Whoa! Now I am known to tell a good story but this one is a doozie! So check it..Go get your favorite drink and a friend and get comfortable...I'll wait for you..........
........ You back? Ok cool. So I decide to take a brief spring musical oddesey. I started at the Soul Kitchen...Of course you know that internationally acclaimed artist Vinx is the creator of one of the world's best songwriting workshop retreats. If you have not been and you are looking to get better what the hell are you waiting for? Seriously check out the soul kitchen link below and get down..You will thank me later for that..
Anyway Soul Kitchen was off the chain! I had a great time there writing songs with a variety of newcomers including keyboardist Lucy Kirkpatrick, NY singer Khalil and jazz vocalist Gigi from Houston along with Jackz and Young Drumma, two very gifted young writers. Being a teacher and a righteous brother it was an honor spreading music knowledge and working with this 14 and 16 year old. I also teamed up with several of my compadres to work on new music like DJ Vando, Heston, Brodie and musicans Sam Ravenna (bass), Chiedza (Gtr) J Willis (Drums) and the legendary Batman (Gtr). Vinx stated this was the best SK ever, I am inclined to agree although the first one is always magical..
After winning the Soul Kitchen producers challenge and laying down final vocals for my album it was off to the Atl. There's something beautiful going on in Atlanta these days.. The underground music scene is as vibrant as ever and I was soaking it all in..First stop- SugarHill for the Tuesday night jam session where I saw more good friends Julie Dexter, Mike D (Harmony in Life) and super songstress Von..I had a great time. I knew I would when I ran into Phillipia on the way in and caught a quick hug and two step to set off the night..Also ran into and had a good conversation with fellow Famuan J. Carter, creator of Solfusion and Sugarhill... Keep doing big things my brother!
The next night Apache Cafe was just great..Julie Dex and Phillipia were out again so I got a double blessing of those talented sisters for the second night along with Eva Kennedy and others..As I listened I took notes that would come in handy at the end of the week. Atl is show and prove ground these days and these artists fearlessly approached their performances with a seasoned passion that was just beautiful.
After a few business meetings regarding the release of my album it was time to say goodbye to the A for 3 new letters, NYC... I was invited to the Indie Soul Mixer hosted by London based soul music tastemaker Mike Ashley. I was scheduled to perform and decided to go a day early to attend my good friend LaSonya Gunter's show in Harlem the night before. When I got there she called me an asked me would I perform as an opening act for her. Would I??? Of course I would!!! Who would not jump at the chance to open for such a pioneer songstress? Without Lasonya there may not be some of the great underground soul artists that we love so much. I took the A from Brooklyn to Harlem and performed on an amazing show! I was so glad I was there. The venue, Temple M located @ 555 W. 141st and St Nicholas is a new venue with great ambience, great sound and great food. I suggest you check it out..
The next night Mike Ashley's Indie Soul Mixer 4 was a beautiful event full of tastemakers like my brothers from other mothers, Terry Bello, Drake Phifer and Barry King. I also met up with a great group of old friends including songstress KJ Rose whom I went to FAMU with. We spent the night performing and kicking it in the city that never sleeps..
Sunday night I ended up in Harlem with some great new friends. In all seriousness I was humbled to be in the city that gave our culture such a solid foundation. As we played records from an amazing collection of vinyl I couldn't help but think about all of the amazing people who lived in Harlem. By the way make sure that you check out www.natcreole.com and let me know what you think....I performed for my new friends and they absolutely loved my sound. It was a great feeling getting love from the New Yorkers..They say if you can make it there you can make it anywhere..That's what's up!
So I leave Brooklyn and fly back to Atl on my way back to Florida..It was an awesome trip and I mean Awesome! At my layover in Atlanta I decided to sit on the plane for a minute and reflect. I prayed about this whole thing, thanking God for these great opportunities and events and prayed for guidance and strength. I get up, walk into the airport and guess who I see? No for real guess?
STEVIE WONDER! I mean I walked right in front of him! I did a double take and when I knew it was him I had to stop. I mean after all of this the universe threw me a beautiful signal. I told him how much his music meant to me and my family. "Thank you so much Mr. Wonder" I said and he shook my hand and replied, "Thank You Brother, God Bless You, God Bless You!"
So I got down in the world of music and got a universal blessing courtesy of the most gifted person in the history recorded music.. All this goes to show that we have got to keep going and pursue our dreams, we never know what is waiting for us at the end..
Thanks for reading, this story is to be continued....
Peace and Power,