How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
Well, the way that the album even got recorded is a story in and of itself. I was working on material with a group I was with at the time and also writing for a solo project that I had intended to do for some time. When I finished my self-produced project it was well received in the Detroit market but I felt I needed to shop it around to a label to get to the next level. I had met Mike (Grammy winning producer Michael J. Powell- Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Rachelle Ferrell, Randy CrawfordÖetc.) on a few occasions and handed it to him, he liked what he heard. I would call him periodically in hopes to get him to work with me. It was frustrating, you teeter on a thin line, you donít want to bug someone to the point of turning them off, but you gotta get noticed. He was well in demand and every time I called, he was in the studio working with someone or being the busy producer he is.
What aspect of the creative process, from concept to market, do you personally find to be the most rewarding?
For me, the writing and performing of a song and the audiencesí positive response to it has to be the most rewarding. To perform and record a song you wrote and have someone come to you and tell you how much it has impacted their life is so gratifying itís beyond words. Thatís when you really know youíre doing what you should be doing in life.
How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?
Iíve loved and been around music all my life. My father was a musician and as a young child I remember sitting on top of the freezer and him teaching some of the great songs from his era. My mother said I would wake up singing every day. Music is just in me, Iíve done it all my life. I canít say itís been the love of my life. Itís challenging, like a love hate relationship. There were times I wanted to give it up or wandered is this really what I should be doing, but something would happen and I would see someone perform and it would inspire me to continue. Touching people and moving them in a way that affects their emotional state on multiple levels, that really inspires me!
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
Robert Williams is my mentor and friend. He is a wonderful actor and teacher in Detroit. ďWhen the student is ready the teacher will appear,Ē he would say, and that is just what happened. I was at a point in my career when I felt there had to be more than just singing words and hitting notes. I felt emotion when I would sing, but consistency and to what degree were my concern. With his studies in acting, Robert taught me the steps needed to reach an organic truth in a song. Itís something Iím still striving for with every performance.
How would you finish this sentence? ďI donít like to go a day without_________?
I donít like to go a day without meditating and visualizing.
Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?
My favorite current male artists are Stevie Wonder and Sting. Female artists are, Mary J Blige for her rawness and truth and Rachelle Ferrell, a master of the voice.