Posts

Raheem DeVaughn :: Sexually intimidating?

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In the weekend that I went to visit my big sis in Manchester, UK, I got the chance to talk to soul singer Raheem DeVaughn. The singer had a show out there, and I took the opportunity to see what this guy is all about. Read more

Adrian Younge :: I am Vinyl

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The, in my opinion, super producer, Adrian Younge, finally stopped by in Amsterdam again. Two years ago I wanted to do an interview but it didn’t happen. This time I got the chance to sit with him and pick his brain about all kind of things. Read more

WEFUNK :: Professor Groove & DJ Static

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Last Sunday was full of funk, soul, hip hop and bboy-ing in Amsterdam as the Spin Off Finals of 2014 took place over here. For this year, they labeled it the Funky Edition and had special guest DJ’s Professor Groove and DJ Static flown in all the way from Canada, to spin some tunes these battles could rock to.

These two funky guys are pretty much legendary to any funk, soul and hip hop listener as they are the founders of WEFUNK radio, set up almost 20 years ago in Montreal, Canada. A lot of the people in my circle have been loyal listeners and fans of their shows and it was definitely great meeting them and talking to them.

In this late late night pretty much laid-back and improvised interview, a lot of random things are discussed. But the funk duo also talks about what WEFUNK stands for, how they feel the need to stick to their jobs (which are pretty cool jobs) next to their passion of music and I made them think about the future of WEFUNK as in my opinion, they should keep this “legacy” alive. This was definitely one of the randomest interviews I have done, in a great way. Shout out to Jurskee for hooking this up, and to Focus and Maurizio for the great exchanges during the late night snacking, which led to this type of funny talk on camera. Keep on Funkin’!

DJ SUN :: One Hundred

DJ SUN has established himself as a resident DJ in Houston over the past 15+ years. Born in The Netherlands, moved to Surinam (South America) and growing up in Houston, Texas, has made DJ SUN a DJ and producer with a diverse musical ear, which expresses itself in his art. When I got up with my part fellow Dutchman, he spoke about the upcoming release of his debut album “One Hundred” which features musicians such as Houston Grand Opera vocalist Lisa E. Harris and Grammy award winning bassist for La Mafia, Tim Ruiz.

Avery*Sunshine :: Human Artist

Last weekend we experienced a lot of sunshine in Amsterdam, brought by miss Avery. Avery*Sunshine that is, as she gave us an amazing performance. It was her second performance within a short time over here and this time I got a chance to talk to her. During the interview Avery spoke about her being human, connecting with her audience, the struggle as an independent artist and the process towards new projects.

Though after the video recording of the interview, the conversation got as real as it can be with an artist. Myself, Avery, her partner Dana Johnson, fellow-journalist Simone Zeefuik and promoter Rudii from SwaG ShaQ (who brought her out here), got tied up in one of the most inspiring conversations I’ve had in a while, with anyone, let alone an artist.

Unfortunately, I did not capture this 2 hour conversation about independent artists, the side of the media in this, the influence it has on creativity of artists, the understanding of doing business AS an independent artist, what you can and can’t do, depending on your own strategy and business plan, and the power of structured questions (or weakness of no research) from journalists. Any independent artist that wants to exchange thoughts on their art, Avery and Dana are definitely the people to hit up about this.

Luckily, Simone Zeefuik has captured the biggest part of this conversation and you will be able to find her interview soon on lazeefuik.com. Much love to all of the people who inspired me that day through words.

Jazzanova feat. Paul Randolph :: I Human

It’s been a few years since Jazzanova, the artistic DJ/producer collective from Berlin, has released an album. They have been working with the multi-talented Detroit musician Paul Randolph and the result was as usual, definitely worth the wait. The first single “I Human” from the album “Funkhaus Sessions”, which will be out in May, was just released including a video.

I got a chance to talk to Stefan and Axel from Jazzanova together with Randolph, right before their first show of their “I Human” European Tour, in Amsterdam.

Rahbi :: Embrace Yourself

In the first edition of “Soul Of..”, which brought Atlanta to Amsterdam, I got introduced to Rahbi. A wonderful free & loving spirit that puts his focus on spreading the message of embracing who you are. Through himself and through his music. Although his music is new to me, he definitely is no stranger in the industry. He has collaborated with artists such as Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae and Lauryn Hill to name a few. His art is definitely one that I feel necessary to spread. Get to know Rahbi!

Saxappeal :: Stay Saxy

Time to put the spotlight on an instrument-handling artist. Saxappeal, a saxophonist from Detroit, has been performing with Virgin Records recording artist, Dwele since 2005. He also has formed a highly energetic band of his own, duly named 1oh1. In efforts to form his own style, which he calls ‘SaxSoul’, Saxappeal’s music is diverse with a blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul and R&B. This young artist has truly been humbled by his opportunities and eagerly awaits more. His mission is to rekindle the flame between people and music; which is, unfortunately, flickering dim. With focus, determination, positive energy, love, and a passion deeper than anything he can explain, he uses his horn to tell stories, state his opinions, and celebrate the gift of music through love.

-When did you first find out about your musical skills?
Sax: When I was 5, my mom bought me a little RadioShack type keyboard. I cherished that thing like it was a treasure! I learned “Twinkle Twinkle” on it just by whistling the melody to myself over and over.

-At what age did you realize this was what you were made for?
Sax: I would say at age 7, right after my 1st gig. I played “The Wedding March” for my aunts wedding. I was more nervous than I ever have (to this day) but the amazing feeling that came over me made me realize this is what I wanna do forever. This is what I was made for.

-What music or which artist has had the most influence on your musical development?
Sax: I would definitely have to say John Coltrane, the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time. In my opinion) Mr. Stevie Wonder, & believe it or not, comedian Dave Chappelle. They’ve had such an influence on my music. Their timing is what sticks out most to me.

-Can you describe your love for the saxophone? If describable at all.
Sax: That’s a tough one.. You know the amazing feeling you get when the sun rises and kisses you through your window, & gives you an overwhelming feeling of joy & excitement? Now multiply that by a thousand!lol She’s been around for 18+ years now.. She’s my 1st love. There’s nothing greater than the love we share with one another.

-If you wouldn’t play the saxophone, what instrument would you most likely be playing?
Sax: I would definitely have to say piano. But probably not just piano, I would prefer to play the Fender Rhodes. There’s just something about the feel and the sound of a Rhodes, man.. It’s just..amazing.

-What to you was your first big break musically?
Sax: It would definitely be when I began performing with Dwele. It was my 1st tour, I was only 19. He literally had to sneak me in a lot of the places where we performed, because they were 21 & up joints. But Dwele taught me a lot while being on the road. He’s an excellent mentor, both in music & in life lessons.

-You have worked with quite a few talented artists, how did you get to working together with them?
Sax: It has to be God’s graces. That & word of mouth. I take every gig, every rehearsal, every session very serious. This is my job. This is what I do. You won’t see me without seeing a notepad, a digital audio recorder, something! I’m always taking notes, no matter if it’s 10 or 10,000 people watching. They’re gonna get the same show!

-What is your most memorable tour moment so far?
Sax: I would have to say performing at Carnegie Hall. I was 17 when I went with my high school’s (Detroit H.S. of Fine/Performing Arts) Wind Symphony Band. Musicians spend their entire careers attempting to perform at Carnegie. I was fortunate enough to be under not only an amazing band, but an amazing band director, Mr. Edward Quick.

-Can you describe the process towards putting together your album? Was there an idea beforehand, or was it just the natural thing to do for you?
Sax: There was an overload of ideas for the 1st project! There were a lot of songs that didn’t make the cut, a lot of interludes, lots of different takes. I just let the thought process happen naturally. Some days, it’ll pop up while I’m at the studio, some days in my sleep, and I’d rush to a notepad & attempt to jot it down, sometimes when I’m driving. I just always have to be ready for that next idea.

-What makes you unique in comparison to other artists or saxophonists?
Sax: We all have different stories to tell, different journeys we’ve taken, and different voices to express them. I just wanna be able to share my past, present, & future the best way I know how: through music.

-Why would people have to listen to your music or come see a show from you?
Sax: Because it’s exciting, it’s high-energy, it’s crowd participation, it’s music that feels good, memorable music. Listening to the CD “Stay Saxy” allows you to do this as well, but there’s nothing more exciting than seeing it live! The vibe is always something you’ll never forget!

-Which artists would you love to work with in the future? That can also be people you have already worked with.
Sax: I’d absolutely LOVE to have Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott & John Mayer collaborate with me. I’m also excited about working with Waajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers, Dwele, MonicaBlaire, Jeff Bradshaw, & K’Jon again in the near future!

-What is your ultimate goal as a musician?
Sax: Simple: I just wanna be heard. I want my music to be felt & understood. I want to be able to leave my experiences behind so that future generations can listen to what I had/have to say, musically.

-What is one thing that people absolutely have to know about SaxAppeal?
Sax: Hmmm.. One thing, eh? That SaxAppeal is absolutely ready to perform in your neck of the woods! No matter where you are, I’m ready to be there!

-What quote do you live by and would you wanna give/advise to other people?
Sax: My mom once said “Gimme my flowers while I’m alive, not when I’m dead..” That’s always stuck with me. Learn to appreciate people while you can, not when it’s too late. Start loving now!

-Thanks for the interview and looking forward to hearing more music from you.
Sax: The pleasure was all mines! There’s definitel more music in the works! New album entitled “UnMarketAble” will be out 08.17.11! Stay tuned, & Stay Saxy! J