From: NY, United States
Genre: Pop, Jazz Standards, R&B
As long as I can remember I’ve been attracted to music with funk and soul. The first tapes I asked my mom to buy me were Stevie Wonder’s “Motown Legend” & “Greatest Hits II,” Fresh Prince’s “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper,” and LL’s “Walking with a Panther.” It expanded to Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, the Drifters, Lionel Richie, Run DMC, and then the untouchable Tribe called Quest. I appreciated some of the rock and alternative, and to this day love 80’s tunes, but at the time couldn’t put my finger on what attracted me so much to Rap and Motown.
Now living in heart of Harlem I don’t have to look far; it’s all around me. I am a huge fan of Eminem, Jurassic 5, Amy Winehouse, Dilated Peoples, Cee-Lo, Talib Kweli, Back Eyed Peas, John Legend, Kanye West, Akil Dasan, Common, Outkast, the Roots etc…Basically all the artists that have something new to say. Some of these performers head charities, build schools, buy books and make a positive change. That is the road less taken, but it is the primary force that drives me. Sometime around 18 I was introduced to tap dancing and the ol’ movie musical. I was floored and challenged by the caliber of performer; this is when I was introduced this incredible music. The more I learned ‘bout that time period and the music, the better it got. These performers rose to the occasion of being stars, they were more than familiar faces; they were personalities that the fans could count on and believe in. Music meant more to these people, who were going through the Depression and World Wars, than just a catchy phrase and a hot video. And the songs, the songs were gems that flowed out of these composers’ open hearts through these performers’ souls. I know it sounds corny, but listen to Billie sing “Strange Fruit” or Sarah Vaughn sing “‘Round Midnight” and disagree with me. In the 21st century we have some wonderful personalities, who fit the description that I’m referring to; I’d just like to join the ranks.
Recently I rapped in Broadway's Easter Bonnet at the Minskoff Theater. (Lion King.) I also arranged, produced and performed “Favorite Dish” a two sold out shows with 16 dancers behind me at Roseland Ballroom for “Broadway Bares XVIII.” I arranged and performed with the cast of Spamalot for the “Gypsy of the Year” competition. Maloney directed a show at The Cutting Room with a seven piece band and three backup singers. It was a sold-out performance and we’ve been asked back. I’ve been selected by Wilshire Artists to collaborate with other songwriters. I wrote the lyrics to a song entitled “Magazine” Girl which is sparked the interest of music libraries and other recording artists. My music has been played on many radio stations including XM, Sirius, WOR, and NPR as well as 3,500 AMC theaters nationwide. I’ve been in off-Broadway shows, modeled, done TV and film, and sang with big bands, but I know this music is where I can make my stamp. I want to bring brilliant and still relevant tunes back that the younger ears have never heard, (sometimes, with drastic interpretations, sometimes not) and write songs that will be as immortal as the ones from the American Songbook.
I know the power of great music is incomparable to any other art form. Whether it is expressing the words for how someone feels for the love of their life, inspiring someone to be the best person they can be, taking the listeners to a better world, or sharing oneself completely and singing about a broken heart. It is a wonderful gift to give, and I couldn’t dedicate my life to anything else.
I intend to bring my music, along with the songs forgotten, to the generations of today by giving them something they’ve never heard before. I’ll start the journey by getting everyone’s head bobbin’ to a funked-up standard. Next hit ‘em with a tune that they can groove to, featuring the upright bass. Then casually mention before they slow dance to a ballad that the cut they were just feeling was written in 1935, we just put a little spin on it.
I’m not here to stand on a soapbox and tell these kids that they should appreciate the music that I love; they’re too independent, and would change the channel before I finish my first sentence. I am going to bring the music to them, bring it to today - give it some flava. That way I can sing and spit rhymes to songs of substance. Reaching the kids from the ‘burbs to the cities.
I live up in Harlem and love New York. I love the history, the opportunities and the mix of cultures and people. I also love almost every genre of music, depending on my mood. That being said; I don’t just have an appreciation for standards and hip-hop, I swear by both of them. The top dogs on the hip-hop scene prove that you can do amazing things with Pro-Tools in the studio, and lay down incredible beats layered with a thousand intricacies. But that acoustical-live sound cannot be touched. Seeing a singer scat or genius musicians improvise in the pocket is on a whole different level.
I‘m a pretty simple guy- I love real music- I love a funky beat – I don’t drink or do drugs- I love clever, thought provoking, or beautifully metaphorical lyrics- I love to perform- I listen to music spanning centuries- I want to inspire and give back- I’m pretty talented (a wee bit confident maybe) but I know, without a doubt, my head and heart are in the right place.
Thanks for the support ya’ll. NATEKid