Interviews

WARD’S RIGHT THERE WHERE HE SHOULD BE ....

Friday, 22 April 2011 07:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Promo_1Genial Chicagoan WARD BROWN is best known for fronting BROWN'S BAG. The outfit released two mighty fine modern soul albums – 'Labour Of Love' and 'Soul Satisfied' and both were acclaimed by the soul cognoscenti . For the past few years WARD'S been working on a major solo project. Working with RAYMOND EARL (of INSTANT FUNK), the set – 'Where I Should Be' - is almost set for release and those who've enjoyed a sneak preview concur that the LP will finish as one of 2011's very best soul albums. www.souljazzandfunk.com caught up with WARD to find out more about the exciting project, but first, for those unfamiliar with him and his work we wanted some personal background...... 

I'm WARD BROWN; my first release was 'Labour of Love' and following that album I released 'Soul Satisfied'. They were credited to BROWN'S BAG. I was born in Chicago and still reside there. I grew up living next door to MUDDY WATERS and after hearing him and his band rehearse when they were in town and watching guys like JAMES COTTON, PAUL BUTTERFIELD and all the blues guys, I caught a music bug that I just could not get rid of. I started playing drums with bands throughout Chicago at a very young age, which led to writing songs and working with several record companies around town. Somehow that blossomed into singing and playing guitar, owning a recording studio and eventually here we are with 'Where I Should Be' – an apt title ... don't you think?

Tell us a little about your music background .... who were the soul artists who influenced and inspired you?

I was born into a family of musicians. My oldest brother played keyboards and sang, the second oldest was an incredible bass player and singer and during that time I was one of the better drummers in the area. I really don't know how it happened, but we always played music. My early ambition was to make it to the cover of Modern Drummer magazine, then I started following the careers of guys like NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN and seeing that a lot of drummers were actual producers too. Somewhere during that time TSOP, MFSB, INSTANT FUNK and the Philadelphia sound really grabbed me and I found myself listening to the big production soul sound...Philly International, BARRY WHITE, etc.

 

WALTER CHRISTOPHER... SO AMAZING!

Sunday, 06 March 2011 13:04 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

waltNew Yorker Walter Christopher is a new name to most UK and European soul fans though inveterate seekers of quality soul will be aware that WALTER already has two albums under his belt. The boy from Harlem is now set to issue his third long player, 'It's All About Love Vol 2' and long before release – one track, 'There You Go Again' made the Starpoint Top 20 songs of 2010 chart.Stateside, the lead single – 'So Amazing' (no, not the LUTHER VANDROSS song) has won a place on countless radio station playlists. Clearly MR. C is destined for big things, so we needed to know more. We caught WALTER at his Harlem home and began by asking for a brief personal run down..... 

My name is Walter Christopher. I was born in North Carolina but relocated to Harlem, N.Y. as a child. As a child I liked to play basketball and eventually did gymnastics. I also studied some martial arts.

Tell us a little about your music background ... why did you get involved in music in the first place... who were the artists who influenced and inspired you......

My interest in music was originally sparked as a child listening to my mother's vinyl records. She played artists like ARETHA FRANKLIN, AL GREEN, GLADYS KNIGHT, THE SPINNERS, and THE TEMPTATIONS just to name a few. I also watched a lot of the TV show 'Soul Train'. As a teenager I sang in the church choir and that experience really fanned the flame of my desire to be a performer.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2011 11:04

 

JUMPIN’ WITH GINGER.....

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

GingerTonyNRWSoul Unsigned's first release of 2011 is a second compilation from Solar Radio's GINGER TONY. Snappily titled 'Jump Start 2', the set is as uncompromisingly eclectic as the first volume which GINGER and Soul Unsigned released last year. Because 'Jump Start 1' was critically acclaimed, embraced by soul collectors – AND praised and utilised by TONY'S fellow DJs, we needed to find out more about the new set and the man who put it together. Pinning down the self-effacing GINGER, we began by discovering some revealing personal details.....

My real name's TONY FARMER and I'm proud to say I'm a Cockney! Yes – born within the sound of Bow Bells - but my family moved from East London into the Sutton/Croydon area where I started DJ-ing in my mid-teens. Although my DJ partner STEVE LOWLES and I were on the mobile circuit (Weddings/Birthdays etc.) we did have our own "proper" music events. "Buffers" in Sutton High St. was always fun on a Monday night for us! By the time I'd hit my thirties, I decided I really wanted to play only the music I was into and ditched the mobile DJ thing. At the time I was in the printing industry, so with shift patterns etc I had plenty of spare time to throw myself into the "Soul Scene". Having moved into Essex (work commitments) I started to go to places like the Lacy Lady. Having only experienced South London's scene (apart from the occasional Prestatyn Weekender) I did enjoy making new friends and learning about the Essex scene. When I started DJ-ing in Essex I was still TONY FARMER - it was the late, great FROGGY who suggested the name "GINGER". He wasn't serious, but I thought "what the hell..."

 

ABOVE... BELOW... AND ABOUT WITH ANTHONY DAVID ...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 19:49 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

anthony_davidWith two fine albums under his belt Atlanta-based ANTHONY DAVID has won a reputation as a concerned and committed soul singer. His writing skills and understated delivery has made many draw a comparison with BILL WITHERS, but ANTHONY is quickly proving he can be his own man. Moreover, PRESIDENT OBAMA has recently admitted that MR DAVID is on his radar – "You know I have actually been listening to some neo-soul. The First Lady turned me onto ANTHONY DAVID – he's got some nice music". With a new album set for release – 'As Above So Below' - we needed to talk with ANTHONY to find out more that "nice music" – and of course that OBAMA connection.... we began, though, by asking MR.D. about how he got into music.....

I've always been a writer, and music became a way I could express myself. I got involved in the poetry scene here in Atlanta first, then music became an expansion of that. I'm a communicator first and foremost.

Briefly update us on your CV – how you got from where you started to where you are now.....

I did two independent albums, '3 Chords And The Truth' and 'Red Clay Chronicle'. They were released in the States and abroad. Then Universal combined the two and named the new set 'Acey Duecy'. My single 'Words', a duet with INDIA ARIE, a good friend and collaborator for years, got nominated for a Grammy. I then left Universal for Purpose Music group in 09 and began work on my current album, 'As Above So Below'.

Though you're from Savannah, you work out of Atlanta ... why do you think the city has such a vibrant and exciting soul scene?

It's a great place because people are allowed to cultivate their talent here, and there are plenty of people who will support them, even without having a big name.

Many commentators – even PRESIDENT OBAMA - describe the soul sounds of Atlanta as "nu-soul" or "neo soul" – what exactly do you up think they mean by that?

It's not just music from Atlanta, it's the music of this period in time – where we are now. I think it's all about the influence of hip-hop music combined with traditional soul sounds.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 10:17

 

FLORENCE BALLARD AND ME: A LEAP OF FAITH – SJF TALKS TO FAITH EVANS

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:25 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Faith_picAfter a five-year hiatus from the recording scene – a period of time that would be tantamount to career suicide for many artists in the 'here today, gone tomorrow' world of urban music – 37-year-old flame-haired FAITH EVANS is back with a fine new album, 'Something About Faith,' released on her own label, E-One Music. Despite her musical silence – which she says is partly due to the birth of her fourth child - Faith hasn't been totally inactive during the last few years. In 2008, she wrote her autobiography, 'Keep The Faith: A Memoir,' a candid confessional which made the New York Times bestseller list and kept her name in the headlines. She's also been busy at the reins of her new independent label, which she created after deciding to leave Capitol Records following the release of 2005's 'A Faithful Christmas.' SJF's Charles Waring recently talked to Faith about her new album – which features cameos from Snoop Dogg, Kelly Price, Jessica Reedy, and Keyshia Cole – and also asked her about her upcoming acting role in a new Hollywood movie about tragic Supreme, Florence Ballard...

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 December 2010 10:16

 

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