a note of many popular summer 2015 songs., Retrieved August 7, 2015, "..By Staff Reporter | Aug 04, 2015 ....The ladies from the french band, L.E.J. - Lucie, Elisa and Juliette - recently sang many songs that are currently popular this summer, according to Time."...The team has been on the scene since at least the summer of 2014
- July 8, 2015, Bienpublic, L.E.J. : les trois Françaises qui font le buzz jusqu’aux États-Unis, Retrieved August 7, 2015, "......"
- joseph lamour, August 5, 2015, MTV News, These Besties Formed A Band And Mashed Up All Your Favorite Summer Hits, Retrieved August 7, 2015, "...BFFs Lucia, Elisa and Juliet formed a band called LEJ (or Elijay) where they sing music with classical and world music influences. In addition to their own eclectic music, the trio creates awesome mashups...."
- HANNAH ORENSTEIN, August 4, 2015, Seventeen magazine, These Childhood BFFs Created a Mashup of Summer's Top Hits and It's Everything: Lucie, Elisa, and Juliette slay "Uptown Funk," "Hey Mama, and more., Retrieved August 7, 2015, "...They've been performing together since 2012 and just released this incredible mashup of summer's top pop and R&B hits. ..."
- Vincent Daniel, 07/08/2015, France TV information, (in French) L.E.J, les trois filles qui cartonnent sur YouTube : "Si on avait su, on ne se serait pas habillées en pyjamas !", Retrieved August 7, 2015, "...La surprise est totale !" s'exclame Elisa. Elle est le "E" de L.E.J, avec Lucie et Juliette, un groupe qui cartonne depuis que les jeunes femmes ont posté sur YouTube la vidéo Summer 2015, da..."
- Margaux Duguet (August 6, 2015). "Elisa du groupe L.E.J : "Summer 2015 a été fait sur un coup de tête"". Europe 1. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
...(in French)... (from Google translate)...the three female students of 21 years ... The Tryo group launches a competition for amateurs . " Juliette said: ' it is done ' and posted a video ' at the tears " , tells Elisa . And it works because the three friends win the contest and sing in a festival with Tryo . " It was our first big stage, we even had no name yet ," recalled the girl, " people asked us if we did anything , so we decided to go ."...
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