Discuss your personality.
I am an extreme extrovert. I am very creative and artistic in parallel with being very technical. Along with being an artist, songwriter, and producer, I’m also a technology leader in the Information Technology industry.
Brief us about you as a musician.
I started off playing drums at age nine. By the time I was thirteen, I played in college parties within my brother’s band. My brother and I moved from live recordings to studio work. We launched an independent record label and production company in 1990 signing a variety of artists as well as working with several platinum producers and production companies; ARISTA Records, Harvey Alston who managed Teddy Riley, TJ Thompson produced Immature to name a few. I received formal vocal training from Mr. Bonds who was the head of the art department at Duke Ellington School of the arts. These experiences provided me the musical skills to write, produce, arrange and engineer my music today.
Go into details on what has changed in your life for choosing music as a career.
In my past, I owned, operated, and maintained a music business working with some of the most creative people in the game. Today, people consume music much differently than before. In my past, we would take months to work on one song which typically has a length of radio of three minutes and thirty seconds. I asked myself, does time equal quality? My projects as of 2011 focus on completing each song in two hours from initial thought to mixed and mastered. I do not write these songs in one sitting. I may start ten songs in one night then circle back on songs I feel; keep track of how much time I have invested.
Tell us the benefits and drawbacks of choosing music as a career.
In the past, I wrote music just because it is my passion. Throughout the years I have learned how music touches people in different ways. I received messages from my fans describing how I affect their day. In some cases, fans tell me how I was with them through their dark times and my music helped them get through. Being a songwriter comes with responsibility as music in some cases is like a time machine. When you hear a song, you are quickly transported in the past to a specific place seeing and feeling particular people and remembering conversations.
There is no drawback in choosing music as a career if you have the correct perspective. Choose music for love not the love of money. If you chase money, you lose every time. If you create music from the heart with passion, good things will follow.
Tell us how you will manage fame as an established artist.
Fame is in the eye and heart of the beholder. My question is what is fame? It means different things to different people. If fame is the view of being stalked by people that is not something I ever care to experience. Frame from the perspective of, being respected and being invited in people’s homes in their most intimate times is an honor that I cherish.
Elaborate on the storyline of this song.
“Visions” is a fun song providing multiple vantage points of musical arrangements. You will hear that there is no single solo instrument. This song offers visions of music; fun, with a Latin feel. I wrote this song after attending a Cuban party as I enjoyed the energy. This song provides visions of a live Cuban party.
Tell us the means of connecting you and purchasing your music online.
My music is available on all digital distribution platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and CD Baby to name a few.
Let us know the greatest moment of your music career.
The greatest moment of my career was when one of my fans opened up to me describing how my music helped him through very dark times. Touching people and making a difference is more important to me.
Tell us the highest amount of money you have ever received from your music career and how it happened.
I have been in the music business for over thirty years, and I have never written music for money. I haven’t kept track of revenue generated from my music career, but I can say, I have worked with platinum recording artists and major labels throughout the years.
Discuss your experience pertaining to live performances, gigs, shows, and tours.
I plan to perform live in the summer of 2018. I think it is important that I now only performed live but take time to talk to my fans after my performance.
Tell us how you interact with your fans.
I try to connect with my fans on social media as well as email. Music is a feeling so I try to get past the technical boundaries of digital media to understand the people and have fans understand me.
Tell us what you will like to change if you have the chance to turn back the hands of time.
If I had the opportunity to turn back the hands of time in my music career, I would start off writing from my heart vs writing what people tell me they want to hear. For years, I tried to meet the requirements of labels, management companies; publishing companies which I feel impacted the art of music. Today, I write from the heart and create what I feel.
Tell us the most important people that have boosted your music career and how you met them.
Many people directly touched my career, but I would put my mother at the top of my list. My mother surrounded me with music throughout my upbringing. My mother purchased me my first drum set, worked with me on my singing and music theory. The second would be my brother as he taught me how to play the keyboard and we learned the studio engineering process together.
Brief us on what you have in mind before considering music as a career.
I am a technologist in parallel with my music career. It is interesting how music and technology go hand in hand.
Discuss your good and bad experience in life.
Life is what you make it. I was raised to believe anyone can do anything if they have the passion. If you can see it, you can achieve it no matter what anyone says. I was told I would never be able to sing. I proved that person wrong for example, throughout the years I not only have released my own recordings but also produced vocal arrangements for platinum recording artists. My upbringing provided me confidence in myself and anyone I produce.
Name the artists that have influenced the world.
Brian Culbertson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley, Dave Koz, Terrence Blanchard, Kirk Whalum, George Duke, Gretchen Parlato, Jeff Lorber, and Boney James.
Tell us about your moment of rejection as a musician and how you can cope and move on.
Rejection is a part of life. Music is exciting as the music one person loves is the music another person dislikes. With that said, there is positive in all rejection as all feedback is an opportunity to learn.
Tell us the most negative comment you have ever received about your music.
I was told that my music is very basic. The funny thing is I took that as a compliment. If you are writing music for the consumer, basic is good. If you are writing music for the musician, complicated is good.
Tell us how to become a famous artist.
To become a recording artist requires passion, creativity coupled with talent. It is also essential to understand the business of digital music.
Tell us how you plan to make an impact on society.
I plan to create music to take people away from the craziness we live in the political environment of today. The divisiveness coupled with the challenges of media is making it hard for people personally.
Elaborate on the recording process of this song.
Every song I create uses different processes. It depends on what comes to mind which drives what happens first. Every song starts with a metronome. After the metronome, I may start with the keyboard, bass, or lead guitar.