LEROY BURGESS ( redbull academy interview pt. 3 )

RBMA: »Now, you were talking about that song yesterday and you were actually talking about Sonny, who composed the lyrics to the song. I would like to talk to you a little bit about the lyrics and what was unique about that record and what he pulled out of that?«

Leroy Burgess: »I lost my cousin, unfortunately, in 2001 he passed away. But when Sonny was with me, he was just this huge creative mind. He could do stuff with lyrics that I just come with: ‘Ok?!’ When he created the hook to ‘Over Like A Fat Rat’, ‘Get over like a fat rat, piece in a pie, bugs in a row, we never stop, we get over like a fat rat, snugged as hug in your arms.’ Who would think of that? But it works so well. It’s amazing. The lord has presented me with an amazing gift in my cousin Sonny that we would share music together. He was just able to come up with amazing stuff. Like ‘Get Loose’, the first tune that I played. He just came up with those lyrics out of the top. And I’m like: ‘Wow, some kind of voodoo genius.’ It was very cool and he ended up writing a lot of stuff with me. And that’s him playing drums. James Calloway on bass and me on keyboards. And as you could hear as I was describing that particular type of rhythm section in “Let’s Do It’, you can hear the style of the musicians on it. So, we were starting to develop an identity for the group.«

RBMA: »Now, writing songs. So many of these songs are romance based, basically, right?«

Leroy Burgess: »Is this my water?«

RBMA: »Yes, it is.«

Leroy Burgess: »Oh, cool. (takes the cup and sits down on the couch)«

RBMA: »…romantic songs in a way. Was your background like in the sweet soul thing, were all of the songs… had it anything to do with it?«

Leroy Burgess: »Oh, now. (snide movement of the hand) In the case of ‘Fat Rat’, he was writing that for his sisters and my sisters and stuff like that.«

RBMA: »Explain, what that song means for some of the people who aren’t English sufficient.«
Leroy Burgess: »’Over Like A Fat Rat’ was a song we wrote because a couple of our sisters were coming up about how the guys were pressing up on them. By that I mean, they were a little too: ‘ Wanna meet you, baby…’ and so forth and so on. And even guys that they liked, they were: ‘Damn, could they get off of me for a minute?’ You know? Back up!

And you know, if you back up a little, there is the chance that it works out anyway. When they explained that dynamic to Sonny and I, I was like: ‘Yeah.’ I mean, as a man, I like pressing up, but we had to see it from their viewpoint. And so we wrote a song about it. The lyrics were: ‘I see you trying to take advantage of a sweet girl like me. I know that if you had the chance to, I’d never be free. But while I am waiting and have reservations and they constantly talk to my mind, inside a voice says this relationship could be heavier for me.’ So, it’s a deep thing. Something the ladies really can honestly feel. «

RBMA: »Conflict.«

Leroy Burgess: »Yeah, exactly. And the thing is, it’s written by three guys. We had to kind of really get into your head, in order to make that work. ‘Weekend’ on the other hand, is all about: ‘I’m tired of this. You know, he is really doing me no justice here. And now so as you go out with your friends every week or whatever, I’m gonna go out and have a night of my own! Me and the girls. And you better hope, it’s just me and the girls because it might be a dude or two in there!’«
(audience laughing)

This is how my sisters and them felt. And I love them. It touched me, even as a man, it touched me. And I was like, ok, I had to write something about that, you know? ‘Tonight’s the night, the time is right, I’m gonna find a friend…’ You know, what I’m sayin’? If nothing else, it shakes up the relationship. It makes the relationship become a lie! ‘Cause a guy’s like: ‘Did she cheat on me?’ and she’s like: ‘Yes, I did! Goodbye.’ Slam (imitates slamming a door).«
(audience laughing)

»So, we try to keep the lyrics real. So the people who hear it and their story is somewhere in there. Their story, your story, her story, your story is in the lyrics somewhere. And you’re like: ‘Damn!’ Do you all know what I mean by ‘barely breaking even’? Ok. We decided to write a song about it, right? And I wanted the lyrics…I did a lot of these lyrics myself because I thought of that concept, but Sonny helped me a great deal.

I wanted the song to be about…(stands up and walks around) I was like: ‘Ok, I’m a successful musician! I mean reasonably successful. I’ve got gigs coming along, I’m working, you all know what I mean. I’m working and everything is pretty cool. But with the working and the limited success that I have, I’m still having trouble making an end to meet. So, I decided to write a song about it. And it’s basically about the struggle of surviving everyday. Know what I mean? It goes like this.«
(music Universal Robot Band ‘Barely Breaking Even’)

»It’s got a bit of an intro on it. (sits down to the keyboard) Turn it up. That’s James Calloway and Sonny. James on bass and Sonny on drums. You gonna move a little forward into the lyric part. So, you see I settled the groove, alright? We gonna go just a little bit forward. A couple of minutes, half a…I don’t know. Forward! (lyrics already in full bloom) Put it back.

Right there! (sings the lyrics and stands up) ’Just got my paycheck, I’m on my way home, the […] on it, is nearly gone, but I try to make every catch, just don’t wanna meet, I can’t complain, but somewhere I’m getting’ beat, now maybe it’s the system, maybe it’s the cost of livin’, but every single weekend, I never know where the money goes, still I’m always givin’, just barely breakin’ even, I got to get some for myself, just breakin’ even schemin’, I got to get some for myself. I’m not a poor boy and I work everyday, somehow my cash flow slipped all away, but I just try to make it into another day and as long as the lord is with me, I find a way, maybe it’s recession or the stocks that rise and tumble, still there is the question of the bills I pay, that are always stay…..till I’m down and under and I’m just barely breaking even.’ See what I mean? Anybody relate to this lyrically? Anybody? Put your hands up! Anybody know what I’m talking about? That money is hard to get! «
(applause)

»Thank you! (Leroy sits down)«

RBMA: »You said, you described yourself at that time as reasonably successful. So, was it frustrating then to have these different groups, phantom groups, studio groups, but being not the most prominent name out there? Lacking, as they say, the synergy of all the different elements to forward your career?«

Leroy Burgess: »I don’t know. It didn’t really hit me then. Again, the important thing to me was that the music was gettin’ out there. People were hearing it and people were relating to it. Much as you guys are relating to it now. Like I said, I mean there was a time in my life, honestly, that I paid attention to the persona person. The Leroy Burgess quote unquote. And when I did that, I found that the music, the importance of the music would slip. Because I’m thinking: ‘Oh, I’m fabulous. Yes, everyone, I’m Mister…’ You know? And I find that when I’m so concentrated on myself, the music is suffering.

‘Everything that I write is going to be fabulous, you know? I can do no wrong.’ But you write your best music, when you’re not thinking about yourself. When you’re hungry and when you just let the music flow into you. So, for that reason, I mean in hindsight in my current age, had I had better publicity, better lawyers, better so forth and so on, I’d be in a very different place perhaps. But the place that I’m in, is very cool. I’ve got a world of people who are listening. I got all you guys, who are here today, just listening to what I have to say.

That didn’t have to happen! So again, you guys are here, maybe a little bit of me, but because of the music. What I have done, what I have managed to present to you guys and what you guys are inspired by. So, that’s what’s important to me. I mean, yeah, barely breaking even. Money is great. Money is this and that. But money is not everything. Money is like…sometimes money can be a complete diversion of the way you really feel. It can make you…it can alienate you to how you feel because you only care about that. Alright?

These days I say, you know, as long as the lord takes care of me, I need very simple things. Just take care of me and let me continue to do my music and I’ll be alright. As long as I’m eating, I’m okay. That’s the best answer I have for that question. Yeah, I could have been the fantastic Leroy Burgess, but I’m just Leroy.«

RBMA: »How did you feel, you know, when the 80’s get on…we heard that ‘Get Loose’ had more of an Electro-type of production style to it because of the technology and changes. How did you feel about the era later in the eighties, when Hip Hop became much more of a force? People might recognize that ‘Over Like A Fat Rat’s bassline is in ‘Eric B Is President’, which was a huge record in 1986. If you look at your anthologies, there are fewer records from that time into the 90’s. What was going on in your life at that time?«

Leroy Burgess: »I had stepped away from music for a second because Hip Hop was such a phenomenon and I didn’t understand it. I honestly did not get Hip Hop! I was smart enough to say to myself: ‘Let me step back for a second and watch this evolution happen and study it as it goes along to see if I can incorporate it at some point later on.’ That was most of the 90’s, actually. Do you understand? During the late eighties and early 90’s, my last couple of things came out from that era of the late 80’s and then I sat back for five and six years and watched Hip Hop evolve. And Hip Hop is a very cool thing. It’s another form of expression. It’s a form of expression that people can…just average anybodies can put together and make a record good and can make a record work. And make a statement. That’s important, man. Make a statement with it.«

RBMA: »So to say a music of the people in a way.«

Leroy Burgess: »It’s the music of the people and it’s music that people can relate to that’s not karaoke! Ok? And it gives them a voice. I mean, not everybody can sing. Right? Not everybody can sing, not everybody can play, but you want to be able to express yourself in a musical form somehow. And that is part of where Hip Hop lives.«

RBMA: »How did you feel, when you heard ‘Eric B Is President’ using the bassline from one of your records?«

Leroy Burgess: »It was an honor ‘cause he picked my bassline out of the millions that exist that could be picked. He could’ve picked ‘Good Times’ or he could’ve picked something by Sylvester or anything else. And he picked mine. So I’m honored by that. I think it’s a compliment. I think, it’s a great thing that someone is influenced by you. I allow myself to be influenced by the music that I hear, the music that I listen to. When someone is influenced by the music that you create, [it] makes you feel good. So, it’s cool! You know, I would like more people to do it. The last one who did it was Nas. On Nas new album ‘God’s Son’ he did a track called ‘Revolutionary Warfare’ that uses an old Black Ivory track from way back in the 70’s.«

Leroy Burgess: »They sampled ‘I Keep Asking You Questions’. That was the flip side of ‘Don’t Turn Around’. And they put it on his ‘Criminology’ record. So, I’m honored that people would choose my music for later records. You make money off the initial release and that is the end of it. But then, young people like yourselves might be inspired by it, use it and sample it and then, boom, you’re touching a whole other audience. You understand? And you’re allowing somebody to express themselves with something that you did. So, that’s always a prideful thing and something that feels good and a huge blessing.«

RBMA: »I want you to talk a little bit about the more recent collaborations or things that you have done that you want to talk about.«

Leroy Burgess: »Sitting in the corner is one of your lecturers. (stands up and goes to the piano) That’s him right there.«
(applause)

»He is one of the people, I have been really, really fortunate to work with. His name is Phillipe Zdar. If you would stand and say hello to everybody? Most of the guys have seen the schedules and you know that Phillipe Zdar is one of the members of Cassius. And back in 2000, Philippe came to my house, my house in Harlem. Him and Hubert Blanc? Is it Blank?«
(Philippe tells the right pronunciation)

»I guessed so. Him and Hubert came to my house and we sat down and started banging out these songs that are on their current release, their new album called ’Au Reve’, right? And so I had the real pleasure of working with him. That just came out a couple of years ago. So, it’s one of the newest things. There is a new record out with myself and Belita Woods. Have you all heard of the group Brainstorm? Yeah? Belita Woods was the lead vocalist of Brainstorm and I had the extreme pleasure of collaborating with her on a song called ’Best Of Me’ that came out in 2003. And (laughs) there is a new record out, I worked on with a gentleman named Chez Damier. He is a big DJ from the Detroit/Chicago area. That’s just been released. What is it called? ‘You Been Lifting Me ?

RBMA: » ‘Your Love’.«

Leroy Burgess: »It’s another ‘Your Love’. My second ‘Your Love’. Those are the most recent releases. In addition to that, I am currently working on the first new album by my original group Black Ivory

RBMA: »That’s with the original members you worked with?«

Leroy Burgess: »Right, it’s with Stewart and Russell and myself. So, it’s the original group and we will be releasing that hopefully in the forth-coming year 2005. I’m very pleased about that and very happy. Working with them again is kind of cool.«

RBMA: »I would like to open it up. If anybody has any questions?«

Leroy Burgess: »Yeah, have you guys got any questions at all?«

Participant: »You said something to the effect earlier that you’re humble and happy as an artist. But I just have to tell you, man, and I’m sure that I’m speaking for a lot of people here, I grew up listening to your music. I grew up watching my uncles play your music. And it’s one of the few things, that type of music, your words helped me, inspired me to become a DJ. And sitting here is an honor man. So thank you very much!«

Leroy Burgess: »Thank you very much. It’s very much a mutual honor for me. Who would’ve thought that I would be sitting here, helping the next generation out so well appreciated? I’m so thankful that I have you guys. So why don’t you guys give yourself a round of applause ‘cause that’s real!«

(applause)

»I mean honestly, I’m going to listen to your guys’ music over the next coming years or something. You guys are the guys who will be making the statements. That’s cool! Does anybody else have a question? Oh, hi!.«

Participant: »In the heyday of things like Pro Tools and sequencers and things, it’s pretty easy to do a vocal take and then just keep doing it and doing it and then kind of run down what you need. When you were with a band like Black Ivory, you said you’d been doing vocals and trying to find the right ones. When you are recording a melody do you do it the traditional way or do you also bring in the technology element into it?«

Leroy Burgess: »Well, I incorporate the technology a little. I mean, it’s there and I don’t work with Pro Tools, I work with Digital Performer. But it’s the same thing, you know? So, you have the capability to do five takes of one lead vocal and then pick the best one. And that’s a good thing. But usually, what ends up happening is, you got it on the first or the second take that you did. Just like back in the days, when you went into the studio and had five different tracks you could do. (stands up) You could only sing it once or twice and the engineer is like: ‘Oh man, when does this guy get out of here?’

So, you had to try to get it right on the first takes. I still live in that dynamic. That’s kind of why I get it quickly ‘cause I’ve been thinking about it long before I sing it. I am working on it up here (points to his head) and it just comes of that dynamic. The other side of that dynamic is, you are aware of that technology, so you know, you can do a thousand takes until you get it and you can just keep on tweaking it and keep playing with it and so forth until you get it. That’s like…to me that’s not real music. To me it’s like, get in there, get your hands dirty. For rea!! Don’t rely on the technology.

Technology is cool, but what you are creating here is art! That’s what music really is. It’s not technology, it’s art! I mean, if it’s just moving this little and that and deleting this and stretching that and pitch shifting this and that, who is really doing the art? Ok? So, you have to keep a perspective on that and balance it, alright? As I said earlier, I suggest to any of you who are in this seriously and I think all of you are, right? Learn an instrument! Learn how to play that little keyboard for real. Learn how to do a skeleton. It can’t hurt! And it can give you a little bit more insight into the real art that you’re creating.

Nothing makes me feel so good as to get behind an instrument. (sits down on the keyboard) My instrument is keyboard, right? Just get behind it and just…(starts playing) That just came out of my head. And my hands are on the board and I realize it. If this was a normal acoustic piano, you would hear the same thing. You understand? And it’s not lying. I haven’t turned on a computer yet. I haven’t sequenced a thing. But my vision, my idea of how I feel at that moment is now right here.

There’s nothing like that. There’s nothing like realizing your idea from your own hands, alright? And technology is good and it’s cool, use it as much as you need to, but add you to it! Put you in it! Don’t be afraid to do that, alright? Because if you don’t, it’s just technology. It’s not art at all! That’s what everybody, everywhere can do. Put you in it! Put your hands on something and put your voice to something. It’s important, I think.«

RBMA: »Any more questions?«

Leroy Burgess: »I knew, you had one!«

Participant: »I just like to discuss your composition and you talked about tension. I liked that theory. With not getting too technical with the terms, but how do you relate to what you consider a bridge? Can you just talk a little about your concept, how you like to place your parts and how you like to build the tension? Maybe you just let it burst break out open into a break and how that relates for you?«

Leroy Burgess: »Sure, I’d be happy to talk about that. The word that you used ‘bridge’, you guys are familiar with that use in song composition? Verse, chorus? Most songs have verses and choruses, right? Just as a standing form. And then, what’s been disappearing from music, is the ‘bridge’ or the ‘turn-around’, you understand? And bridges, creating bridges is a tension-builder. It creates tension. So that you know, when you release that tension, the audience goes (raises his hands in the air and starts to cheer), you know what I’m saying?

I wrote a song called ‘I Know You Will’. (plays the melody) Now that’s a groove that we stayed on for a long time, alright? This was the main groove of the record, but both the verse and the chorus was in this groove. So, without a tension-builder or a bridge inside of it, that’s all you got! The song is going to go like that on and on and on and on, alright? That doesn’t make sense to me! So, you have to build in a tension. You have to build a section that increases and builds tension up, so that the audience anticipates and let it go. So, what I did was, (repeats the melody), did you all feel how that section made you listen and wait for the tension break? Play ‘I Know You Will’ for them.«
(music Logg ‘I Know You Will’)

Leroy Burgess: »This was mixed by the great DJ Larry Levan.«
(Leroy sings along and points out bridge and tension)

Leroy Burgess: »That’s what I’m talkin’ about, tension!«
(audience cheers and applauds)

Leroy Burgess: »Next question! Oh, this is another one I knew who would have a question.«

Participant: »I think most of us have a sense of how shady the record business is.«

Leroy Burgess: »Aha. Shacky?«

Participant: »Shady.«

Leroy Burgess: »Shady? Aha!«

Participant: »Now, just artists getting’ jerked, people never getting paid for, publishing without getting’ royalties…«

Leroy Burgess: »Ah!«

Participant: »Now, you’ve been in the game for a minute. You have seen the small New York indie labels that were putting your stuff out, and sort of how the entire music industry has been condensed down to five major labels who control everything.«

Leroy Burgess: »Riiight!«

Participant: »Control the music production, control the means of distribution and control the means of promotion and marketing. What’s your take on it? What do you think about it, as someone who has made a career as a songwriter? What’s your take on sort of the status of the industry? Besides all of that, the fact that most American artists, Pop artists, R&B and Hip Hop are just a façade for the sort of writing machine that goes on in the background. From the producers to the singers. I mean, what do we do in the face of that lie? How do we sort of keep movin’ forward or just deal with that?«

Leroy Burgess: »Yeah, I understand. I understand, where you are coming from. The machine, as I called it. You remember? Philippe, you remember when we had a conversation about this in Paris? The machine versus the actual creative person, you know? You against the corporate market. You understand? It’s a tough place, man, it really is. (stands up and walks around) It’s hard to write music and to be forced into writing it. ‘I need just to sound more like Puffy…’ or ‘ I need just to start to sound more like this’.

And you can’t be you, you got to be what the market tells you to be. And then, and then (laughs) once you do that, they still rip you off. They still beat you. They make you chase them, they make you search it all over. Try to get your money, the money that you’ve earned. My thing is: Do you. Be you first. Take it there and don’t let them change you. Rightfully? Take YOU there and tell them: This is you. This is, what it’s going to be. And if they say no, keep taking it. And if everybody says no, start your own damn company!«
(applause)

»Because that’s how Puffy, that’s how… you know, when I couldn’t rely on the majors, I went to the minors. Because they would look out for you. And you’re right about to have to chase them, too. Because after a minute, even the minor record company starts to get a little major when it comes to that bank account and that dough. You understand? And nobody wants to give you the dough, no matter what you say. (laughs) Nothing, no matter what. But the truth of the matter is, depending on the place you were in while in the creative process, you deserve it. You earned it. You all know that today you’re earning the royalties for the future. You understand? That’s what y’all are doing here.

Talking, learning. You understand? When that translates into the work, the records, the work that you’re going to do to make those records, alright? You are supposed to get yours. Right? And if you have to collaborate with any company, large, small, indifferent, right? What you do upfront is, get your lawyers, get your people, talk to your friends. Get yourself represented by people you can afford, but represent yourself. You know what I’m sayin’? Make sure that when somebody says (stands up): ‘Here is the contract, sweetie. Here is the contract, take this, read it. I love your stuff. Please sign it’ and so forth. Don’t sign your life away! Know what you’re reading!

And if you’re not happy with it, don’t sign it. Tell them: ‘this got to change.’ Or: ‘That has to change.’ Don’t be afraid of that. Because, trust me, you’ve said it (points to RBMA interviewer), you’ve said it (points to participant). I have been in this long enough to have been ripped off a lot. Ok? To have been ripped off a lot! Ok? And all of these records that come out, right? You don’t automatically know about them, alright? I mean, there is a record coming out right now that’s been using my beat that they not want to tell me about, unless I find them. Do you all understand, what I mean by that? Do you all know what I am talking about? Unless you find that little company on the side, they ain’t going to pay you. (laughs) Now that’s ironic a little bit, but if your stuff is out there, at first get that happening.

If and when you find these companies, make them pay you. Say: ‘That’s mine.’ Get yours the way you’re supposed to do it. But you are dealing with a market play that has been existing for years and years. And their thing is to rip you. I mean, if you don’t ask them about it, they ain’t going to tell you, alright? They ain’t going to say: ‘We got to pay you this and we will be completely honest with you and get you everything.’ They’re not going to say that. They got to let you tell what do you want, what do you need? And when you undersell yourself, they’ll pay then. Because that means, they’re keeping the rest of the money. You understand what I mean? So, it’s all about you.

The more you know, alright? So, my recommendation is this: When you are fortunate enough to be up against a contract or see a contract – get a lawyer. And talk to your lawyer and make sure, your lawyer is not talking over your head. Say: ‘I don’t understand this and I need for you to tell me what it means, so I do understand. That’s what I’m paying you for. That’s why you get 10-15% percent of whatever this money going to be. I’m paying you, so that I understand, So that I’m signing the right thing.’

Don’t be afraid to ask anybody anything. Go straight up to the company and the president of the company or whomever you are talking’ to and say: ‘ No, this is not happening for me. We need to reshape, rework, negotiate this, so that I’m happy. And when I am, we got a record. We can put it out.’ Don’t be compelled to just drop everything because that’s how they get you. That’s how they get you. ‘These little hungry artist want to come out with everything and if we throw any money at them, they going to jump at the chance.’ It’s money, we are all hungry, right? ‘So, here’s 10.000 dollars. Do me five records.’

What’s wrong with that? Five records? 10.000 dollars is not enough, ok? You understand? You’re being ripped off. It’s happening too fast. Slow it down. Let me say this about that. It’s all about what you guys say. All about what you guys do. Each one of you got a mind. And there are some pretty boggling minds I am looking at, right here. For real, alright? Hold up you’re end. You’ve done the music. Make the background work. Get everything happening. Make sure you get your money. Don’t be afraid to ask for it because they start out, they come out ripping you off. You understand? Ok? Hope that was helpful.«

Leroy Burgess: »Anybody else?«

RBMA: »Anybody else with a question for Leroy?«

Leroy Burgess: »Anybody else? We cool?«

RBMA: »Torsten, you got a question?«

Leroy Burgess: »Let’s get him the mic.«

RBMA: »You are talking a lot about collaboration and you mention a lot of great names there. Like vocalists like Fonda Rae or producers like Patrick Adams. Now, just because someone’s got a good name, doesn’t necessarily mean that you get along well. But for whatever reason you want to make that thing happen and there is something in that person, you know, you want this thing get going, make this music. How did you learn to cope with some personal differences or whatever in such a creative, professional situation?«

Leroy Burgess: »The old ego thing. The old ego question. That’s what it boils to. Everybody’s got a ego. We all carry it with us, you know? Patrick had an ego, Fonda had an ego, I’ve got an ego, you know what I’m sayin’? You have to leave some of that at the door, if you want to succeed creatively. Do you all remember when Quincy Jones did ’We Are the World’? ‘USA for Africa’ and all the different artists that came in? There you’ve got Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

They’re all walking through the door. They’re all fabulous. ‘I’m fabulous. Oh, here I am. La, la, la. Oh no, this is not right, it has to be, I need this and I need that…’ You’ve got fifty artists in this room all going: ‘Ah, I’m fabulous, do me. ’ No work will ever get done. Quincy puts up a sign. Big as hell: ‘Leave your egos at the door.’ Ok? When you drop that, than it’s like: We just people and we can kick it together. And we can work together and we can do a track together or we can sing together or do whatever together.

Because it’s not like I’m thinking: ‘I’m Mr. Fabulous, mind my way. Thank you everyone.’ I’m just thinking: ‘I’m Michael Jackson and I’m working with Lionel, I’m working with Dionne. Everyone is just straight up. There are not ‘Dionne Waaaarwick’, they’re just Dionne Warwick, you know? When it comes down to it and you drop that ego and you drop that façade that’s when working and collaborating becomes easy. When we all drop our façades. You understand? Hope that was helpful. What else you got for me?«

RBMA: »Anybody else?«

Leroy Burgess: »You always got…give him the mic, give him the mic.«

RBMA: »I can see it in your eyes, when you talk about your family and people that may not be in direct relation to you as family. And I think it’s important like even right now we’re developing a new family. Maybe you could just elaborate on how important it is to you to kind of create, whether it’s Paris or New York or Germany or whatnot, but how important it is to really create those connections with artists, you want to work with and open new doors with?«

Leroy Burgess: »That’s very, very eloquent, very, very well put. You know what you’re real family is outside of what we consider our immediate family? The family of man. The family of mankind. I’m as much your brother and your brother and your brother as you all are my brothers and sisters. Realizing that gets me over a lot of humps. Alright? It makes it easy for me to talk to you guys.

No matter, where you come from. No matter, what language you speak. No matter, what color or whatever. You know, if I start looking at it like these are my brothers and sisters right here, and my aunts and uncles and whatever, you know what I’m sayin’? That makes it easy for me. And I want it easy ‘cause I want to talk to you. You understand? I need to talk to y’all. I need to feel y’all and what y’all sayin’. You understand? It needs to be a part of me and the only way for me to open up.

Leave that ego and, slash, prejudices at the door. You understand? Because, in order for anything to move, communication’ got to be there. We got to be able to talk to each other. We got to be able to sit in the same room and have a drink and have some food and smoke a joint.«
(laughter)

»You know, we got to be able to do that without takin’ each others heads off all the fuckin’ time. You know? Without harboring: ‘Oh, this motherfucker…’ That back in the mind animosity. When we throw all of that away, get let go of all of that, we become a family of man, you understand? And when you’re in a family, you want to be able to talk to your brother and your sister and you want them to talk back to you and feel you. You understand? So, yeah, that’s how we go about that. Just drop all the façade and say: ‘You know what? Just being here is cool. Just being here is everything.’

You know? Just feelin’ you like you feelin’ me. You know what I’m sayin’? That’s what makes it real. I mean, just look around. Everybody look around in the room for a second. Look at the different faces. No, there, take a look. Take a look! A lot of people, y’all don’t know, right? Y’all don’t know each other, right? What makes this cool? Because we’re all human.

We’re all human, we’re all musicians and we have found a thing that brings us all together as opposed to the things that tear us apart and keep us apart from each other. And that’s why we’re here. When we keep that dynamic in our lives that’s when the most movement happens. That’s when we do the most – we are the most. Feel me? Ok now, are you done?«

RBMA: »I’m done. I think that’s the last word unless someone else has got a question?«

Leroy Burgess: »Enough talkin’ for now and stuff like that.. I think, it would be kind of cool, if we all kind of crowded into that studio and see what kind of music we could come up with. Just real quick. What do you all think?«
(applause)

»Before we do that, I just want to say to each and every one of you, to the people that brought me out here. The red Bull Music Academy, all you guys. This is one of the moments in my life that I will with me forever, you know what I’m sayin’? I’m going to remember this and I want to remember this and how you guys are just cool and we had this moment together. I want to…I want…this is one of the bright moments. And I don’t ever want to forget and I want to thank you guys. One for having me here and two for sharing everything. That’s real. For sharing because that’s where (stands up)…my music comes from anywhere and from touching the world and from touching you guys. So, I want to thank you all. (applauds) «

click below to listen

LOGG – I Know You Will

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