Archive for the Boogie Category

BOOGIE ( an essay written by the one and only GREG WILSON)

Posted in Boogie, GREG WILSON on July 7, 2008 by bangtheparty

Back in mid-80’s London, the term Boogie was used to describe a style of dance music, mainly from the early 80’s, but also the late 70’s, that was popular on the black scene. Many of these tracks had originally featured at the time of their release at specialist club nights in venues like Crackers and the Electric Ballroom, but had subsequently been revived during the Rare Groove era.

We never used the term in the North, although many of the same tracks had been massive with the black music audience following their arrival as US imports. We regarded them mainly as Disco Funk, or in some cases Electro-Funk, which utilised elements of the (then) new technology (Disco Funk being recorded in a more orthodox way, with drum kit as opposed to beat box).

It was also an unfamiliar genre name in America, where these records had originated. London DJ and collector, Sean P, renowned for his encyclopaedic knowledge of Boogie, plus other forms of dance music, recalls some friends going into record shops in the US and receiving blank looks when they asked for Boogie; the staff even enquiring if they wanted recordings about ghosts! This misunderstanding was down to the fact that what we call the Bogeyman in the UK is the Boogeyman in the States.

The word itself has a somewhat dubious background. Here’s something I found online about its origin and evolution, written by American columnist, Cecil Adams:

“Boogie” seems to come, via a circuitous route, from the Latin Bulgarus, an inhabitant of Bulgaria. The Old French term boulgre was used to refer to a member of a sect of 11th-century Bulgarian heretics, and “bougre” first appears in the English writing in 1340 as a synonym for “heretic.” By the 16th century, “bougre” grew into “bugger,” a practitioner of vile and despicable acts including “buggery,” or sodomy. “Bogy” (or “bogie”) first appears in the 19th century as an appellation for the devil; later it came to be used for hobgoblins in general. Hence, the bogeyman, which may be the source of the use of “bogey” and “boogies” to mean “Negro”. Shortly after these usages became common (in the 1920s), there appeared boogie woogie music, and I guess you can figure out the rest.

So it seems that, with regards to black culture, boogie was originally a racist slur, which was intended to demonise black people, before it was adopted in connection with music and dancing by those it was meant to put down. In this way it became a name used for ‘Rent Parties’ within US black communities in cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York during the 20’s, where musicians played in someone’s home and a hat was passed around the audience so they could put in money, which would help pay the rent. It was at such parties that Boogie Woogie emerged, a style that would have a huge influence on the course of black music (interestingly, Disco pioneer, DJ David Mancuso, cites the Rent Parties of 60’s New York as a major inspiration for his Loft parties).

The sub-genre of music that Londoners dubbed Boogie was, in essence, the direct continuation of Disco in its purest form. Many people have forgotten that the genre evolved from the Soul and Funk of black musicians. Later, of course, Disco would become increasingly commercialised, culminating in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever, which elevated the Bee Gees, a white Pop band, to Disco superstardom, whilst a white suited John Travolta would become an iconic figure – the great white hope of the dancefloor. Disco went global, but its original audience, before Studio 54 stole the spotlight, knew that its true stars of the screen were afro haired black kids, who’d been busting all the best moves on Soul Train since the early 70’s.

Throughout the 70’s, the word boogie could be found in the title or lyrics of countless Funk and Disco records, but as the decade rolled on, it was beginning to sound increasingly cheesy to our British ears, especially when a Spanish holiday hit called ‘Yes Sir I Can Boogie’ by Baccara, topped the UK chart in 1977. By the early 80’s a new low had been reached, with Children’s TV character, the robot Metal Mickey, further devaluing the word via his annoying catchphrase ‘boogie boogie’.

However, it began to claw back some of its former credibility thanks to huge underground tracks like Rafael Cameron’s ‘Boogie’s Gonna Get Ya’ and ‘Caveman Boogie’ by Lessette Wilson, plus the Gunchback Boogie Band’s ‘Funn’, and with the emerging Electro scene it’s recuperatation was completed (Extra T’s ‘E.T Boogie’, West Street Mob ‘Break Dancin’ – Electric Boogie’, Man Parrish ‘Boogie Down (Bronx)’ etc).

From a London perspective, the Boogie scene, if not yet born, was conceived in the late 70’s at the West End club, Crackers, where DJ George Power would refer to the dancers, regarded as some of the best in the capital, as ‘boogie boys’ and, as Crackers veteran, Terry Farley, informed me, would frequently use the word whilst talking over the microphone (as DJ’s did in those days). Power was a true pioneer of UK dance culture who has only received a fraction of the full credit he merits. Later down the line he’d be the co-founder of Kiss FM, originally a pirate station, which would play an absolutely pivotal role in bringing London’s dance underground to wider recognition.

But it wouldn’t be until after the Crackers days were long gone that Boogie gradually became a category in its own right. A young Sean P remembers going into a shop in Brixton, called Red Records, in the early 80’s and finding a ‘Soul/Disco/Boogie’ section. It struck him as odd that an old-fashioned word was being applied to such a cutting-edge music.

The sub-genre really came into its own around 1985, when Kiss FM (named in tribute to the seminal New York dance station) took to the air and DJ’s like Gordon Mac, Norman Jay, DJ Tee (Tee Harris), Desi D, Tosca and, of course, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson began playing club tracks from earlier in the decade (along with other pirate radio DJ’s like Trevor St Francis on LWR and Lyndon T on JFM), describing them as ‘Boogie’. The word Disco had been out of vogue since the 70’s, with the music played on the black scene, pre-Kiss, usually coming under the blanket terms of Soul or Electro, but then a new movement of mainly black kids from South and East London began to refer to this post-Disco groove as ‘Boogie’. The sound was typified by Leroy Burgess, and the big labels included Prelude, West End and Sam, with club support coming from DJ’s such as Trevor Shakes, Dez Parkes, Cleveland Anderson, Henderson Yearwood, Fitzroy Da Buzz Boy and Derek Boland (aka Derek B).

Former Black Echoes writer and Kiss head of music, Lindsay Wesker, a noted black music historian, remembers the station, during its formative period, featuring as much Boogie as Rare Groove (which focused on relatively obscure 70’s Funk), making its way onto the playlists of now established names like Jazzie B and Trevor ‘Madhatter’ Nelson. It was such a big deal in London that Kiss would even release two volumes of their ‘Boogie Tunes’ compilation on Graphic Records in the late 80’s, making a number of highly sought after tracks available on vinyl at an affordable price (echoing Northern Soul, collecting Boogie and Rare Groove was both time-consuming and a drain on the pocket).

But, returning to the question of how the term Boogie came to represent a category of music in the first place, the first clue I could find was in a copy of Blues & Soul from September 1981. This was in an advert for the launch of Jazzifunk Club’s Saturday night at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. George Power, headlined, supported by Paul Anderson (who’d cut his teeth alongside Power at Crackers), Chris White, Colin Parnell and Boo, with the ad referring to the venue’s 2 floors, which proclaimed ‘Jazz On Top! Soul, Funk ‘n’ Boogie Down Below’.

During the early 80’s, specialist club nights would list the music featured as Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Soul, Funk, Disco, and later Electro or Electro-Funk, but never Boogie – the Electric Ballroom was unique in this respect. The only exception I’m aware of was a little known venue called ‘Gemas New Caprice Club’ in Watford, which, in London’s Groove Weekly magazine, advertised ‘Up-Front Jazz-Funk and Boogie’ in August 1982, having previously used ‘Jazz-Funk’ on its own). However, the trail came to an abrupt end at that point and I couldn’t find any further mention in either Blues & Soul or Groove Weekly during the coming years. It certainly wasn’t classified as a genre by the main London import specialists, like Groove, City Sounds and Bluebird.

I wondered if there was any direct link to Roller Disco, which had come to the UK, with limited success, from the US. Interestingly, a cash-in Hollywood movie called ‘Roller Boogie’ had highlighted the craze in 1979, and, by co-incidence, the Electric Ballroom would launch a mid-week Roller Disco night in 1982 with Paul Anderson as DJ. Andrew Mason, from New York’s Wax Poetics magazine, had told me that Danny Krivit, who both deejayed at New York’s legendary Roxy (which originally came to prominence as one of the top Roller Rinks in the country) as well being an accomplished skater himself, explained to him that the slightly shuffled clap / snare on the 2 and 4 (as opposed to a steady 4 on the floor beat) was best suited for skaters, who pushed off on alternate legs to that rhythm. Vaughan Mason’s ‘Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll’ is an obvious example, as is Chic’s classic ‘Good Times’ (which, of course, includes the line ‘clams on the half shell and roller-skates, roller-skates’).

So, basically, the best music to roller skate to, especially in New York, where the most impressive skaters were generally black or Latino, was funkier edged Disco, including many tracks that would later be regarded as Boogie classics in London.

Doing some further detective work, I checked with Danny Krivit to see if the term Roller Boogie was widely used in the US, and he informed me that it was only ever something people might say on a mainstream level, following on from the film, and definitely not how hardcore skaters would refer to the music. It seems that, just as over here, the word boogie was actually considered corny, rather than cool.

So, it wasn’t until a mainly black audience of dance music enthusiasts from London re-adopted the term, to describe the retrospective groove they were into, that Boogie reclaimed its credibility. “Nowadays”, as Sean P points out, “thanks to eBay and the general spreading of the word over the past couple of years, people from the US, Europe and wherever use ‘Boogie’ as a generic term, to describe early 80’s dance music of black origin”.

click below to listen

BRENDA TAYLOR – You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Greg Wilson edit)

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CHAZ JANKEL

Posted in Boogie, CHAZ JANKEL, Soul/Disco on June 3, 2008 by bangtheparty

Keyboardist, guitarist and singer/composer Chaz Jankel is best known in the UK as member of Ian Dury & the Blockheads during the British funk/new wave band’s commercial peak in the early 80s. First hooking up with Dury as part of the pub group the Kilburns & the High Roads, Jankel was asked by Dury to join his new outfit, and appeared on such Blockheads releases as “New Boots & Panties!!” (which spawned Dury’s best-known hit, “Sex & Drugs & Rock n’ Roll”) and “Do It Yourself (single — “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick,”) before leaving the group. But in 1981, Jankel teamed up once more with Dury (sans the Blockheads), for the release Lord Upminster, which spawned the U.S. Top 40 dance hit “Spasticus Autisticus.” By this time, Jankel had become more interested in pursuing a solo career and he issued several releases for A&M under self-titled debut followed by “Chasanova,” “Questionaire” (contained the U.S. dance hit “Glad to Know You,” a collaboration with Dury), “Chazablanca,” and 1985’s “Looking at You.

Chaz Jankel was Ian Dury’s writing partner in The Blockheads but went on to become a successful artist in his own right, racking up a sizeable roster of hits including platinum selling singles like ‘Glad To Know You’ and ‘Ai No Corrida’. Jankel to this day remains a part of The Blockheads, but his work as a synthesizer auteur as documented on this compilation tells another story, representing the career of an artist who ably dipped into the nascent electronic sub-genres of the day, referencing new wave, post disco and electropop whilst never shying away from the weirder corners of electronic music, as captured in the bizarre edits and overdubs littering the otherwise fairly straight-up rhythm track of ‘Reve De Chevres’. If there is a overriding theme to Jankel’s career it has something to do with placing emphasis on taking all these various forms and production angles and wrapping them around a central pop superstructure, something Jankel seemed to accomplish throughout his career with an impressive consistency.

click below to listen

CHAZ JANKEL – Glad To Know You

GRACE JONES

Posted in Boogie, GRACE JONES, Punk Funk, Soul/Disco on June 2, 2008 by bangtheparty

Born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1952 in Spanishtown, Jamaica, West Indies. Grace and her twin brother Christian grew up in a large family of established politicians and preachers. Her grand-uncle was a Bishop and her father was a Preacher, who left the island for America while Grace was still a baby. The twins grew up loved and protected, and yet outsiders, in a melange of aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins. It was a lonely experience.

When Christian and Grace were teenagers they moved to America, joining their father who was then preaching in Syracuse, New York. Grace who had grown up a virtual ‘wild child’, free to do as she pleased, found herself in a middle-class world of shopping centers and drive-ins, of schools and rules.

I never understood the rules,” she said. “I can’t behave. I don’t know how to.” She fought the system. She rebelled. She cursed. She wore Afros before they became fashionable, and she displayed her breasts long before nudity was acceptable undress. The locals regarded her as “a crazy girl.” Her report cards described her as “socially sick.”

“I WAS THE ONLY BLACK GIRL AT MY JUNIOR-HIGH SCHOOL. I HAD AN AFRO, A JAMAICAN ACCENT, I LOOKED REALLY OLD. I WAS ORIGINALLY TRAINING TO BE A TEACHER OF LANGUAGES. I SPEAK FRENCH, SPANISH, JAPANESE, ITALIAN AND GERMAN. WHEN I RAN INTO MY DRAMA TEACHER ALL THAT CHANGED.”

College couldn’t hold her for long and soon she ran off to Philadelphia where she studied in drama workshops. Then she ran off to New York and landed a spot with the renowned Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, and was soon modeling in Paris for Vogue and Elle.

In 1973 Grace got her first taste of acting when she landed the part of “Mary” in the Ossie Davis directed, “Gordon’s War.” While in Paris modeling, she landed another role as “Cuidy” in the 1975 french comedy “Let’s Make A Dirty Movie” (the American title).

Grace had been an underground, uncrowned “queen” for years before the “straight” world discovered her, she was the darling of the gay disco crowd. She haunted New York City’s day world of dance studios, salons, fashion shows, photo studios, and openings, and the night world of polysex bathhouses, private clubs and discos.

In the days when “Le Jardin” was the disco that ruled Manhattan, Grace Jones was it’s acknowledged queen. Night after night she ruled the dance floor, moving, dancing, creating. And every move she made, every step she took, was watched and studied, and copied a hundred times over.

By late 1976 Grace found that modeling no longer satisfied her, and since singing had always been one of her primary obsessions and with the emergence of discos and disco music, she decided on a career in music. She acquired a manager and press agent, and Tom Moulton, the acknowledged “master of the disco mix,” was hired to produce her first album. Tom brought in top notch people to help, “The Sweethearts Of Sigma Sound” did the backgrounds, while Vince Montana did vibes, conducting and arranging, the albums line-up also include Ron Kersey and Bobby Eli among it’s credits.

The first 12″ single released from the album “Portfolio,” raced up the club charts and immediately established Grace as a musical force to be reckoned with. “I Need A Man” dominated dance floors across the country in the summer of 1977. Her second 12″ single, the double-sided hit, “Sorry” and “That’s The Trouble,” which Grace co-wrote, helped cement her status in the disco community and propelled the sales of her album.

“I MADE MY DEBUT AT STUDIO FIFTY-FOUR, AT THEIR NEW YEARS EVE PARTY. I WAS THE FIRST ARTIST TO SING LIVE THERE.”

By 1978 Grace had met French artist Jean Paul Goude whom she would later marry and who would father Grace’s only child, a son. Goude an avant-garde artist would also be instrumental in guiding Grace through a number of career transitions. For her second album, “Fame,” Tom Moulton once again assembled the cream of the crop. This time John Davis (of Monster Orchestra fame) was brought in for arrangements. The first 12″ single was “Do Or Die” and once again Grace was in the Top Ten on club playlists. The second 12″ was “Fame” backed with the haunting “Am I Ever Gonna Fall In Love In New York City.” This album put Grace in a modern dance sound and introduced her to a much larger audience than her freshman effort. By this time Grace was a permanent fixture at Studio 54 when not touring or recording. She was often photographed frolicking with other celebs at New York’s most infamous disco.

1979 saw Grace in the movie “Army Of Lovers” (or a.k.a. “Revoulution Of The Perverts”). In this personal diary-style documentary of German Gay rights activist Von Praunheim’s sojourn in the U.S. Grace is seen writhing her way through “I Need A Man” at a rally and is sharply criticized for doing so by a Lesbian feminist.

Her next album only produced one 12″ single. “On Your Knees” did receive clubplay but at this point disco and Grace seemed to be going in different directions. Sales for 1979’s “Muse” were less than spectacular even though the album contained a fabulous medley. And despite critics and sales, Grace was just being Grace! This album was to be the final collaboration with Tom Moulton. Album graphics and pictures were once again by Richard Bernstein, who had done the previous two. Arrangements were by Thor Baldursson and John Davis and the background vocals included Phil Hurtt and Ron Tyson.

By 1980 the relationship between Jones and Goude firmly intertwined, Grace and Jean Paul reinvented her image and sound. For the album “Warm Leatherette” they chose producers Alex Sadkin and Chris Blackwell. This was the beginning of the Compass Point Sessions and the new “Sly & Robbie” reggae flavored sound that Grace would become most famously linked to. Three 12″ singles were released from the album, a remake of the Motown classic “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game,” the Bryan Ferry penned “Love Is The Drug,” and the title track “Warm Leatherette.” This album marked a direct effort towards the bastardization of reggae and rock. The results were stunning! Grace now appealed to the emerging punk devotees as well as retaining her loyal gay following. The album was released with two different covers.

1981 brought Grace back to the movies with a role as “slick’s girlfriend” in “Deadly Venegance.” The movie was a financial bomb, but Grace’s biggest success was just around the corner. For her second Nassau, Bahamas recorded album, “Nightclubbing,” Grace wrote a little number that would eventually become her biggest hit ever. The first 12″ was “Pull Up To My Bumper.” That song became one of the top club hits of the year and is without a doubt her biggest to date.

The other 12″ singles from the album were: “Feel Up,” “Walking In The Rain” and a cover of Sting’s “Demolition Man.” There’s no doubt that the success of this album was propelled by the Disconet Remix of “Pull Up To The Bumper.” At this point music videos were just coming into their own with the start-up of MTV and Grace was on the cutting edge of it. She began making music videos with “Warm Leatherette” and for this album she did four of them.

1982 saw the last of The Compass Point Sessions being recorded with Sly, Robbie, Alex and Chris. For “Living My Life” Grace wrote or co-wrote all the songs save one (“The Apple Stretching”). This album was the most reggae flavored of the three she recorded with Blackwell and Sadkin. The 12″ singles from the album were: “Nipple To The Bottle” and “Cry Now, Laugh Later.” More music videos followed this release.

She received a Grammy nomination in 1983 for her video-only release “A One Man Show.” The video was a visual extravaganza encompassing all that is Grace….bizarre, eclectic, mesmerizing, hypnotic, beauty and style.

By 1984 Grace had attained enough notoriety to land a starring role in the big budget Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Conan The Destroyer” playing Zula. Her acting received unanimous praise and landed her the role of Mayday in the 1985 James Bond thriller “A View To A Kill.” Playing nemesis to Roger Moore alongside Christopher Walken.

Her album “Slave To The Rhythm” was a musical biography in 8 acts. Produced by Art Of Noise leader Trevor Horn, it took Grace in yet a whole new musical direction.The 1985 release had the title track on 12″ single and spawned the hugely successful video compilation “State Of Grace.” All videos were conceived and directed by Goude and showcase Grace’s striking visual presence. That same year a “greatest hits” of sorts was released. “Island Life” has three tracks from the Tom Moulton sessions but relies more heavily on the Blackwell/Sadkin sessions.

The momentum of the 1980’s continued with the starring role in 1986’s “Vamp” where Grace played modern day vampire Katrina. Her album that year was the Nile Rodgers produced “Inside Story.” The 12″ singles of “Crush” and “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You)” did extremely well but the killer track was “Victor Should Have Been A Jazz Musician.”

Her next movie, 1987’s “Straight To Hell” gave Grace a minor role in the Courtney Love dark comedy. The remainder of the year saw Grace concentrating on her acting with appearances in “Siesta” with Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen, and the Mick Jagger video of “Running Out Of Luck” as herself.

For most of 1988 Grace took time off to relax, enjoy her son, and reformulate her career strategy. She did make an appearance on “Pee Wee Herman’s Christmas Special” as herself. She also filmed her first television commercial. The automobile commercial featured some stunning visuals of Grace tearing across the desert, putting her well manicured foot to the pedal, and driving into her mouth. Part of the shot of her driving into her mouth was also used as the cover of her 1989 album “Bulletproof Heart”.

“Bulletproof Heart” was to be Grace’s last original full length album. The album lacked a certain cohesivness, perhaps due to the abundance of producers. David Cole & Robert Clivilles (C & C Music Factory) did some of the production and the album featured such notable guests as Diva Gray, Lani Groves, Vanesse Thomas, Jocelyn Brown and Martha Wash. The album produced two 12″ singles: “Love On Top Of Love” and “Amado Mio.”

click below to listen

GRACE JONES -Pull Up To The Bumper

DJ HARVEY ( redbull academy interview )

Posted in Boogie, DJ HARVEY, Leftfield House, Soul/Disco on June 2, 2008 by bangtheparty

RBMA: »So what constitutes a good party in your opinion?«

DJ Harvey: »Just the majority of people having a good time. There’s so many ways that can be achieved: indoors, outdoors, small crowd, big crowd. Most people are enjoying themselves, as simple as that.«

RBMA: »And you’re trying to throw good parties now in Hawaii?«

DJ Harvey: »Yeah, getting onto the Hawaii thing, I’m partner in a spaced out there called 39 Hotel, it’s 39 Hotel Street, Chinatown, Honolulu. Basically, it’s a multimedia space and we have art shows, jazz nights, all kinds of different things going on. Saturday night is the dance night and we have dance DJs and various people coming and going.«

RBMA: »And you’re taking care of the soundsystem.«

DJ Harvey: »We’ve only been open a year and up until now we’ve only had a small simple JBL soundsystem, but as we speak I’m looking into buying something pretty fancy with a bunch of vintage ’70s components and I want to build a world class soundsystem.«

RBMA: »Can you elaborate, what’s a good soundsystem to you?«

DJ Harvey: »A good soundsystem is something that has high fidelity so you can hear what’s on the record and some weight and power so you can feel it, that’s pretty much it. The key is to have a clean signal path, it all starts with the stylus. If your stylus is no good, your system is going to amplify something that’s no good. All the amps and preamps will amplify the sound from the needle. So you start with a good needle, which is a reissue Shure V15 2, they’re about $350 a pop. It’s a hi-fi stylus but they’re robust enough to withstand back cueing. Probably then run through Bozak, we have a custom Bozak in the club. A Urei mixer is a copy of a Bozak, Bozak came out a few years beforehand, very fine components which give a pretty smooth clean sound, a softer sound than the Urei.«

RBMA: »What actually is a Bozak?«

DJ Harvey: »It’s a rotary controlled preamplifier for turntables and whatever else you might have. It also has phono-in’s and line-in’s and it’s the first commercially available DJ mixer and still the best. Urei’s are good, they have a little tighter sound, but a Bozak is like sprinkling icing sugar on the cake. From the Bozak, it tries to run through as little processes as possible, gates and compression and so on. It protects the system but it doesn’t help the sound. I’ll have an idiot-proof button so if there’s someone there who doesn’t know what they’re doing, I’ll hit the button that holds everything in place.

But anyone who knows what they’re doing will have full headroom with no compression on the system. So a simple signal path from the Bozak through a simple EQ and then I’ll split a five-way system, I have a Richard Long three-way crossover where the middle sections are full-range, the tops and the bass. It’s not like the modern three-ways which tend to be a mid, high and bass, this is a full-range, which is everything, and then with support at 10k and 80 for the bass. So I’ll run a three-way system through the full-range and then have subbass support and a bullet tweeter array for the highs. I’ve been chatting with Nicky Siano about some prototype Klipsch cabinets and stuff.«

RBMA: »Klipsch are pretty legendary.«

DJ Harvey: »Yes, Mancuso runs a Klipsch horn system with Levinson amps and it’s a very clean lovely system. But it can be a bit frustrating because it doesn’t have the weight, the punch that I’m looking for for my system. His system is very soft, easy going, but a little too easy going for my liking. You could stand there listening to it for 12 hours and not have any ear fatigue.«

RBMA: »Have you ever been to The Loft?«

DJ Harvey: »Yeah, I’ve been to it at a couple of different locations. Once in Alphabet City in the early ’90s and more recently he plays in the Ukrainian Centre in Manhattan. He brings his system and it’s a great party.«

RBMA: »He’s the master of not mixing records but having a great party.«

DJ Harvey: »He leaves gaps between the records, which gives people an opportunity to applaud or have a chat about it for five minutes before the next record comes on. But I think it’s good, he has a very different pace to the whole night, nothing’s forced, the records speak for themselves. It takes a little while to get used to but once you get the idea, watch what everyone’s doing and go with the flow, it’s a great party.«

RBMA: »Why Hawaii, is it the up and coming dance music centre of the world?«

DJ Harvey: »I don’t think Hawaii will ever be the dance music centre of the world, there’s too much to do during the day. You can go to the beach and go surfing, there’s not really any reason to lock yourself in a dark club for 12 hours. It’s a very musical place and you can enjoy the culture, enjoy the arts, but as far as a destination for European hordes to go out and claim it as the next Ayia Napa or something, it’s a long way from Europe, it costs a lot of money to get out there and it’s expensive to stay. Everything’s an import so it’s an expensive place, but we’ve had some wonderful parties in the last year.«

RBMA: »Hawaiian won’t become a genre like balearic?«

DJ Harvey: »It may well do if I can hold down the identity of the movement. I had the idea of doing this little flyer that said Loft, house, Paradise Garage, hotel, and I’ve got the hotel. Just another one of those, “Oh, I’m into hotel music.”«

RBMA: »Be honest, you just picked a place where you could enjoy yourself?«

DJ Harvey: »Hawaii was a very exotic destination for me ever since I was a kid. I’ve always been into skateboarding and recently got into surfing, so Hawaii was a natural place for me be able to enjoy surfing. It was the natural step and having DJed there and got on with the locals who enjoyed what I was doing, I’ve become established there. It’s great.«

RBMA: »Maybe you could play us another one of your Black Cock things.«

DJ Harvey: »Let’s see what we can find.«

RBMA: »And why Black Cock?«

DJ Harvey: »I thought, what’s the most potently sexual thing in the world? It’s got to be a black cock. Everyone remembers it, it’s like, “Ooh, ah, ee!” It hurts to think about that kind of thing.«

RBMA: »Are there any new records you like?«

DJ Harvey: »Yeah, loads but I can’t think of any right now.«

RBMA: »Sometimes one gets the impression that guys like Lindstrom and the Idjut Boys, for instance, are just making records for you to play them.«

DJ Harvey: »That would be nice. Idjut Boys are a case in point, they’re making great new music. Lindstrom seems to be very prolific, he’s making ten remixes a week. Lindstrom, stop it or you’ll wear yourself out, dude!«

RBMA: »Maybe you could talk about Idjut Boys and the whole nu disco explosion in the late ’90s? You are being held responsible for that.«

DJ Harvey: »I have problems with the whole genre thing, I think that just helps journalists write about stuff. I suppose there’s a loose group of DJs and musicians that championed the slightly more sophisticated dance music sound towards the end of the ’90s. It’s nothing more than that, really. There was nothing contrived about it, it just happened we were enjoying that kind of music so we made that kind of music.«

RBMA: »Can you tell us about Japan, where you’re a bit of a cult hero?«

DJ Harvey: »Japan is always a good time, I’ve been there many, many times over the years. The kids really know their stuff, they do the research. They’ve got the mania. They do their research and sing along to records and I wonder how they know them. Japan is really good, I’ve toured all over and had a great reception. It’s an amazing place to hang out, the food’s amazing, the people are really friendly and they’re enthusiastic. If you’re passionate about what you do, they’ll give it back.«

RBMA: »And Japanese trainspotters are the craziest?«

DJ Harvey: »Pretty much. They’ll take a photograph of every record I play and then hold their phone up so they’ll have a photo and audio recording as well.«

Participant: »A friend told me you have something to do with Moton re-edits

DJ Harvey: »I was involved in the launch of that label, the name was my concept, which relates back to the Japanese thing. The Japanese have a strange grasp of English and when they name things they often use English words. Say, they were going to build a CD player, they wouldn’t call it Pioneer, they’d call it ‘Oneer’. They take a few letters off here and there and make a new word that kind of relates to what they want to do, like Evisu is just Levi’s with the ‘L’ taken off. So I was thinking of using that as a concept, we’ll have Motown, but with the ‘W’ taken out it becomes Moton. I think these days they’re a straight bootleg label, but the first three or four releases that I was involved in were remixing end editing tracks. I enjoyed that side of it but I’m not too interested in the business side of running a label, so I let them get on with it, Diesel and Jarvis.«

Participant: »Did you ever pay sample clearance on the Black Cock records?«

DJ Harvey: »In a word, no. I thought I could get away with it and I have done but there’s a grey area, which is allowed to exist in the sampling world and they won’t come after you for money unless you’ve got any money to give them. If someone came to me and said: “I want the profit from Black Cock.”, I’d say: “You owe me $10 for promoting your arse, we didn’t make any money.” If there was any chance to make some money then few artists want to turn that down, few artists will say: “No, I don’t want to relaunch my career.” It’s: “OK, let’s make this thing happen.” A lot of the time, especially in hip hop, these tracks are made and then licensing isn’t paid until the album is released.«

Participant: »So you’d be willing to give money back?«

DJ Harvey: »Yeah, there isn’t any money anyway, but if we’d made some money and someone came to me and said: “We want a percentage of the profit,” then great, no worries. Any more?«

Participant: »So it seems there’s a red line running through your career, a Black Cock that is only re-edits and now you have a band that makes only 1.000 copies of your record. You’re asking for it, man. What are you going to do, bootleg your own records?«

DJ Harvey: »These days money is made in music by people downloading mp3s for a buck a go and buying CDs. Nobody buys records anymore.«

Participant: »Except for these guys (points to audience).«

DJ Harvey: »Except for these guys. That’s good, that record is for you people and I’m sure there are still some copies out there somewhere. But they’re really just promotional luxury items for DJs journalists and collectors. On this record, the paper part cost more than the vinyl part because we really wanted a nice print.«

Participant: »So it’s like New Order – Blue Monday, you’re losing money on every copy?«

DJ Harvey: »Yeah, I think we’re losing money on those. But when it comes to it everyone will be able to get their hands on the music. I’ll do a limited gatefold vinyl for the album, there’ll be CDs and downloadable mp3s and I’m sure people will be able to go on Kazaa or Limewire and get it for free. For me, I pay my rent by being a professional DJ so it’s the making of the music that’s important to me. I enjoy the process of realising an idea. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Arab dude on the cover, blah, blah, blah.” And then to see it actually happen, that’s me happy, I’m done. I don’t really care if anyone buys the record or not.«

Participant: »You were just saying nobody buys records anymore but the impression I get is, it might be it’s selling less but it’s growing to be more loved day by day. It’s become almost mystical so what would your reaction be and how would you feel if someone released a White Cock of Map Of Africa re-edited?«

DJ Harvey: »I suppose, initially I’d take it as a compliment but it depends. If I was starving and couldn’t pay my rent and someone else was doing well selling my work, then I’d probably contact them and ask them for a licensing fee. But apart from that it wouldn’t bother me.«

Participant: »Another thing I want to ask you, you’re easily traceable to Black Cock, so if, was it the Pointer Sisters with the Cookie?

DJ Harvey: »If the Cookie Monster comes knocking on my door: “Where’s my money?”«

Participant: »If the Cookie Monster wants his money he knows where to call. How come you’ve dodged that?«

DJ Harvey: »Like I said before, there is a grey area that’s allowed to exist where people are allowed to sample, and as long as no money is being made people don’t mind. Any money made from Black Cock went back into the label. In fact, with this particular record (holds up record), I didn’t even collect the money from the distributors, I let them keep it because I couldn’t be bothered to go and chase a few bucks.«

Participant: »But obviously, if the album was to sell 5.000 copies you’d have enough money to pay them for that?«

DJ Harvey: »Yes, exactly.«

Participant: »OK, I see.«

DJ Harvey: »If someone was to come to me now, there’s no money made in the first place for me to pay them. So, to take me through the courts, it’s a pain in the arse.«

Participant: »But now, if you were starving you could print 10.000 copies of the Black Cocks and they would all sell out for a reasonable price.«

DJ Harvey: »I could do that.«

Participant: »I was just talking to Jason last night. I like music as much as anyone, but sometimes it is a bit nerdy to go after this like it is a religious object or something. But since you have got to this place, if you take time and as long as you got a good publisher and so on, you could.«

DJ Harvey: »Sure, we have thought of doing a box set and if that was the case it would be a lot more official. Black Cock is so wrong. We used Foghorn Leghorn who’s a Warner Brothers thing, I know I made him black. But Black Cock’s been and gone, it’s a done thing and the people that own them can enjoy them.«

Participant: »And they also have been bootlegged.«

DJ Harvey: »Have they? Do you know who’s done it? I’d be interested to know. Can you get them?

Participant: »On eBay, yeah.«

DJ Harvey: »Wow.«

Participant: »You can also get t-shirts, a lot of Black Cock merchandising.«

DJ Harvey: »Oh well, someone’s doing well. I think I know who’s doing t-shirts, I don’t know about the records. That’s interesting, I’ll have to check it out. I heard someone say they were thinking of it, there’s only a few people who would do it and there’s only a few pressing plants. I’ll send out some beams and get to know. It’s one of five people.«

RBMA: »And speaking of being a professional DJ, you’ve been DJing, what? 20-plus years? Will there come a point when you’ve had enough?«

DJ Harvey: »Not really, I still enjoy playing records. I suppose, I could just end up in a little bar in Samoa and have my vintage soundsystem, playing records to my customers. But I don’t really see myself growing bored with it, as long as people accept me, then yeah.«

Participant: »Just one more question. Is this yours, did you take part in this, Stars with Sylvester?«

DJ Harvey: »What about it?«

Participant: »I just bought it this morning.«

DJ Harvey: »You just bought it? Has it got my name on it? Maybe someone stole it off me.«
(record is passed forward)
»Oh no, that’s not me. This is a wonderful record, though.«

RBMA: »Let’s hear the other Harvey.«

DJ Harvey: »Let’s see what the other Harvey can do. There’s an instrumental of this somewhere. Is this my outro? This’ll be a good outro for me.«
(music: Sylvester – I Need Somebody (To Love Tonight))
»Are we going to call it a day after this? Are we all going to go record shopping now, bring everyone along, just bumrush the record stores (laughs)? OK. Thank you very much for having me.«

click below to listen

DJ HARVEY – No Way Back

KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS

Posted in Boogie, KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS, Soul/Disco on June 2, 2008 by bangtheparty

“You Shoulda Told Me You Were”, the second Columbia album from Kid Creole and the Coconuts (and the group’s ninth career album), may be their most exciting, artistic and cohesive release ever. Many of the previous collections of Darnell’s tropical dance delicacies were held together by the freshness of the material and the group’s unique style. The new album has those elements, but sports new musical directions and a feeling of unity, as well.

“There is good a reason for that”, Darnell intimates. “This was approached as an album. It was done more or less over a given period of time, whereas the previous one took a track from here two years ago, and a track from there. So, this was more of an album project”.

The new album also has some of the toughest, wryest lyrics that Darnell has recorded to date. “Oh Marie”, for example, comments on the phenomenon of “Mushroom”, innocent bystanders mowed down in the urban drug wars: “The only thing she was guilty of / Was living on a street where they sell drugs … Happens all the time / Marie didn’t even make the headlines”.

On the other hand, “Soul Intention” and the first single, “Party Girl”, deal with more interpersonal matters in a typically Kid Creole manner. Infused with playful energy, these two tunes may be among Darnell’s most twisted songs. anyone familiar with Kid Creole knows that is saying a lot.

Funnily enough about ‘Soul Intention’ ”, Darnell muses, “there has been a resurgence of the late ’60s sound these days. I didn’t write the song with that in mind, but that genre has always been fun for me. ‘Party Girl’ also has that late 60’s, early 70s feel”.

Then there’s “Consequently”, a musical antidote to all the hoopla over the impending Columbus Quincentennial, “but I’m sure nobody is going to hear the lyrics anyway”, Darnell winks.

“The lyrics on this album are deliberately not printed inside”, he notes. “So much of the music that I do, people get surface idea of what it’s about, but they don’t really know. I think people will love Cory Daye’s vocal on that song and never know what it says. It took four years before I got a fan letter from someone asking me to explain ‘Cherchez Le Femme’ Back in 1976, people thought it was just a dance record”.

That was the year August Darnell first rose to notoriety as bass player, vocalist and lyricist for Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, one of disco’s most unusual ensembles. The brainchild of August’s brother Stony Browder Jr., and featuring the vocals of Cory Daye, the vibes work of Sugar Coated Andy Hernandez and the jungle of Mickey Seville, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band was one of the most singular groups ever to cross-over pop. Sounding like a 1940s big band with a more modern beat, the OSB struck RIAA gold with their first album, including the mighty hit, “Cherchez Le Femme”

In the dozen years since the OSB went on hiatus, August Darnell has fronted one of the hardest working bands in showbiz, Kid Creole and the Coconuts. They have played thousands of shows, recorded eight albums and a greatest hits collection, been featured on several film soundtracks, performed the music for “Life Without Zoe” (Francis Ford Coppola’s segment of the film New York Stories), and played in Taylor Hackford’s film Against old Odds. You have also seen them on television, everywhere form “The Tonight Show” and a Barry Manilow Special, to the Miss Teen USA Pageant and their own special for Granada TV in England, Something Wrong in Paradise.

Ironically, Kid Creole and the Coconuts were initially conceived as a holding action until the Savannah Band could record again, and a means for August to tour (something the OSB’s elaborate strings and orchestral arrangements made very difficult). From the start, Kid Creole and the Coconuts have been playing human music you can dance to, with various Caribbean influences and one of the most interesting pop sensibilities around. (Witness the rare soca version of Darnell’s hit for Machine, “There But For The Grace Of God Go I”.)

This approach carried over the Off The Coast of Me, the first Kid Creole and the Coconuts album, which was rife with sardonic touches, like a dance version of the 1940s German hit, “Lilli Marlene”, or the silly but sensual title track, or the song that still best sums up the band, “Calypso Pan American”.

Darnell expanded on the idea with Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ next album, Fresh Fruit In Foreign Places. Loosely conceptual, that album found Kid Creole searching for Mimi, with “15 cronies, seven mariners and (his) skipper, coatimundi”. The album was performed more or less as an opera, with former Savannah associate Gichy Dan rapping the narration in concert in New York and for Joseph Papp’s Public Theater.

Their next album, entitled “Wise Guy” here and Tropical Gangsters nearly everywhere else, became the great European hit of 1982, and spawned three top ten U.K. hits, “I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby”, “Stool Pigeon” and “Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy”. A continuation of the Mimi cycle, it brought the band a level of wealth and adulation they had not previously even imagined.

The cycle was completed with the next album. Doppelganger. The story then became the basis for There’s Something Wrong in Paradise, a Granada TV special broadcast in England on Boxing Day, December 24, 1984.

The next two albums, “In Praise Of Older Women” and “Other Crimes and I, Too Have Seen The Woods” were supported by extensive touring through Europe, with notable engagements such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, a performance before the Princess of Wales, and a gig for the United Nations in Geneva. Darnell also wrote the music for an Off-Broadway performed wall-to-wall Kid Creole music throughout the 1989 “Miss Teen USA Pagenat”.

After a two and a half year break between albums, Kid Creole and the Coconuts recorded Private Water In the Great Divide, the group’s Columbia debut. The album featured the single “The Sex Of It”, written and produces by Prince, and offered a dozen prime slices of Kid Creole, like “No More Casual Sex”, “Dr. Paradise”, “He’s Takin’ The Rap” and a tribute to Darnell’s self-described extravagance, “Laughing With Our Backs Against The Wall”. That tune and “Cory’s Song” reintroduced Cory Daye into the full time world of popular music, as the former Savannah Band lead singer became a full time Coconut.

One constant theme in Kid Creole and the Coconuts has been personnel. Nearly every person who has been a member of the band, every person Darnell has ever worked with, either is still with the group or makes guest appearances. On “You Shoulda Told Me Were…” such stalwarts in the Darnell talent directory as Gichy Dan and former Coconut Lourdes Cotto sing. Stoney Browder Jr. also lends a hand.

“Same old family”, Darnell adds. “It’s like the old days in Hollywood, when the studios, 20th Century Fox, MGM, they used to have an extended family, like a repertory company. That’s been my philosophy from 1976 on. You find cats that you know can cut the music, and you stick by them. You work with them time and time again, because you know they can give you what you need. Consequently, it makes life easier for you. I’d hate to have to go through that whole process of finding the guys again. It took such a long time to find the right band that I’m for holding onto them, against all odds. David Span, the drummer, goes back to 1975. Long time”.

“On this album”, Darnell continues, Bongo Eddie raps and plays percussion. Who else are the special guest stars on the album? Peter (Schott) played the tracks on the album; he also co-wrote “Oh Marie” and “Something Incomplete” with me, but he recently became a father, which cut into his time factor. So, he’s not with us on the live show anymore. He’s been replaced by Kevin Nance, who used to play with Machine. He co-wrote “There But For The Grace Of God” with me.

Carol Colman had a hiatus for six months”, August goes on, “but she’s back. Father Grey from Jamaica is still on guitar; Danny Blume is still on lead guitar. The horns are still the same; ken Fradley, Lee Robinson and Charlie Lagond. The Coconuts are still Adriana (Kaegi), Janique (Svedberg) our Swedish entity; and Taryn (Hagey), who was on hiatus for about three years, is back with us”.

Not that he’s conten to rely strictly on the old gang. True, Kid Creole and Coconuts has been the launching pad for singers like Fonda Rae, Lori Eastside and a host of early 1980’s dance artists. But new talent works its way into the fold, too.

“There is a new singer that we used on the album”, says August. “New for us, not new for the world. Her name is Dian Sorel. She’s the soulful voice that you hear on ‘Oh, Marie’ at the end and on ‘Baby Doc’. She’s all through the album, and I thought that was a nice added twist. She’s an opposite entity to Cory Daye’s mellow approach”.

Always the road animals, even as “You Shoulda Told Me Were…” hits the racks, Kid Creole are touring. As wonderful as the albums are, Kid Creole and Coconuts live is something else again.

Of course, my something else is more theatrical”, August laughs. “If you remember, choreography was a word that no one could even pronounce twelve years ago. No one even knew what it meant. Couldn’t even spell it. But now, it’s become part and parcel to almost everything with the video world out there. Everyone needs a choreographer these days”.

“Needless to say”, but he does, “choreography has been a large part of our thing since the very beginning, and is still a very large part of our thing. You have to et the audience’s attention. I’ve known this lesson for a long time. The Coconuts used to come onstage in bathing suits, scantily clad, strategically ripped, leopard skin, to get your attention”.

So pay attention, because live and on record there is a lot going on. Beyond everything else, Kid Creole and the Coconuts are quintessential entertainers. The live show has always proved this. Appearances in the forthcoming film Love Stinks will no doubt add to this. “You Shoulda Told Me Were…” takes it even further.

“You can be as creative and esoteric as you want to be”, August Darnell states, “but you damn sure better make somebody happy at some point. I’m a hard working individual, and I’ll always be that. I make a lot of money and I spend a lot of money. And that’s my life-style. And that’s why I’ll always have to do what I love to do, which is to entertain”.

click below to listen

KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – Going Places

GINO SOCCIO (canadian hero, and better than Cerrone )

Posted in Boogie, GINO SOCCIO, Soul/Disco on May 28, 2008 by bangtheparty

Gino Soccio is often mistaken as a European artist. Perhaps because of his euro-disco sounds? In fact Gino is a French Canadian, who was born in Montreal and now resides in Quebec.

Gino first gained prominence as a musician in the mid 1970’s. His first sessions of note were under the guise of Kebekelektrik (pronounced Quebec Electric) who scored hits in 1977 with “Magic Fly” (predating a version by Space) and “War Dance.” Both songs would be remixed and re-released in 1981 and 1982 on Rio Records.

Moving into the realm of producer in 1978, Gino went to the famed Muscle Schoals Sound Studios (my cousin’s studios) to work with it’s legendary musicians on a disco concept album of rock classics. The resulting “Witch Queen” was released in 1979 and scored a major hit with “Bang A Gong.”

Still not ready to become a solo artist he continued producing. Next up was fellow Canadian Karen Silver and her debut album, “Hold On I’m Comin’.” The title track from the 1979 album became a top ten hit. Both were released on Arista Records in here in the States.

With both of these successes Gino was ready to step forward as an artist. Released in 1979, “Outline” became an immediate hit. The 12″ single of “Dancer” raced up the charts and landed at number one. The album spawned two more 12″ singles, both of which went Top Ten in the clubs, “The Visitors” and “Dance To Dance” neither had the radio impact of “Dancer.”

Despite coming into disco near its end, Gino would be one of the few artists to survive the disco backlash and flourish through it’s darkest period. By the time of his next release, 1980’s “S-Beat,” musical tastes had shifted. This album still had his euro-disco sound but incorporated elements of the emerging “new wave” of sounds, as evidenced by the 12″ single of the title track. A second 12″ single, “Rhythms Of The World,” also became a hit, perhaps more because of a special Disconet remix. The album’s sales were good and established him as a major disco star. And a third single, “Heartbreaker,” made him one of the only disco artists to have three singles from each of their first two albums chart.

His biggest success came in 1981, just as disco seemed to be dead. The release of “Closer” brought Gino to a wider more diverse audience. His previous releases were widely accepted by the close knit disco community whereas “Closer” brought him acceptance from the R&B/Black radio stations. The first 12″ single, “Try It Out” was exactly where radio and clubs wanted to be, downtempo. And the follow-up “Hold Tight” continued in that vein.

Gino, seeing the future of dance music, realized that high energy was not the sound of the early 1980’s. Downtempo and funkier were the key words. So he proved he could change with the times.

His work with Karen Silver continued with a streak of hits for her. “Fake” (1980), “Nobody Else” “Set Me Free” (1981) and “Clean Up Woman” (1982). All of which were packaged with her “Hold On I’m Comin’ ” tracks and released on compact disc.

For his next solo album he continued his mid-tempo style with 1982’s “Face To Face.” The first 12″ single was “It’s Alright” which sounds like a leftover track from the “Closer” sessions, naturally it did well. The prize of the album was the next 12″ single, “Remember,” which was pure euro-pop. It was similar in style and formation to Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” or Patrick Cowley’s “Menergy.” Needless to say it revived high energy dance music at a badly needed time and was one of the forerunners of the second wave of “disco high energy” music.

His next release wasn’t until 1984 with the 12″-only of “Turn It Around.” Seems American record companies couldn’t or wouldn’t invest in another album from him. “Turn It Around” was an immediate club hit, in a softer vein than what was popular at the time. Perhaps that was because Gino had tired of trying to make “hit” records and was now focusing on what he liked to do?

Two more 12″ singles followed in 1985 and 1986, “Temptation Eyes” (not the old Grass Roots song) and “Magic” (not the Olivia Newton-John song).

By the late 1980’s Gino had gone back to being a session player and most notably a producer. Since then he has kept a low profile, but one could see another round of his well crafted dance music appear at anytime, because a great talent can never be held back.

click below to listen

GINO SOCCIO – You Move Me

LEROY BURGESS ( redbull academy interview pt. 3 )

Posted in Boogie, Interviews, LEROY BURGESS on May 28, 2008 by bangtheparty

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