History

tumblr_mkqq5yVxDj1s87zy5o2_r1_1280Conceived sometime in 2010, ‘Personal Life’ is a London based jazzy-soul collective formed by Producer Robert Strauss, featuring the classic sounding voice of Stuart Lisbie plus (core members of Amy Winehouse’s touring band) Xantoné Blacq and Nathan Allen.

The vision for this project is to bring back into popular consciousness the sound, production, songwriting & musicality dating back to the glory days of the music industry, when commercial pop also meant culturally significant, sophisticated and catchy music made with integrity for people of all ages to enjoy.

“We believe in a movement of real music, hand made to last the test of time. Reflecting the sounds and values of people during an incredibly inspiring, honest and spiritually elevated period in popular music history”


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Robert Strauss // Musical Director, Bass Player, Songwriter

Songwriter, Arranger, Multi-instrumentalist, Producer, Engineer (and man behind London’s WAX Recording Studio), Robert has been releasing music championed by DJ’s & tastemakers worldwide since 2005.

Robert is band leader and performs live (on electric bass). His creative partnership with Stuart Lisbie forms the basis of Personal Life’s compositions.

For more history & his production backround check Robert’s website, wikipedia, facebook


Stuart Lisbie // Vocalist, Lyricist

The voice and spiritual leader or the group, legendary UK vocalist Stuart Lisbie is a vibrant and intensely powerful performer at the heart of the bands live performances.

With his roots planted deep in Jamaican musicality and tradition, Stuart’s vocals can be heard on  Reggae, House, Hip Hop, Jungle and Broken Beat releases dating back to 1987.  For the latest news from Stu, check his facebook fanpage.


Xantoné Blacq // Fender Rhodes

Producer, Multi-Instrumentalist and Vocalist, Xan Blacq built a reputation of creating music at the highest level. He has worked with Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, Earth Wind & Fire, Mark Ronson, Nigel Kennedy and Candi Staton amongst many others. Be sure to check out Xan’s amazingly impressive artistic output. www.xanblacq.com


Nathan Allen // Drums

Nathan has been playing drums and producing music for over 20 years. Nathan has worked with various artists around the world from Amy Winehouse to Tom Jones… Check Nathan’s head nodding beats on his soundcloud page here


Max Grunhard // Sax

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Max has played Sax with Prince, Nikka Costa, Spanky Wilson and Quantic Soul Orchestra among others. Max also a talented producer. His latest projects ’Ibibio Sound Machine’ & ‘Konkoma’ Electro Ghanaian Afro-funk outfits released on Soundway Records. Check maxgrunhard.com and his Facebook.


Scott Baylis // Trumpet & Flugelhorn

Scott’s played with a list of musicians that’s truly baffling…He’s also a serious Jazz Pianist (who started playing keys at 9). A seasoned veteran on the London scene, Scott has played with everyone from Maceo Parker & Prince to Roy Ayers, Martha Reeves and the Baker Brothers. Check him on facebook


Frida Mariama Touray // Backing Vocals.
Originally from Sweden (and the baby of the group) Frida a.k.a. ‘Mariama’ is a new major Talent on the London Jazz & soul Scene. Her debut EP, recorded by Robert Strauss (and produced by Feng Bao) can be heard here . Check her facebook fanpage here, Here’s a killer performance of here at Ronnie Scotts in London.

Tello Morgado // Percussion*

A native of Angola, Tello is a 3rd generation percussionist who has worked with some of London & Brazil’s most celebrated artist including: Jocelyn Brown, Peter Gabriel, Groove Armada, Leona Lewis and so many more,Considered to many to be a next generation Paulinho Da Costa, Tello is also bandleader in his own right check out his London based Royal Batuke Ensemble.


Anna Croad // Violin

Anna is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied with Howard Davis. Anna regularly performs with several symphony orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. She also enjoys working with the New London Soloists’ Chamber Orchestra and the London Soloists’ Chamber Orchestra.

As a soloist herself she has performed the Bruch Violin Concerto and the Bach Double Violin Concerto to critical acclaim and has toured across the country with various chamber music ensembles, providing music for a wide range of audiences. Anna has been fortunate to work with many famous artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Maxim Vengerov, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Opera Babes. Stay up to date with Anna via her facebook page.


Alex Barnes // Cello

Alex started playing the cello at the age of ten, and by the time he reached thirteen had already won a place at Chetham’s School of Music, studying with Helen Thatcher and Gillian Thoday. In 2006 he graduated with honours from the Royal Academy of Music, having studied with Lionel Handy, and performed in masterclasses with various internationally acclaimed cellists including, Colin Carr, Anssi Karttunen, Bruno Schrecker and Robert Cohen.

Alex has taken part in many competitions including prizes and awards including Richmond-upon-Thames Young Musician of the Year 2006, and was awarded “Highly Commended” in the 2005 May Mukle ‘cello prize at the RAM. Recently Alex performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Kew Sinfonia, rehearsed the Schumann Cello Concerto in summer 2007 with the Dartington Festival Orchestra. Alex is plays with orchestras throughout the UK and abroad, including Principal Cello with the Lancashire Sinfonietta, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Trafalgar Sinfonia. He is also a founding member of the Montepulciano Quartet. Stay up to date with Mr. Barnes via his facebook page.


*Additional Percussion on tracks: Classic Lady, Distance Can Be Sweet, and Give into the Night by Des Morgan (of Yam Who?)