Thank you for taking the time to have this interview with IMAAI.
Tell us about your music.
I call the genre ‘Symphonic Soul,’ which encapsulates soul, funk, reggae, and the Motown vintage orchestral sound.
When did you start performing?
I started performing live music back in 2008 when I was a freshman in college. I loved it so much, I began to fuse it with my major, which was music composition. After graduating, fusing orchestras with my bands became my favorite thing to do. Today, though I am a solo artist, I tend to work the same band members that I grew up playing with. There’s nothing like that type of synergy.
What do you consider to be your hometown and how does that affect your music?
I started my first band in Stockton, California, where I grew up and went to college. Now, I consider Charlotte, North Carolina more of a hometown, but I travel back to California on a fairly regular basis to play concerts with my crew there. Stockton afforded me the ability and opportunity to hone my gifts with very little red tape. I had access to orchestras, could build my own orchestras, residencies at venues, regular house band gigs, opening sets for grammy award winning artists, and much more.
What performers have been your inspiration?
Stevie Wonder has been my biggest inspiration, mainly because, in my view, he is his own genre. Stevie never stuck to what many music industry people may have tried to push him into, and he was able to make a name for himself because of it. That is someone that I most identify with.
What do you base your success on?
In music, I base my success in music on how my live performances and albums make my listeners feel and think. When I hear that my set inspired someone, provoked thought, made them cry, or evoked any other kind of strong emotion, even negative ones, I know I’ve done my job. To make a lasting impression is a success. To make such an impression on tens of thousands of people would is a major success.
What was your latest musical release?
My latest full length album release is called ‘Zion.’ Three main things that inspired it are the prophets in the Bible, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album, and Tommy Sims’ Peace and Love album.
The contents of the album underscore a theme of truth and redemption. Some of the tracks seamlessly weave into each other, especially three tracks that I like to refer to when we’re playing live as ‘The Suite.’ The album features my full band, and orchestra, along with many other guests.
The latest single project I’m promoting is called ‘I Won’t Go,’ which is a statement of defiance set to an afro-funk groove.
Do you have any news to share?
I played my first International show this summer in Jerusalem, Israel. And a smaller version of my band and I are heading to Europe this fall. We’ll be promoting the album ‘Zion’ which will be out on vinyls by the time we head there, and a new project coming out called ‘The Vault.’
How can fans find you?
Fans can find me anywhere at this link!
Lastly, please share some final words with the fans.
Music is supposed to inspire. My earnest prayer before every performance, before every recording, is that the music touches and moves people in a deep way. If you’ve never heard of me, take a few minutes to listen, and I hope I see you at the next show!