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#NotBadNotBadAtAll (It Was All In My Head) – BET Awards Editorial

Posted on June 30th, 2015 by

I don’t think this post is going to be predictable at all. I’m not solely posting the Smokey Robinson speech from Sunday’s BET Awards as a message to the meddling kids. In fact between Sunday night and all of yesterday I purposely didn’t write about or comment on the show at all. Not because I’m above a little jokey joke or that I’m so far above the fray that I cannot be bothered by such things, no I just needed some time. Time to think, time to process.

Yes, true confession: I was doing the whole analysis thingy and I just needed to get my thoughts together. Why? Well to be quite honest I’m tired, but I’m not tired of what you think I’m tired of… I’m tired of people not understanding that there really is truth in advertising. What do I mean? Well The BET Awards have been around for fifteen years pretty much as long as BET has been a Viacom property. There’s not much legacy left from when BET was privately held save for Bobby Jones Gospel. I point this out to say that for the most part when you tune into this network, this show you should know the what and the who of what you’re dealing with. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the who and what is being presented, but I know going in for the most part the whom as in the “whom” the producers of this show are trying to appeal. Now granted as in life, this show wasn’t 100% terrible, in fact I would say it wasn’t 60% terrible so you get gems like Smokey(above) which in and of itself is worth the price of admission, or some of the great moments from The Bad Boy segment, or Janet Jackson just being in the space, or Patti Labelle just being Miss Patti, you get my point. Read the rest of this entry »

About Ivan Orr

Ivan Orr is a musician/social critic whose creative output runs the gamut from provocative to entertaining. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music(Jazz Studies Emphasis) with a minor in African American Studies. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Ivan was involved with The Music Resource Center in Charlottesville, VA.

New Music: Najee: “Fly With The Wind”

Posted on June 30th, 2015 by

Check out “Fly With The Wind” from jazz legend Najee. The single is from Najee’s new album You, Me And Forever on Shanachie Entertainment.

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From the Press Release: Najee assembles an all-star cast of musicians on You, Me And Forever that includes pianists/composers James Lloyd (Pieces Of A Dream) and Robert Damper (Kenny G). The album also features guest spots from vocalist Frank McComb (Branford Marsalis, Buckshot LeFonque, Gamble & Huff), guitarist and vocalist Chuck Johnson (who has collaborated with Najee for close to a decade) and singer Andrea Wallace (Kirk Franklin). The making of You, Me And Forever was intercontinental as Najee recorded the music in such diverse and far apart locations as Kansas City and London. Equally at home playing the tenor, soprano and flute, Najee features all three throughout the CD. “As a whole they all make up my musical personality,” he explains. “The instrument I use depends on the composition. However, I did play more flute on this recording.” Najee’s intoxicatingly warm and sweet flute opens You, Me And Forever on the fluid and majestic original “Air.” He effortlessly soars over blistering up tempo passages supported by a funk and groove-heavy rhythm section. Switching to tenor, Najee and Chris “Big Dog” Davis let loose on a bluesy number he penned with fellow saxman Alex Bugnon, “Fly With The Wind.” Then, Najee transports to Brazil with a stellar and tender reworking of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s anathematic 1967 Bossa Nova hit “Wave” featuring pianist Robert Damper.

“The CD reflects my need as an artist to show the different facets of my musical personality,” comments Najee who enjoys biking, swimming and family time when he is not busy touring.”I enjoy the challenge of recording music that can be commercially accessible and diverse at the same time.” Najee’s chameleonic artistry allows him to traverse diverse artistic terrain without skipping a beat. He seamlessly moves from Jobim to a rousing version of David Pack and Ambrosia’s 1980 Gold selling hit “Biggest Part of Me.” The memorable number highlights the powerhouse vocals of guitarist and singer Chuck Johnson. “He’s a great talent that I have had the pleasure of featuring every night on the road. We’ve been working together since 2007.” Najee also shines light on the vocal artistry of Frank McComb, whose buttery smooth vocals can be heard on the song “Signature,” which the singer co-wrote. Najee’s cascading flute elevates us to new heights on the melodically free-flowing and pirouetting “Butterfly Girl.” Najee met Andrea Wallace, a member of Kirk Franklin’s ‘Kirk Franklin & The Family,’ while performing at the Dallas Convention Center early in 2015. “She sang a song with me onstage and blew the audience away,” the multi-instrumentalist recalls.

Najee knew Wallace was the perfect voice to deliver the show-stopping number “Give It All We’ve Got,” which the duo shared hands in writing along with Dean Mark, Gareth Brown and Mark Walker. Najee joins forces with keyboardist Robert Damper for the album’s seductive R&B ballad and title track. The duo go back to their days at the New England Conservatory of Music. “We have been friends ever since. He is a native of Seattle, WA and attended the same High School as Kenny G. He has been Kenny’s keyboardist and musical director for well over 30 years.” The edgy, syncopated, percussion driven and funk-laced “Spectrum,” follows and Najee enlists support from Pieces Of A Dreams’ keyboardist supreme James Lloyd for the Ahmad Aladeen composition “Jannah.” The playful and synergistic interplay between Najee and Lloyd take listeners on an intimate musical journey as the duo stretch out and take flight. Their riveting performance is the perfect way to conclude You, Me And Forever.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

#Get Grown: Gino Vanelli: “I Just Wanna Stop”

Posted on June 29th, 2015 by

Get Grown.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

DJ Polished Solid: WONDER WOMAN 4 Carla Mix (No Turn Unstoned #264)

Posted on June 29th, 2015 by

WONDER WOMAN 4 Carla Mix (No Turn Unstoned #264) by Dj Polished Solid on Mixcloud

Description:
In celebration of Carla Gannis’ birthday and engagement, I decided to create a mix around one of her favorite icons of all time, Wonder Woman. At first, I thought,”what am I committing myself to; I’m hardly going to find any good songs.” Boy, was I wrong! I was shocked at how many awesome wonder woman songs there are out there.

Thank you Carla! I doubt I would have ever used wonder woman as a theme for the show, but your ♥ of wonder woman is infectious!

Happy Birthday, Carla! You are a wonder woman! I hope you enjoy the mix. I had a blast putting it together. I genre hop on the radio show. So if you don’t like a genre it’ll change soon enough;)

Dedicated to all the wonder women of the world! Read the rest of this entry »

About Ivan Orr

Ivan Orr is a musician/social critic whose creative output runs the gamut from provocative to entertaining. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music(Jazz Studies Emphasis) with a minor in African American Studies. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Ivan was involved with The Music Resource Center in Charlottesville, VA.

#Get Grown: Bee Gees: “Too Much Heaven”

Posted on June 28th, 2015 by

Get Grown.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

New Music: Mark Ronson Feat Keyone Starr: “I Can’t Lose”

Posted on June 27th, 2015 by

Check out “I Can’t Lose” by Mark Ronson featuring Keyone Starr. It’s MJ inspired for sure, but isn’t everything? Still, we dig it. Tell us what you think.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

DJ Polished Solid – PRINCE Covers That Do Not Suck Mix AKA Happy Birthday Prince Mix (No Turn Unstoned #244)

Posted on June 26th, 2015 by

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Description:
June 7th is Prince’s Birthday, and even though Prince doesn’t celebrate birthdays, I do, and I will celebrate his birthday as long as I live.

This set’s theme is Prince covers. Prince hates cover songs. So, do I, but I thought I should overcome this dislike by creating a mix around it;) The challenge was to find cover songs of Prince that do not suck.

So, if you ♥ Prince as much as I do, join me for a special edition of No Turn Unstoned. Read the rest of this entry »

About Ivan Orr

Ivan Orr is a musician/social critic whose creative output runs the gamut from provocative to entertaining. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music(Jazz Studies Emphasis) with a minor in African American Studies. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Ivan was involved with The Music Resource Center in Charlottesville, VA.

GFM: Spotlight Interview: Teedra Moses Talks Cognac & Conversation, Fame vs. Legend

Posted on June 26th, 2015 by

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Grown Folks Music caught up with the self-proclaimed “Lioness” Teedra Moses. We talked about Cognac & Conversation— her new album ten years in the making, her musical relationship with Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group and the difference between being famous and being legendary. Read below and enjoy.

GFM: You have a new album. It’s your second album, but your first in ten years– Cognac & Conversation. Tell us about the album. First, tell us where did the title come from?

TM: The title basically comes from just relaxation and thought-provoking subject matter. I just wanted a smooth vibe to the album and also speak about the things that provoke conversation for me and my friends. Cognac and conversation is something that you can sit and have with a guy friend when you’re just hanging out. You can just talk with your girls about whatever’s going on in your life. Or, if you’re just chilling by yourself then you can have a conversation with yourself. That’s kinda where it came from.

The album has two songs with Rick Ross on it. It has one song with Anthony Hamilton. The overall sound of it is more like a hip-hop-soul-kind-of-grown sound. I wanted the title to match the music. I think Cognac & Conversation matches the sound of the album.

GFM: Speaking of the collaborations on the album, you’ve had a long-standing musical relationship with Rick Ross. Can you talk about the journey over years working with MMG (Maybach Music Group) and that whole musical journey of getting to where we are right now?

TM: It’s been a really, really wonderful thing for me as an underground artist having recognition and support from a mainstream artist. Ross has always been very, very supportive. He just likes my music. He invited me to come and be affiliated with his team. I offer and lend my talent to them and they lend their talent to me. It’s a cool partnership. It’s a cool affiliation. Actually, people think I’m signed to Maybach Music, but I’m not. (I’m) more so just affiliated.

GFM: Raheem DeVaughn quoted you in his interview with us. He said that you said, “There’s a difference between being famous and being legendary.” Can you explain that?

TM: [Laughs] Wow. Yes, it is a big difference between being famous and being legendary because there’s a lot of famous people that are famous for things aren’t going to ever be legendary. The difference is legendary people leave something with the people that admire them or that are intrigued with them that will never fade and can’t be replaced by someone else. It’s even bigger than iconic to be legendary. Legendary doesn’t have to be someone that is well known. I remember when this guy died who was a musician. All the major musicians knew who he was. He was legendary to them, but he wasn’t a household name. He wasn’t popular. There are certain people that are legendary in your neighborhood. They affect you for whatever it is that you were getting from them. Being famous doesn’t mean you’re going to be legendary. There’s ton of people who have been famous in generations past and no one knows who they are. But, a legendary person like Billie Holiday will be known as long as people exist. Muhammad Ali is the greatest fighter alive and he’ll be known long after, if you ask me, (Floyd) Mayweather because of the legendary things that he did. Not taking anything away from Mayweather. He’s very popular now. Who knows if he’ll be legendary.

GFM: Speaking of achieving and having success outside of the spotlight, you’re a grammy-nominated songwriter and you’ve won BMI Songwriter of the Year award. Talk about the songwriting portion of your talent and the things that you’ve been doing as a songwriter.

TM: Early on when I first shopped around my music I was offered opportunities to write for people because they would like the song, but they didn’t actually want to sign me as an artist. That’s kinda how I started to be a songwriter. It wasn’t something I set out to do. I always like writing songs for myself ’cause I convey them the way that I want to. Being a songwriter for hire has never been something I really wanted to do. It just happened. The songwriting really is the same thing as me being an artist. I just write songs. If they happen to land with someone and they like them they way they are that’s fine. I don’t set out to write songs for people– especially anymore. Back then I didn’t either. It just happened that way. It’s been a blessing because it’s another way of me putting my talent out to people and people getting a chance to hear who I am and what I do. Whether it’s my voice on it or some other artist– it’s been a blessing.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?

TM: Music that you can relax to. Even if it’s a record that’s more turned up, it puts you in a peaceful place. We have a lot to deal with as we get older and some of us lose the childlike ways, so we need something to revert us back to that. (It is) anything that calms you. It could be a rock record or a hip-hop record, but it puts you in this comfortable place that takes you completely away from the issues of being a grown up. That’s grown folks music to me.

GFM: What’s the biggest thing that you can imagine right now for this album and for your career and the future for you?

TM: For this album: Grammys. That would just be amazing. Anointing and blessing people with my gift– that’s a given, but for it to be acknowledged by the powers that be that really don’t acknowledge this kind of music as much– I would love that. The biggest thing for my career? I would love to put be in a position following this project to put out other artists. There’s lot of talent out here that I feel like is not being paid attention to because the powers that be feel like this is not the sound of right now, or ‘this hasn’t worked for this person so maybe it won’t work for that person.’ I would love to be in a position to help other talent come out. I’m hoping, I’m praying and I’m believing that this music coming out will put me in a position to help other artists come out with really great music.

Cognac & Conversation drops August 7.

Connect with Teedra Moses:

On Twitter 

On Facebook

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.