Leonard Dozier has been asked all his life about his relationship to Lamont Dozier, one-third of the Motown songwriting and hit-making trio Holland-Dozier-Holland. "My answer is always I have no idea whether we are related," says Dozier. “I know it was great to wake up one day and see that his son was following me on social media.” While much of his renown comes from his work as an actor and voice actor, Dozier’s continuous love for songwriting and singing has in fact continued since he began recording in the mid 90’s leading to a record deal in the late 90’s while a student at Fordham University in New York City. When corporate politics resulted in the dissolution of his record deal, Leonard found himself turning his attention to acting and voiceover work. Over the course of the last decade, Leonard – who has been nominated twice for prestigious Broadway World Best Actor awards - has appeared in a variety of key stage and film roles, most notably in the Ernie Hudson/Todd Bridges (Nollywood Oscar-nominated film) Turning Point, the Emmy-winning Fever:1793 and in a number of plays including his new one-man show about the life of AME founder Richard Allen. Ironically, it was his musical work in the studio that lead to his work as a voice actor. Leonard was fortuitously ‘side-tracked’ by engineer/producer Andrew Manzano (N’Sync, Dave Hollister, Brian Mcknight) who offered him free studio time in exchange for his distinctive tones on a promotional spot for another artist. “ Though Leonard finds music gives him the most artistic freedom it has been the profession that has disappointed time and again. The last of such disappointment took place in 2004 when he was nearly signed by Blue Note’s VP Tom Evered. “Label space, budget and the signings of Anita Baker and Al Green was the nail in the coffin for me so to speak,” he says. He would continue writing and recording (co-writing and producing the beautiful “When I Say” with the late, Grammy-nominated musician George Mesterhazy and occasionally performing at venues such as the New York City Soul Café and at the Bitter End where he shared a bill with Grammy-winner Gordon Chambers. His self-produced 2011 “Vitamin L” album resulted in radio play and a video for the track, “This Thanksgiving” and more recently, 2016’s, “Soul Of A Pisces,” in which two songs, “Nothing Sweeter” and “Soulmate” (for which Leonard wrote all the parts for the instruments on the track) have also garnered some airplay. “I made the two albums because I missed making music,” says Leonard, who cites Luther Vandross (about whom he’s writing a work-in-progress script for a proposed biopic) among his vocal influences and musical heroes. The multifaceted Dozier, whose distinctive voice can be heard on NFL Films Presents’ recent recap of the Philadelphia Eagles’ historic Super Bowl win is among the illustrious narrators and voices of NFL Films and the NFL. An ADDY award-winning voice actor, he considers his work in 2012’s Hollywood-produced movie Legends Of Oz (alongside Dan Ackroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer and Lea Michele) as the primary catalyst that led to the creation of “Get Behind The Mic,” his now-nationally-known workshop, highlighted in mega-union SAG-AFTRA’s magazine, distributed to its thousands of members. Meanwhile, with an increasingly busy schedule as a voice actor, the married father of five reflects with justifiable pride, “I’ve achieved the first two goals I started out with when I began my career behind a microphone a few decades ago – moving forward in my career in music would complete the journey.
David Nathan is the founder of Soulmusic.com and is a renowned journalist and biographer who has profiled many legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Usher and Whitney Houston. He is an advisory board member of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
NFL Films voice narrator Leonard Dozier is stopping by the Atlantic City Library Thursday, Aug. 17, as part of his 2017 Songwriter Tour.
A multi-faceted performer, the film and, award-winning voice actor and vocalist is a native of South Jersey who acquired an affinity for both acting and music. Sea-sawing back and forth between both passions, Dozier hosts voice acting workshops in several cities and narrates for NFL Films — while continuing to write his own music.…
Music will win out Thursday when he performs pieces from his album “Songwriter” starting at 5 p.m. as part of the library’s Third Thursday Concert Series. The album pays tribute to artists such as James Taylor and Stevie Wonder. The concert is free and the library is located at 1 N. Tennessee Ave., Atlantic City. Call 609-345-2269, ext. 3112 or go to ACFPL.org.
Atlantic City Library's Third Thursday Concert Series
The Atlantic City Free Public Library presents free entertainment with its Third Thursday Concert Series, May through September Atlantic City Library’s Third Thursday Concert Series The Atlantic City Free Public Library will bring free entertainment to the city with its Third Thursday Concert Series. Performances will be held 5 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month through September at the Main Library. Leonard Dozier on Aug. 17 – Accomplished actor and ADDY award-winning voice actor Leonard Dozier kicks off his 2017 Songwriter Tour and makes his only Atlantic City stop in support of his new album "Songwriter," which pays tribute to some of the great songwriters in music history, including: James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach and Babyface.
Locust St. Riot on Sept. 21 – Locust St. Riot is the music of singer/songwriter Justin Gonzalez being brought to life by the collaboration of three friends, trained as classical musicians, now exploring what originally drew them to music. LSR's originals can be heard on its self-titled CD, and it always pays homage to their inspirations with covers of Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics and Chris Isaak.
Actor Leonard Dozier Calls Harrisburg His Second Home
Leonard Dozier, accomplished vocal actor and stage actor, visited Good Day PA to talk about he came to adopt Harrisburg as his second home. Dozier, of New Jersey, has performed in many Harrisburg area stage productions and is set to star in Open Stage Harrisburg’s “Father Comes Home” in February.
Dozier is a popular voice actor and is one of the newest narrators of NFL Films. He brings his “Get Behind the Mic” workshop to many locations including Harrisburg. Learn more about him at http://www.leonarddozier.com/
New NFL Voice Actor
When Leonard Dozier is ready to get to work, he needs complete silence in his home. The air conditioner is turned off, windows are closed, and all TVs are muted.
Any sounds can be a distraction. Worse, they can ruin a take at the home studio in his bedroom.
Next to his bed, memory-foam walls surround a tiny space with a $1,000 microphone and a sheet of lines for Dozier to read
Dozier, 37, a South Jersey native and professional voiceover actor, has voiced characters in major motion pictures. He has narrated audiobooks, and he has recorded countless commercials.
His most recent project is as the newest voice featured in NFL Films.
Despite his success, being a voice actor wasn’t always the dream.
Dozier, of Egg Harbor City, grew up in Somers Point and attended Pleasantville High School, where he played power forward for the basketball team. Basketball dominated his early high school life. But he then turned to theater, and that became his love.
Dozier also did the morning announcements all during the high school.
While many people told him he should pursue radio and voice work, Dozier wasn’t too interested in making it a career. It didn’t seem like real performing.
“I didn’t equate what I was doing in high school to voiceover work, and there was a second thought that voiceover work was not on the level of being an actor,” he said. “So I went to Fordham to study theater, since my first love was being onstage.”
Along with wanting to become an actor, Dozier also pursued an R&B singing career after college and recorded a few songs.
One day, Dozier was offered an opportunity: He could have free studio time to record his music if he lent his voice to a commercial.
That was when Dozier realized there might be a career for him in voiceover acting. He started landing spots in commercials and narrating for audio books.
He believes he made the right decision.
“Ironically, the music industry has been rough since the early 2000s, and the voice acting world is now looked at in a different light,” Dozier said.
He continued to work in narration, something that made use of his background in acting. Dozier has landed roles in narration and acting. His best-known work was in the CGI animated movie “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” in which he provided voices alongside actors Dan Akroyd, Lea Michele and Kelsey Grammer.
Although it didn’t do well in the box office, Dozier credits the Oz movie with helping him promoting his workshops. He does seminars across the country, helping students who want to pursue a career in voiceover acting. Recently he held workshops in San Francisco and Seattle, and he is now teaching weekly classes at Little Rock Films and Studios in Ventnor.
Most of the students he meets ask questions about how they can break into the entertainment industry.
His response? Understand acting and train constantly.
For Dozier, a lifetime of training has led him to his dream job: voiceover work for NFL Films.
Dozier approached the company’s audio department to try to get his foot in the door. He finally found a senior producer’s contact information and sent him a demo. He then performed a live audition for a group of producers, and a couple of days later he was told he had the job.
Most of his work will be for the NFL network’s “NFL Films Presents” episodes and possibly some segments for the popular series “A Football Life.”
While taking a tour with producers of the company’s property in Mount Laurel — which he describes as a mix between Universal Studios and the National Football Hall of Fame — he couldn’t believe he had landed a job.
Standing in his makeshift audio booth in his Egg Harbor City home, reciting lines about the Seattle Seahawks into his microphone while wearing a Denver Broncos hat — he’s a Denver fan — he was all smiles and laughs in between takes.
“As a young man from Pleasantville, I never thought any of this would’ve happened in my career. I’ve exceeded my wildest expectations,” he said. “So anything that comes is a bonus.”
Like In the Days of Motown, Another Songwriter Shows It's All About the Song
Leonard Dozier has been asked all his life about his relationship to Lamont Dozier, one-third of the Motown songwriting and hitmaking trio Holland-Dozier-Holland. "My answer is always I have no idea whether we are related," says Dozier. Still, Dozier aspires to be every bit the songwriter Lamont was and this is supremely evident on his forthcoming CD "Soul of a Pisces," out April 20th through Tunecore and available via all major online retailers. Like Lamont Dozier before him, he is a versatile songwriter with profiency in several genres. While many remember Dozier's Motown hits such as "Baby, I Need Your Loving" and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" they may not so easily remember his number one hit "Two Hearts" with Phil Collins. One of the first two singles from the album is the soaring R&B summer jam "Nothing Sweeter" which has been receiving some airplay on college and internet stations. The song is hybrid throwback to the early 80s and mid 90's and Dozier's gliding baritone is reminiscent of the late Luther Vandross. The second single, "Soulmate" is a musically beautiful masterpiece (in which he wrote the music) flavored with this velvety baritone. The song has gained some traction on smooth jazz radio and among smooth jazz prgrammers like Michael Tozzi. The thirs single from the album (out March 15th) is the urban and sexy "Yes" in which he croons lyrics like:
"Be my sweetie, please say yes, would I be your baby? Yes, hell yes. Like Freddie, I'll say 'you are my lady.' We can do this if you want to do this. Just say yes."
Quite frankly, it's the kind of neo-retro song missing from R&B today. Dozier's "song-centric" approach is not merely limited to his own writing but also to the songwriters who have influenced his approach. "For me, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder influence me greatly as a writer and yet they are very different in there styles and formats," says Dozier. The versatility among formats is what defines "Soul of a Pisces." In a bit of a twist, his voice glides over a terrific pop-soul-rock remake of the Fine Young Cannibals massive hit "She Drives Me Crazy." Fast forward a few tacks ahead and the jazz-funk socially conscious "Gun" paints a harrowing account of the topic of guns in this country. All the more amazing is how much Gil Scott Heron, who wrote and released the song in 1981, was ahead of his time on many topical issues. If music tells the story, the soul of a Pisces is a deep and enigmatic one filled with romance, hurt, reflection and inspiration. More importantly, it defies genre simply because of Dozier's commitment to writing great songs regardless of genre. "This versatility and deep understanding and appreiciation of music, melody and lyrics is what I believe helped someone like Lamont Dozier write over 50 number one hits," adds Dozier. "We hear catchy songs today but we don't hear craftsmanship in the songs. I believe the industry has sadly moved away from songwriting as a craft and art form."
In spite of his relatively unknown name in music circles (compared to the likes of Lamont), he is no newcomer to the scene having had a couple of indie label deals at the turn of the century. The 37 year old is well regarded and accomplished as an actor and voice actor with a resume that includes two regional Broadway World Best Actor nominations, an ADDY award as a voice actor and almost twenty years in the business as a whole. "Soul of a Pisces" is special and with the right promotion behind it it could catapult this new Dozier into recognizable territory--if not similar than at least close--of that Dozier of yesteryear.