Check out the steamy visuals for Silk’s new single, “Baby Maker”, from the group’s 2016 album, Quiet Storm.
Check out the steamy visuals for Silk’s new single, “Baby Maker”, from the group’s 2016 album, Quiet Storm.
Grown Folks Music chopped it up with the vocal queen, Keke Wyatt and we talked about her new album released this year, Rated Love, why love is the main subject of music, expanding the range and exposure of her music into different genres, singing for the Clark Sisters and her popular cover videos on YouTube. Read below and enjoy.
GFM: I don’t hear any gaps in Rated Love when I listen to it. It’s very well crafted– from the writng to the production and most certainly the vocals. Talk about the story that you’re telling with the album.
KW: Basically love in a relationship. How we fall in love. How we get mad, break up and then you make up. Then, you end up with babies and a whole new life. You’re happy, but then of course even in those happy times if you really don’t have love to keep you together then you really don’t have anything. With the album I just wanted to just focus on love more than anything.
GFM: Why do you think that artists will never stop making music about the subject of love?
KW: It relates to everybody. It’s relatable. Everybody either has been or will be in love or find love. [It’s] the easier thing for me to write about because I love love. So whenever I write it’s like basically writing in a journal. It’s literally coming straight from the heart. For some reason, every time I write it’s about love or relationships. I personally don’t like to focus on the break up part — because who wants to think about breaking up? Not me.
GFM: I was very taken by the sound of the album. The album sounds like a pop album to me and I mean that as a compliment. It shows me that you can be in any space or genre with your music, just like [her single] “Lie Under You”. Do you think you’ll ever market your music differently than R&B or Urban AC?
KW: Absolutely. I personally love that genre [pop] of music most of all because that’s kind of how I grew up. That’s what I grew up listening to and to gospel music. The R&B and adult contemporary type thing I kind of got pushed into with Avant. I hate to say it, but that wasn’t at all where I was going with my career. He asked me to get on the song with him and help him out and of course I did and the song blew up, so then I was that chick who sang that. Because my start off was so great in that genre, I kind of got stuck there for a while. That’s why now I have my own label– Aratek Entertainment– which is my name spelled backward and I’m gonna do what I wanna do. Of course, I love my core fans. Please don’t get me wrong. But, I think they’re stuck on the Keke and Avant sound. That’s not the Keke Wyatt sound. That’s Keke Wyatt and Avant with “My First Love” and “You And I” and all of those. That’s not my sound. What you’re hearing now… that’s my sound because I wrote it and it came from my heart, my brain, my everything.
GFM: You said when you first started and you got put on with Avant that wasn’t the direction you were trying to go in. What direction were you trying to go in? Was it pop? Was it country? Where were you intending to go with your music?
KW: Country soul, like what you hear on Rated Love. That’s me. That’s my sound. That’s what I was going for. Even like [with] “Nothing In This World”, that was more of what I was going for. That’s why it’s on my album and not his. If you listen to “Nothing In This World” compared to my first love” and “You and I”, it doesn’t sound the same. It sounds different. It sounds like what’s on Rated Love.
GFM: Can I just tell you that there’s a group of us hanging around Grown Folks Music that is waiting for you to pack this whole operation up, move to Nashville and just slay Nashville.
KW: I swear, everybody keeps saying that. That is so funny.
GFM: We’re waiting on this country album from you. Like… we we’re WAITING on it.
KW: Do you think people would buy it for real? That’s funny, wow.
GFM: I don’t know if your core fans will buy it, but I’m kind of here for a whole new fan base that we feel you would gain. Your vocals are just too versatile to be in a box. I think that we need a female country singer who is of color and you have the vocals to back it up. It’s not a gimmick. You have a southern authenticity and I think that you could absolutely pull off country and we’re waiting for it.
KW: Wow, thank you so much for that.
GFM: You’re very, very welcome. You mentioned gospel. You came through that Clark Sisters tribute at the Essence Festival. Talk about your experience with that.
KW: That was the craziest thing for me because anybody who knows me personally knows that I am a sucker for The Clark Sisters. The fact that I was even asked to do it is surreal. I remember listening to them as a little girl thinking, ‘Man, if I could just see them and say hi to them. Oh my gosh.’ It never crossed my mind that I would be doing a tribute to them.
GFM: You’ve released a lot of cover videos on YouTube that include different genres. Talk about how you came to start doing that. When you hear different songs are you already imagining how you’re going to re-interpret a song? Why do you do the covers?
KW: No, not at all. I just sing it and whatever comes out just kind of comes out. It came to be by me sitting around the house just singing songs and stuff and my husband Michael Jamar was like, “Babe, you need to go record that.” I was like, ‘Oh, Okay. Whatever.’ Then the following week he was like, “I think you should go in the studio and do another song.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So then eventually it just kind of turned into a covers thing. After I get about 10 or maybe 12 of them I’m going to then possibly release it as a covers album digitally.
GFM: If I can put in my vote early for whichever covers you choose, [then] I’d like to put in my vote for “Diamonds And Pearls” [by Prince] and “Pillowtalk” [by Zayn].
KW: To go on the covers album? You like them?
GFM: To be honest with you, your cover videos are what also lead me to believe that you’re ready to go in a different place musically and ready to gain a totally different fan base. Not to alienate your core fan base, but I think a new fan base is waiting for you [because of] the versatility in the covers.
KW: That’s another reason why I’m doing those — so that it can attract different people and then show that I have versatility and I can do whatever I put my mind to musically.
GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?
KW: Music that brings a man and a woman together. I think it doesn’t have to be Marvin Gaye. It can just be love from the heart that you sing. That makes it grown folks music honestly. [It’s just] good music that everybody’s going to want to listen to.
Rated Love is out NOW. Do yourself and favor and get it. It lacks nothing.
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Grown Folks Music was on the ground at The Wolf Creek Funk Series featuring Sheila E., ConFunkShun, Lakeside featuring Mark Wood Jr. and The Mary Jane Girls at Wolf Creek Amphitheater on Saturday, July 16, 2016 and funky it was.
The Mary Jane Girls kicked off the evening with classic jams like “All Night Long”, “In My House” and paid homage to their mentor Rick James with “You And I”. Lakeside took us on a “Fantasic Voyage” and funkmasters ConFunkShun treated us to “Ffun” and “Love’s Train”.
The incomparable Ms. Sheila E. shined during her moment on her day– Sheila E. Day– as proclaimed by the city of Atlanta. She came out killing the drums straight away, then working about the stage– only slowing down for an emotional tribute song to Prince and later a ballad she went into the crowd to perform. She also revisited the high-energy mashup of songs she performed during the 2016 BET Awards proving she’s more able and RELEVANT than ever.
For info on events in the Wolf Creek Concert Series click here
Enjoy our pictures from the show………. Read the rest of this entry »
New visuals: Donell Jones featurning David Banner: “Never Let Her Go”. Check it out!
#Growns get your Friday kicked off in the best way possible with this high energy House remix from GFM fave Jesse Fischer on Emily King’s cut “Believer”. So you should know what to do by now… hit that play button get your morning groove going and then make sure you share the vibe.
Remix produced, performed, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Jesse Fischer at Electrik Indigo Sound, Brooklyn, NY.
There’s a little quirk that I possess that I haven’t shared with many but I’m in the sharing mood today so here goes… When I listen to music for the first time music that really, really moves me I have a visceral reaction that produces a dichotomy that I can’t explain other than to describe: Music that I love on first listen I immediately turn it off, often not making it much past the first chorus. Then after a minute or so of processing what I was just presented with I immediately begin a series of repeated listens with the goal of embedding the music into my being. Yeah I know I’m strange and I’ve made peace with it.
“Really Nice To Know You” hit me in the exact manner described above. I cannot tell you the joy I get when music like this hits the inbox. Call me biased but because I love beautiful chord changes, melodies that rise and fall in interesting ways and a compelling story what Andrae Alexander has put together is my kind of music. An instrumental solo? Yeah man it’s in there.
“Really Nice To Know You” is an incredibly smooth and laid-back production, this is the vibe out summer night anthem you’ve been waiting for. Please press play. Please pass this on to the folks in your circle that appreciate musicianship and songwriting of this caliber. This isn’t processed, this is the real thing.
From the press release…
Even though he may be a new name to you. ANDRAE is fast becoming one of the most in demand upcoming songwriter producers in the current music scene. He has 2 songs on the upcoming KEITH SWEAT album , as well as co-writes on 2 songs on the latest #1 album by K MICHELLE and a song recorded by JUSIE SMOLETT on the recent EMPIRE 2 Vol 2 Soundtrack.
Written, produced, arranged and performed by Andrae Alexander.
All instruments by Andrae Alexander
Check out the visuals for “I Want It To Be” from UK Soul artist Omar, directed by Elliot Simpson. The track is from his new 4 track EP which provides a taste of Omar’s forthcoming new album Love In Beats on Freestyle Records.
About the track (From the Press Release):
“I Want It To Be” is a vibrant, syncopated groove, with one of Omar’s trademark, devastatingly catchy melodies riding on top, this is sunshine music made for the summer time. His vocal harmony skills are particularly to fore here… as we have all come to expect.