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Lenny Zakatek in the Teatre Municipal d’Artà (2014)
|Birth name||Lenny du Platel|
|Also known as||"The Voice" on The Alan Parsons Project|
29 July 1947 |
Karachi, British India
|Genres||Funk, rock, blues, R&B, disco, soul, pop|
|Associated acts||The Alan Parsons Project, Gonzalez, Pilot, Funky Fever, Trailblazers|
Lenny Zakatek (born Lenny du Platel, 1947, Karachi, British India), also known as "The Voice", is a pop and rock singer and musician who has lived in London since the age of thirteen. Zakatek was born just prior to Karachi becoming part of Pakistan and is best known for his work with the British bands Gonzalez and The Alan Parsons Project.
In 1964, Zakatek formed a rock band called The Trailblazers, as lead singer and rhythm guitarist. On their first tour of US military bases in Europe, they became familiar with the Motown sound. The Trailblazers returned to the UK with a new soul influence and were renamed Funky Fever. They toured the UK and Europe for several years and also played nightclubs in London, including Gulliver's, Whisky a Go Go, The Marquee, Ronnie Scott's, The Scotch of St. James and The Revolution. Funky Fever also backed Inez and Charlie Foxx and The Drifters on their European tours.
Lynsey de Paul and Dudley Moore took an interest in Zakatek's voice, look and stage presence in the early 1970s. De Paul dubbed him "Zakatek" and wrote two singles "I Gotcha Now" backed with "So Good To You" (later recorded by Paul as the B-side on her hit single "Won't Somebody Dance With Me") and singles "Get Your Gun" backed with "Gotta Runaway". Ms De Paul introduced him to the UK through an article in the Daily Mirror entitled "Sugar Heap Girl's Big Find". The musicians who were featured on Zakatek's solo work were already known as some of the members of 10cc.
Between 1974 and 1981, Zakatek was the lead singer with Gonzalez. They recorded successful albums, including Our Only Weapon Is Our Music, and Shipwrecked. The worldwide disco hit, "I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet" came from this collaboration.
In 1977, Zakatek became a studio vocalist for The Alan Parsons Project, singing on many of their hits over a ten-year period. He was featured on twenty four songs on eight of The Alan Parsons Project albums, which included the hits "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You", "Games People Play", "You Don't Believe" and "Damned If I Do". About Zakatek's vocals on Alan Parson's Project tracks, the allaboutjazz.com reviewer Todd S. Jenkins wrote that: "Lenny Zakatek's singing on "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" and "Games People Play" is prototypical of soulful prog rock. His delivery adds a funky, bluesy air".
1979 saw the release of Zakatek's first solo album Lenny Zakatek, which was produced by Alan Parsons for A&M Records. Single releases included "Brandy", "Say I Love You" and "Where Is The Love". In 1986, Zakatek formed a band called The Immortals, with John Deacon on bass guitar, and Robert Ahwai on lead guitar. Their single "No Turning Back", was included on the soundtrack to the film, Biggles.
In 1988, he started a parallel career as a manager, music publisher and record producer. He managed and co-produced three of Japan's most prolific recording artists, Tomoyasu Hotei, Miki Imai and Kumiko Yamashita. he also co-wrote and produced several songs on Hotei's first solo album, Guitarhythm. In the UK he managed 7th Heaven, Huff and Herb, and The 3 Jays. The latter two acts achieved successes in the dance market. Zakatek's publishing company All Zakatek Music, co-published some of the cuts on Kubb's debut album. He has published and managed Sony/BMG artist Jah Waggie, the creative alter-ego of Jeff Patterson. Zakatek's second solo album Small But Hard, was released in 1989.
In 1995, Zakatek performed with Joni Mitchell at the Great Music Experience in Nara City, Japan. He shared the stage with INXS, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan and Tomoyasu Hotei and worked with Michael Kamen, with whom he went to do other projects.
Zakatek now plays throughout Europe and the UK with the Boogie Brothers, a 12 piece R&B band. He also appeared at corporate events as a solo performer, showcasing his different musical styles. His two children, singer Amber du Platel and singer-songwriter Leon du Platel, sometimes accompany him at those events.
In March 2010, Zakatek announced a return to the stage playing a selection of Alan Parsons Project songs.
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