I’m writing this post partially out of inspiration and partly out of being somewhat miffed. My miffery(is that a word? lol) is because I get really bothered when I read the ideas of persons who claim to be experts in a field yet they posit ideas that are often devoid of a complete contextual picture because they are too busy advancing an agenda that logic and reason often leave the room. Now at this post you may be asking yourself why have I posted a screencap of lyrics from America’s 1975 composition “Daisy Jane” and then the song itself? Well… if you just listen you will undeniably hear the influence that this particular song had on a song that is held in high esteem in the canon of Black Music – Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait A While”.
If you’ve every had the opportunity to read, view or listen to an interview with Jimmy Jam (I had the pleasure of interviewing him myself) he talks extensively of the influence of AM Radio and Pop music on his musicianship and his writing and production. In the early to mid 1970’s numerous Pop/Rock (some may even say Soft Rock) groups in the vein of America held sway over the radio dial. The influence that these artists had on Black Artists is undeniable – you could simply stop at The Isley Brother’s 1971 OpusGiving It Back if you wanted to illustrate the two street that inspiration is or you could bring to mind that one of the greatest writers of song of all time Steveland Morris went on the record to state that “Living For The City” is an outgrowth of his fondness for Blood, Sweat & Tears “Summer In The City”.
The point is this… we know how incredibly influential Black Music has been on the totality of American Music. Black Music is quite simply at the core of the sound of all music created in this country whether people want to acknowledge it or not. Where I have a problem, a beef if you will is when folks discuss this great music and its creators as if somehow they created music in a vacuum. Many are so quick to point out the influence of Black Music ( and rightfully so given the sordid history of non-attribution, the Pat Boone effect etc., etc.,) but for me you lose all credibility when you don’t acknowledge that the influence at times can run the other way and create something that moves the music further – just from that little bit of influence that adds something different to the pot.
I titled this post “Inspiration Is Everywhere” because I believe it truly is… I also believe that if you truly want to be inspired and create art that helps the music progress you need to spend some time listening, learning, analyzing and creating music that comes from “outside” so that when you bring it inside and put your proverbial spin on it something new and beautiful is birthed.
“As many proclaim content is King, I serve as a reminder that context is Grown!”
#GetGrown what is it all about? You see it all the time around these parts but what does it really mean? I think being grown is all about balance and balance is the key to everything. So how does one #GetGrown? I think you #GetGrown by what you input and then how you utilize those inputs. I think a lot of folks struggle because they input a lot of garbage. As the old adage says garbage in garbage out and we’re presented with a lot of garbage.
These inputs and your level of #Grown have nothing to do with age at all. It has everything to do with taste. Taste is acquired and as such is something that is learned. We don’t come out with an innate sense of taste. In regards to taste many just flock to the lowest common denominator because that’s what we have the easiest access to. As we often see around these parts when you know better you do better. I think the reason that a lot of people aren’t able to do better is because they don’t know better. I don’t believe there is one particular way that’s right or wrong but we must be able to concede that there are more choices than what’s thrust upon us on a daily basis by the popular media. That’s the first step to #GetGrown
Growns, check out the new single from Avery*Sunshine– “Come Do Nothing”.
About the song she says, “This is a song that shows the duality that most of us experience in relationships…’I can’t live with you but I can’t live without you.’What better way to tell your ex or significant other how much you miss them than by telling them to ‘come on over… we can do absolutely nothing and I’ll be satisfied.'”
“Come Do Nothing” is from Avery*Sunshine’s forthcoming new album due in 2017.
Growns, check out the soulful, jazzy stylings of Emily Estefan (yes, THOSE Estefans) on “Reigns (every night)”. She proves that the family legacy is in good hands with this laid back tune. Click on it and vibe.
Growns, soul flautist Jef Kearns joins forces with vocalist Carlos Morgan on this remake of the “Just Jane”, originally written by Laura Torno, Earl Torno, and Kurt Hagen.
Both artists are excited about their first collaboration. About working with Morgan, Kearns says, “Carlos has an amazing vocal ability, and I’m honored to work with him and welcome the magic of his complementary backing on the track.” Morgan says about Kearns, “I’m thrilled to be working with Jef on Just Jane. He’s a remarkable artist whose talents bring a fresh counterpoint to a beautiful melody.”
Check it out and if you like what you hear, the track is available for streaming and download from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, and Spotify.