23rd Hour

Tell us about yourself.

We’re Sherry-Lynn Lee & George Paolini, and our duet is called 23rd Hour.

I (Sherry) grew up on a tiny tropical island called Mauritius, where I learned to speak Mauritian Creole, French and English. I wrote my first song the day I was told I couldn’t enter a singer-songwriter contest because I only do covers. I was 14.

George grew up in Connecticut in a large family. When he was 9, he encountered a piano during a family vacation and that was it. He was playing piano. Before long, he was writing, picking up new instruments, and recording demos.

Many decades later, I moved to the Bay Area for a job and we met at a coffee shop. I liked his music so I introduced myself and suggested we get together for a jam. Little did I know that this was a pivotal moment for both of us.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.

Take a pop singer-songwriter, add a songwriter well versed in classic rock & jazz, and put them together in a room. 23 hours later, a really catchy, quirky pop song is the result and 23rd Hour is born. We’re a jazz-pop duo spanning different genres, generations, and languages. Our art is a blend of our differences through the affinities we have in melody and lyric writing.

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Tell us the reason you decided to go into music.

It was more an instinct than a reason. It was what we both naturally did. Playing music is part of who we are.

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Tell us about the story behind your song.

We decided to challenge ourselves to write a Christmas song that would sound like a classic Christmas song. One night, I (Sherry) wrote a couple of verses and the chorus during a brainstorming session. I brainstorm a lot when I can’t fall asleep. The next day I had three different ideas for Christmas songs. George also had another one. We wrote two Christmas songs in less than 3 hours. However, “Have You Noticed the Season” instantly resonated with us more so we decided to produce it.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song.

We recorded the guitar, various Christmas-y instruments and vocals in our home studio, and hired session musicians in LA to play other instruments: drums, bass, extra guitars, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet and trombone. We also hired an arranger to help with the horn quartet. It’s the most involved production we’ve done so far and we’re quite happy with it.

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Tell us the artists you will like to collaborate with in the future.

Sherry: Evanescence, Beyonce, Ingrid Michaelson.

George: Chick Corea or James Taylor or both.

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Tell us the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far.

Independent Artist Buzz, Taste TV, Comic Pop Library, Beehive.

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Tell us the kind of work you like to do apart from music.

Anything creative! Woodworking, welding, painting, writing, cooking, so many! We are content when we are creating and happiest when we are creating together.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for the purchase of your music.

Go to 23rdhr.com and scroll to the bottom. All our social links are there.

Our music can be purchased there as well.

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Tell us more about your music career and experience so far.

In March 2017, we released our debut album, which reached #10 on the iTunes Jazz new best seller list. We are focused on building a following online and close to home. Our video for “Have You Noticed the Season” already has close to 10,000 views on Facebook. We are entirely focused on creating more and greater material and getting it in front of people.

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Tell us your favourite artistes and the reason for choosing them.

The Beatles – Lennon/McCartney – best songwriting duo ever.

Paul Simon & Joni Mitchell – great songwriters.

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Tell us your definition of a hit song.

A song that moves many people to share it with everyone they know.

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Tell us your happiest moment in your music career.

Does the fortune cookie predicting our fame and fortune count? Just kidding. Our happiest moment is always when we’re playing. Our audience is always very attentive and appreciative of the music, it’s very gratifying to play for people who truly enjoy our art.

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Tell us about the genre of your music.

We’ve been told we create genre confusion. It’s a mix of jazz, rock, folk, even country, sometimes. The best way to describe it is a jazz-pop fusion.

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Tell us the names of music producers you will prefer for music production and state your reasons.

Quincy Jones: Other than his legendary status, for his wisdom and insights.

Ryan Tedder: He’s quite prolific.

Max Martin: The king of hit makers. Wouldn’t it be cool to watch this guy work?

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Tell us the secret behind success in life.

Work harder and smarter than the competition. The “smarter” part is key.

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Tell us your view on signing to a major label and “Doing It Yourself”.

We’re always open to talk. However, we are currently self-sufficient and enjoy keeping control of our work, so it would have to be a pretty sweet deal to get us to sign on the dotted line.

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Tell us the challenges you are facing as a musician.

One challenge every artist faces is figuring out how to strike the right balance between creating something very unique, and creating something that the world wants/needs/is ready for right this moment.

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Give a piece of advice to your fans.

I’ve talked to many fans who tell me that hearing us play made them want to go home and dust off their instrument. That’s always really cool to hear. What I would say is, go do it. Everybody is capable of art. It will probably not be great at first, but with time it will get there. And if you’ve already been making art for a while, put it out there, test it, iterate, do it again. Isn’t it about the journey anyway? Don’t worry about naysayers. They’re so busy criticizing, they’re not creating much. Creating is magic. Let’s make more magic!

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