Musician Henry Cooper brings back ‘real’ music, works on new LP

Multi-instrumentalist Henry Cooper is on his way to break musical ground with a new album, “The Best of Me (Part 2),” which is rooted in his various musical influences and exquisite artistry.

With heavy enthusiasm, Cooper considers his sophomore album to be a testament of real musicianship and ambition that is absent in the musical landscape today.

“The reason why I title it ‘The Best of Me’ is because it’s just all of me playing certain songs, based on my own influences,” he says. “I just want to give something back and express to people what real music is all about.”

The Georgia native says that his musical influences are widely diverse, ranging from jazz, R&B, classical, and gospel. He cites his family as one of his biggest influences, as they introduced him to music through different phases of his life.

“My top influences were Marvin Gaye, Grover Washington, Jr., Chuck Mangoine, Quincy Jones, Maynard Ferguson, Michael Jackson, and some others” he says. “So I mainly was involved in a lot of groups that I was inspired by.”

In addition to working on his own music, Cooper has contributed music for other artists. He says that he has worked with many gospel artists, most notably Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary.

Cooper also has a background for composing, arranging, and producing music and has been known for expressing his disappointment of the lack of musicianship in music today.

“You see people these days [who] haven’t played instruments in years or never played an instrument,” he says. “It all comes about trying, it all comes with how to do this stuff … you see most people today [who] never played an instrument, never read music, or never went to school.”

Cooper added that his new album will be released later this year, and his previous works are now available on Soundcloud and YouTube.

Check out Henry Cooper’s music at:
http://henrycooper1.bandcamp.com/

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Up-and-coming artist unveils new sound and flavor with ‘Rebels’


From Joshua Jackson’s upcoming project, “Rebels.” COPYRIGHT © 2012 BMI. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

It’s not every day that one comes across a young artist who pays homage to the past, while looking at the present. In a time where artists and producers are typically manufactured for fame, there is a lack of uninhibited talent circulating in the music industry today.

However, newcomer Joshua Jackson is bound to dominate the music world, with the release of his upcoming mixtape, “Rebels.”

“I feel that it is time for the world to understand me as an artist,” he says. “Music is my passion and life.”

The 17-year-old Louisianan has aspirations to share his music with the world and spark a change in the way people hear music. He says that his new mixtape, “Rebels,” which he plans to release in November, will be an experimental and funky project that revisits 1970s and 1980s old-school funk and R&B styles.

“I am inspired strongly by Prince, Stevie Wonder, [the band] America … just to name a few,” he says. “One of the first songs that made me want to do what I’m doing is ‘The Bird’ by The Time. When I figured out [Prince] produced and wrote it, I knew what time it was.”

Jackson also says that he is strictly going the independent route for this upcoming mixtape, as well as future releases. Hugely distrustful of mainstream practices, he says that he is aware of his own methods of distributing and sharing music.

“I’m just not keen on what happens in the mainstream today,” he says. “I plan on releasing my music my own way and places like YouTube and Bandcamp has allowed me to do that.”

Check out more of Joshua Jackson’s music at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/HypeRhymz

Musician FunkKid preps new music for November, talks music aspirations

Funkkid
Photo courtesy: http://www.reverbnation.com/funkkidmusic

Above, is an edited interview I conducted with producer and musician David Ford (commonly known as “FunkKid.” During this interview, he discusses his music career, musical influences, life, and the challenges of being an independent artist.

It is known that there is a lack of authenticity in the musical landscape today. Artists and producers are typically manufactured and image-driven for popularity and fame. However, there is a newcomer who plans to blow away the competition with his distinctive style and unique skills.

David Ford, commonly known as “FunkKid,” is on a mission to bring back quality music on the radio and in the ears of many around the world with his upcoming album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat).”

“My main goal is to make music that people can feel in their soul … feel in their hearts,” David Ford says. “I just don’t want to make a beat someone can dance to. I want people to feel something.”

Ford considers his upcoming album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat)” to be a true labor of love. With its unique fusion of hip-hop beats, smooth soul, jazz, and electro, the album will be a culmination of Ford’s masterful musicianship and production styles. He also says that this upcoming album emulates music he grew up to admire, with his own originality to match.

“My main influences for doing music are Prince, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Dr. Dre,” he says. “I was influenced by a lot of different people for this project, so there are going to be a lot of sounds on this project.”

The 24-year-old producer was born in Virginia, but his family moved to Washington, D.C., when he was younger. Ford grew up with a heavy musical influence, ranging from Motown to jazz music. He cites his grandfather as one of his biggest influences as a child, as he introduced him to music through his diverse record collection.

“My grandfather was a jazz musician … he was a drummer,” he says. “My grandfather raised me on Motown. In the household that I grew up in, it was hard for me not to get into music because there was always vinyl laying around.”

Ford has also undergone challenges to distribute his music to the masses. As a producer, he has experienced difficulties in being able to gain exposure and become known as a serious musician. With the booming impact of social network sites, such as Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook, Ford says that he found a way to challenge expectancies that people had toward his music and exceeded them all.

“I have had a hard time trying to get my music out there, as far as the online thing,” he says. “The thing is you have to stick with it, you have to be original … you have to be who you are. All I know is I’m going to throw my stuff out there, and do my best to promote it.”

In addition to being a producer, Ford says that he plans to expand his production talents onto other aspiring artists, and possibly start his own distribution company. With his new album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat),” being released via Bandcamp in November, there is one thing for certain: the “FunkKid” has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Check out FunkKid’s music at these sites:
http://www.reverbnation.com/funkkidmusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/funkkidmusic301

Prince’s first ‘Welcome to Chicago’ show showered with controversy

When music icon Prince announced he’d be performing three consecutive shows in Chicago at the United Center as part of his two-year tour “Welcome 2 America,” the fan community and Chicagoans welcomed the news with showers of praise. But controversy has floated around the first concert of the three-night extravaganza, and it is centering on “the Purple One” himself.

The bad news began the night of Sept. 24, when an audience of fans and attendees anxiously waited for Prince to open his show. It was supposed to have begun at 9 p.m. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, he and his band hadn’t appeared on the United Center stage for almost an hour after the show was supposed to begin.

Shortly after the bewildering lateness, Prince and his band finally took the stage as planned. One attendee of the first show in Chicago, Shonda Dudlicek, offered an alternate description of what happened.

“I don’t understand how everyone said he was late. When I go to a concert, I expect that the time listed on the ticket is when the opening act will come on and that the headline won’t come on until at least an hour or later. That’s the way it’s always been,” she says.

According to Chicago Now Magazine, Prince’s band members were rehearsing backstage and the funk legend himself was hiding in an undisclosed location. Additionally, there were a couple of people in the audience who began to shout profanities and even booed, before Prince took the stage.

“Like with any big show or any big artist, Prince was there. He was just a little late getting on stage,” according to Live Nation event coordinator Megan McKenna. “Things happen. … I believe there were some technical things going on from their end that they were dealing with.”

One other bewildering moment took many attendees by surprise. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, when Prince’s official set ended — with an assortment of funk-drenched hits, medleys and covers — he decided to do an encore with two more songs. The only issue, however, was that he waited too long to take the stage and half of the audience had already left.

“It did suck that we had to wait so long, and that he didn’t come back on until the lights came up,” said Dudlicek. “Normally that’s a cue that the show is over, and everyone knows that. If there was a problem with the personnel, it should’ve been communicated.”

Nevertheless, the first show of the “Welcome to Chicago” series proved a mixed blessing for many, who expected the main attraction to be precise and focused. As Live Nation event coordinator Megan McKenna stated, “Prince gives an actual show … He did apologize for the lateness, but I think that people made it bigger than what it actually was.”