More shows to come soon... in the meantime,"To Whom It May Concern...", my musical letter to all of you, is available NOW on iTunes, Amazon.com and Google Play!

Monday, March 11, 2013

How My Parents Influenced My Career In Music (And My Life)

She introduced me to Whitney, Mariah, Anita, Oleta, and Phyllis, but my mother was my diva. She told me that as a child, she would play Diana Ross to her younger sisters’ Supremes. When she sang, people paid attention. Her voice was sweet, yet strong, not a church-trained growler by any means; instead, she was a captivating chanteuse who hit high notes almost effortlessly and pulled off big performance moments like the best of them. Before I was born, she would sing with several local jazz bands (even sharing the stage with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie at one point), but that was put aside to be mother to me. Still, friends would ask her to sing at weddings, anniversary parties, and other gatherings, and each time it was a thrill for me to watch. I sat by her side and watched as she picked out which gown she would wear, as she glammed up with hair, makeup, and jewelry, as she warmed up singing to Regina Belle or Patti Austin or someone like that, all the while struggling to manage nerves, sometimes more successfully than others. It was interesting to observe the conundrum of a glamorous woman and scared little girl all in one. She never seemed to feel entitled to the spotlight as some entertainers, but she walked into it because she loved to sing, she loved to entertain, and she was good at it. A divine gift cannot be denied.

After my parents’ divorce, my mother remarried a gentleman who had been working as a local musician, playing blues at restaurants, small dives, and anywhere else that was paying. My mother stepped back into performing professionally, becoming his partner (and honestly, their main draw), their manager, their booking agent, their stylist, everything… she gave me my first glimpse into what it meant to be an independent artist, even if she wasn’t aware of what that even meant. It was really cool to watch this industrious housewife grow into tenacious businesswoman. In a matter of few years, they grew to be one of the most celebrated, respected and adored acts in our locality. While my mother no longer sings professionally, I thank her for showing me that music is a gift. A divine gift cannot be denied.

Intelligent. Tenacious (I get it on both sides, lol). Hardworking. Charismatic. My father was (and still is) all of those things, and I admired him for it. I’m not sure if it was inherited or learned, but “I Can Do It” was my motto as a child, and I got it from my father. For me, it wasn’t so much a statement of my self-confidence (I struggled with that for years), but more so that I wished to at least be allowed the opportunity to attempt whatever task presented itself. My father hungered for knowledge. If he didn’t know how something worked, he would learn. If he didn’t know how to fix something, he would read up on it, or inquire of someone who knew how, and then try it himself. He showed me by example that there’s always a way to find out what you wish to know. In my own thirst for knowledge as a child, I developed a particular affinity for words. I loved discovering new words, but asking my father for their meaning was futile. “Look it up” never failed to be his response. As frustrating as this was, it was his way of pushing me to open the dictionary, to seek the knowledge for myself, so that I did. I appreciate that to this day. Knowledge is power, and we were not created to be weak.

My father was an observer. He didn’t miss much, if anything. Even if he didn’t speak on it right away, it was information filed away for later use. Whereas my mother was more likely to dive head first into a new social setting almost na├»ve to any potential dangers, my father would take things in first, pleasant all the while, but trusting after it was earned. He never said this, but I’m pretty sure that he tried to read people like books, flipping through their pages as he observed their actions, searching for a premise or plot to their behavior. There were times when I felt like he didn’t notice me, like he didn’t know me, but then out of the blue, he would do something for me so perfect that I knew I was being observed intently. My father was an adapter, and was driven to excel. Not only did he want to know how to do that thing you did, he wanted to know how to do it better than you did. To be at least above average was always the goal; to be good was frustrating at best; to be just okay was nearly unacceptable. I struggle balancing that same drive to be excellent with the need to appreciate all that I am and have in this moment. But I thank my father for showing me that I didn’t have to settle. Period. Knowledge is power, and we were not created to be weak.

Like so many of us, I have some rather deep-seated issues with both of my parents that I am working through. I am working hard to let go of the negative and to forgive, point blank. Frankly, that’s hard as hell at times, but writing this blog was necessary to help me along on that road. By committing it to writing (and the interwebs), I am choosing to acknowledge the wonderful foundation my parents laid for me to be the man and musician I am today and the man and musician I wish to be tomorrow. I thank them, and I thank you, whoever you are, for taking the time to read this.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Help Me Raise Funds to Shoot My FIRST VIDEO!!

PureHearts! I will be shooting my very first music video very soon, but I need your help to make it happen. Please show your support my clicking HERE and making a donation, and/or spreading the word by sharing that link. 

THANK YOU in advance!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jack Splash feat. Missy Elliott & Jazmine Sullivan - "I Could Have Loved You"

I was checking out one of one of my favorite blogs TheNext2Shine.com, and I discovered this gem from 2010! It's exclusive to their site, so head on over and check it out by clicking HERE.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Cover: Luther Vandross - "Superstar"

This is my first one, peoples, so bear with me while I figure it out. Lol!