The origin of Lesibu Grand (pronounced Le-SEE-boo Grand) can be pinpointed with unusual accuracy: June 28, 2017, when Tyler-Simone Molton bumped into John Renaud at the Pains of Being Pure at Heart show at The Earl in East Atlanta.
The two had been acquaintances, but until that moment didn’t realize how much they shared in common.
Tyler-Simone grew up in a diverse neighborhood in the suburbs of Atlanta, a somewhat conventional-looking place with a surprising degree of creative vitality. There, Tyler-Simone was exposed to a great variety of musical genres. Like everyone else, she loved the local hip-hop heroes like Outkast, Eryka Badu, Lil Wayne, but also hung out with punks, metalheads, and indie kids. She also loved listening to late-70s new wave bands like Talking Heads and Blondie, punk bands like the Clash, and 90s rockers Green Day, and Nirvana. She did not cling to one genre as her identity. A transplant from New England, John moved to Athens, GA while playing bass for Ace of Heart Records’ alt-rock band Crab Daddy and eventually moved to Atlanta where he played with a variety of local rock and funk bands.
John shared Tyler-Simone’s interest in synth-drenched indie-pop, and shortly after their chance encounter at the Pains of Being Pure at Heart show, the two sunk deeply into an unexpected songwriting frenzy. Completing each other’s thoughts and phrases, the two wrote an entire album’s worth of original compositions in just over a month. Thereafter, they brought in Brian Turner on guitar, Lee Wiggins on drums, and Chris Case on keyboards to complete their sound. The band takes its name from Tyler-Simone’s middle name given to her by her maternal grandfather, who emigrated from South Africa.
Lesibu Grand’s debut single, “Hush Hush”, produced by LA-disc jockey/producer Christian James Hand (The Mowglis), explores the nuances of self doubt and insecurity in the modern, overly-connected world, drawing on the musical stylings of The Motels, Blondie, and Berlin. Lesibu Grand’s second single, “Miranda”, has a strong Pixies influence and centers around a couple struggling to keep their relationship together in 50s suburbia — until a shock wave in the time/space continuum sends them into deep outer space.