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Archive for the ‘2014’ Category

From the GFM Archives (’14): GFM Spotlight Interview – Noel Gourdin Talks Creative Freedom and Collabos on His New Album

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Grown Folks Music caught up with one of our faves, R&B/Soul artist Noel Gourdin, to talk about creative control and collaborations on his new album, City Heart, Southern Soul.  Get it now at iTunes and Amazon.

Check out the video for his first single, “Heaven Knows” above, and listen to the interview below.



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.

From the GFM Archives (’14): George Tandy Jr. Talks Debut Album & Defining His Musical Identity for Himself

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

george tandy jr

Grown Folks, you may know George Tandy Jr. best from his piano driven, soul-stirring anthem “March”. We caught up with George to talk about his debut album The Foundation, where the song “March” came from, growing up with musical parents and he dropped some wisdom on us about the honor, yet the danger, of being compared to other artists.

GFM: Let’s start off with the album. The debut album is out now. Can you talk about the meaning behind the title and the vibe of the album?

GTJ: I’m super excited about the album. It took me quite a bit of time to get it together. I’m very grateful about it. The title is The Foundation. It represents a few things for me. First off, nothing lasts without a strong foundation so I figured it’d be an appropriate title for my debut album– you know being a new artist and people not knowing who I am and where I’m coming from. Also, I feel like when you listen to the music on the album you can hear all the different musical influences that I’ve had in my life– jazz, classical, R&B, hip-hop–everything. I snuck all of it in there in a subtle way. I’m really proud that I’ve been given the opportunity to express myself freely with regards to the type of music that I like to make and the type of music that I like to hear. Thirdly, I feel like the relationships that I’ve built along this journey– it’s taken about nine or ten years to get together–are also the fabric of the foundation of not only my career, but of my life and everything I believe in. I feel like my relationships– if I can keep those in tact, then I’ll have a very strong foundation and a nice future. We’ll be able to share a lot of victories together.

GFM: Speaking of a nice future, you’ve had some nice moments already. You’ve gotten to play the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Awards and you’ve been at Essence Festival. What’s the biggest thing you can imagine happening to your career in the future?

GTJ: I try to stay pretty practical about things. I mean I have big dreams. I want the whole world to be Team Tandy you know, so I guess my first show outside of the country will probably be significant for me. Other than that, I’m just happy to be able to do what I love and do it with a group of people that I feel like have my best interest at heart and do it in a really honest way. It would be cool to be recognized for the music. I’ve always wanted to get first place in something … in sports in school … so if I can get an award or something for my music that would be pretty cool. Something to tell the story. Add some zest to the story I guess. From Starbucks to a Grammy or something like that. (laughs) That would be cool. I don’t know, we’ll see. I just love performing so as long as I can do that I’m happy.

GFM: What was your reaction the first time you heard your music on the radio or went somewhere and your music was playing in the background?

GTJ: I was in a radio station doing an interview and they were about to play it. They played it, so I heard it from within the radio station. It was emotional ’cause it was unexpected. I mean I knew they were gonna play the song, but I didn’t really know how I was gonna react to it. Up until then everyone else had heard the song on the radio and I hadn’t. So to be inside the studio and watch them press the button I was like, ‘woooow.’ You know?

GFM: I know “Jaded” is the second single now from the album, but I wanna personally thank you for the musicianship on display on” March”. You spoke earlier about being able to make music from an honest place. Can you talk about where “March” came from, because it’s so organic to me. It’s so authentic. Not to be cliche’, but there is something that is just very honest about it. There’s not a lot of production going on as far as a lot of sounds and smoke and mirrors. It’s just you and your voice and the piano and I just appreciate … like I said … the musicianship on display and the honesty of it.

GTJ: I appreciate that. Thank you. I’m glad you feel that way. That always feels good to hear. “March” came about naturally. I was sitting at the keyboards. I was just playing a couple chords. I was like, ‘this sounds nice.’ The original version of the song had a different back beat to it. I’ve had multiple recordings of the song and it had a militant back beat so I was just kinda whispering, ‘march,’ to myself. I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m gonna do with this. I don’t really know why keep saying march,’ but I usually don’t ignore my first instinct. So, I tried to find a way to make the song romantic… romantic and about love and relationships just because that’s how the chords felt. And since I was putting march in there, I was like well, ‘how many different ways do we march in life? All of us? What do we have in common?’ Alright, well then I’m gonna dedicate the verses to romance and I’m gonna dedicate the choruses and the bridge– I’m gonna dedicate those things to some more universal idea of marching through obstacles. Because I feel like as I was writing it and as I was performing it, I was realizing how our own internal struggle with realities … our own unique realities… is what determines whether we’re able to sustain the meaningful relationships we have in our lives. And somehow that’s what that song became a representative of.

Hearing people’s feedback as I performed it, and watching people’s reactions and kinda attributing it… going through my own struggles while I was performing the song… it just turned into it’s own… it just kinda came alive on its own. Even with the whole album, as far as the musicianship, I just wanted to make sure I took an approach where people could hear my voice clearly. I’m very honest about my skill set. I’m not a powerhouse vocalist. I’m not a classically-trained pianist. But what I am… I’m an artist and I’m really passionate about what I do and I understand space and time. It’s kinda like when I’m making music… it’s kinda the same way when you set up furniture in your house. You put things in places so that it works for you… so that it’s effective… so that it sets a certain tone. I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t over do it or I guess… under do it. You know? I just wanted it to be just right– just enough for the message to be conveyed for people to be able to hear where I’m coming from and feel it, so it could be more than a song and more like an experience.

GFM: It takes a lot of confidence to put your skill set on display that and not have it be so production driven or beat driven. It takes a lot of confidence. Especially for a new artist in this generation of other artists who are being played on the radio so I commend you for that… for just giving us a song that just breathes and we can just breathe to.

GFM: Speaking of musicianship, you come from a family of musicians. Tell us about your musical background.

GTJ: I’m fortunate. I basically grew up on stage. My dad is a jazz keyboardist and a producer. (He is) an amazing performer. When he gets on those keys… when he gets on stage, I’ve never seen anybody as passionate as him. He’s probably my primary influence as far as being passionate about music. My mom is a singer. I have two sets of parents. My biological mom is a singer and my love mom, as I like to call her, is a vocal coach. My step dad also just loved music and was always playing music around the house. All my siblings played an instrument at some point or just loved music. I just grew up in it. I was fortunate. They put me in band. I was always just attracted to rhythm and sound. I wanted to be like my dad so when I got my first keyboard I broke down and cried like I won the lottery or something like that. Music has always just been a safe place for me–even within my own household. You know we all have challenging times in the household when we need something to go to that feels like a journal or a safe place. That’s where I went. I would go to my keyboard and it would all make sense to me. And it still does. Anytime I pick up any type of instrument, I just feel like I’m able to express myself freely. It feels like a dialog with me, the universe and the rest of the world– even though they might not know that they’re gonna listen at some point. (laughs)

GFM: I read that you didn’t want to be compared to other artists in terms of being labeled the next… and you can fill in the blank of whatever artist you’ve been compared to… that you said that you’re the next you. With that being said, who is George Tandy Jr.?

GTJ: First off it’s always an honor to be named in the same sentence as other artists that have made a huge impact on the world with their music or their art. So I’m always honored, but at the same time I would be doing myself and everybody an injustice if I didn’t make sure that I was clear about there not being any imitating going on. And I understand (that) psychologically for people when we come upon something new we have to compare it to something to know how to find its value. So I get that. But myself as an artist… I feel like first of all I am a human being, and I use music as a tool just like anybody else to express themselves. I think as an artist… if that’s what the question is about… as an artist I am honest and accessible. I’m emotionally accessible within my music and I’m on a journey. I’m still figuring that out. So I’m not gonna let anybody else figure that out before me. I don’t think that would be fair. I don’t think that would be fair to them… or fair to me… or fair to the end result. So, I just love music. I love people. I love performing. I just hope to make the best music possible and really use it to open up dialog with the world that I might not otherwise have had a chance to do. I used to say, ‘you know I am music.’ But really I am a human being. I’m fortunate because I have a platform now, so now I can represent groups of people that I care about in certain situations that might affect some significant change in the long run. So, I’m kinda trying to keep my eye on the big picture if that makes any sense.

GFM: I think it’s okay to… and I think that’s very profound what you just said… I think it’s okay to want to define who you are for yourself and not let anybody else do that. I remember when Venus and Serena Williams were very young players– still in their teens. I remember them having an interview with Bryant Gumbel and saying something to the effect that ‘we are the best,’ or they’d said that maybe earlier and he asked them about that. One of them said, ‘well if I’m gonna compete and if I’m gonna win, I have to think I’m the best. I can’t walk on the court thinking my opponent is the best. I’m the best.’ So, I’m just saying that in terms of how you were saying that you don’t think it’s fair for anybody else to define you. You need to come up with your own definition and I think that’s a wonderful perspective… and a very honest perspective too.

GTJ: I like this topic. I think that one of things that we do sometimes as human beings on a day-to-day basis– whether it’s sports, art or just everyday living– is that we find ourselves comparing ourselves to each other. And in that process we can lose ourselves, and we take away from the opportunity to create ourselves. I agree, like in hip-hop– the battle rappers, and the emcees and all the rappers– they have to go in thinking, ‘yo, I’m the best rapper,’ because that’s the nature… that’s how it all started. And in art in general for me– I’m not necessarily gonna go in saying I’m the best “this”– but I am gonna say there’s room for me on this stage. There’s enough room for all of us on this stage. There’s enough light for all of us on this stage. And when it’s my turn, it’s truly my turn. You know what I mean? I’m always gonna see it that way.

Get to know George Tandy Jr. His debut album, The Foundation, is available RIGHT NOW on iTunes and some retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy.

Connect with #Team Tandy on Instagram on Twitter, on Facebook and on YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, watch the short biography video below, also called The Foundation that gives you a little insight into who George Tandy Jr. is.


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.

From the GFM Archives (’14): Will Downing Talks New Album, His Internet Radio Show & Why He Won’t Be Doing A Greatest Hits Album Any Time Soon

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Grown Folks Music had the pleasure of catching up with The Prince of Sophisticated Soul Will Downing. Will talked about his current album Euphoria, his smooth-as-silk internet radio show Wind Down and the reason he won’t be making a greatest hits album any time soon. Enjoy!

For all things Will Downing, including the new album, visit his website at


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.

From the GFM Archives (’14): Daley Talks Debut Album, Creative Chemistry w/ Marsha Ambrosius & Bringing His Music to the US

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Daley performing at the Buckhead Theatre on the "Days & Nights Release Tour"

Daley performing at the Buckhead Theatre on the “Days & Nights Release Tour”

Grown Folks Music caught up with British soul artist Daley as he kicked off his US tour at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta. He worked the stage with the poise and maturity of a veteran artist as he sang songs about life/love lessons beyond his 24 years of age– proving “grown is as grown does”.

He’s unassuming and appears to be true to himself and his style. There was no bling bling or gimmicks. He just stands flat footed on his talent. He sang with self assurance, but was vulnerable enough to share with the audience that it was his first time playing the keyboard on stage (he did fine). We dig him (and his hair) and we look forward to watching his star rise.

After his performance, Daley talked with us about his new album Days+Nights, the importance of bringing his music to American audiences and his musical influences. Enjoy the video.

Daley Interview from Grown Folks Music on Vimeo.


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.

From the GFM Archives (’14): L. Young Talks New Album, His Harmony Videos on Facebook and Coming Correct as a Male R&B Vocalist

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

l young twitter


Grown Folks Music caught up with R&B vocalist and Top Notch Entertainment artist L. Young. L. chopped it up about his super tight, five-part harmony videos he posts on his Facebook page, his re-packaged album that is picking up steam, ReVerb, his musical influences (the usual suspects and one you may not ever have guessed) and singing with passion and emotion as an R&B male vocalist.

GFM: Before we talk about the album… you have been killin’ us with those five-part harmony videos on your Facebook page. They are phenomenal and I noticed you take suggestions. How did those come about?

LY: I saw a couple of artists kinda doing little snippets of it. I was wondering what they were doing… what app they were doing. I wanted to figure it out. Nobody would tell me, so because they wouldn’t tell me it just kinda fueled my fire to kinda figure out what was going on. I had this notion to do one one day and I did one… like a 15-second one for Instagram. It was okay. It was cool, I didn’t get that many likes or whatever and then I was like, ‘you know what? I wanna make these longer. I wanna do a full song.’ I was riding down the street one day and the song “Lean On Me” was on the radio and it reminded me of the movie Lean On Me, and then I thought about the group Riff’s song in that movie. The Eastside High School Song. I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do that as one of the harmony videos. That’s a cool song. It’s very catchy. I think a lot of people would like that. It’s something that reminds us of the ’90s and being kids and stuff and that movie is just nostalgic.’ I did that… not putting too much effort into it… not too much time and then I wake up the next morning and it’s got like a thousand shares. I’m like, ‘Okay… wow… okay… alright… something’s going on here.’ Then I go to sleep, and the next day I wake up and it’s like ten-thousand shares. It’s like, ‘Wow… okay.’ (laughing) So it just kinda took off from there. I just kept doing more and more and more.

GFM: Well they’re awesome. We enjoy them. That’s how I got to you… through some of the five-part harmony videos and then (I) came to find your original material. Many of the Grown Folks don’t know who you are, so I’d like to just let you tell your story about your musical journey and introduce yourself to the Grown Folks audience. Tell us your musical story.

LY: I was born and raised in Louisville, KY. I grew up in the church. (I’ve) been singing and playing music ever since before I could talk.  Music runs in my family. Everybody in my family is either a musician or a singer or a preacher. So we were in church all day– honing the musical skills and all that. Later on in life… probably about 11 years old… I started performing professionally in professional theater– regional theater around the city of Louisville and Indiana. I eventually went to the performing arts high school in Louisville called the Youth Performing Arts School, which is one of the top… well it was at that time… top performing arts schools in the nation. From there, I caught that bug. I was like, ‘This is what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life definitely.’ I always knew that music was what I wanted to do, but it was solidified once I started traveling outside of the state and then outside of the country with the high school performing in other countries. I went to Wright State University– studied acting for a little while, but soon got a record deal so I left college to pursue music that way. That record deal didn’t turn out too good, but I ended up moving to LA a couple years after that and (I’ve) just been running full steam ahead ever since. I’ve worked with R. Kelly. I’ve worked with B2K when they were hot and together (laughs). I’ve worked with KeKe Wyatt. I’ve worked with a number of artists and producers out here in LA as a writer and producer and as a performer myself and here we are today on my third album, ReVerb.

GFM: Let’s talk about the third album– ReVerb.  Let’s talk about the writing and the production. We have a few singles. Am I correct that ReVerb came out in 2013? Has it been repackaged this year? It seems like it’s picking up steam this year. Tell us about the album ReVerb.

LY: I wrote and produced the whole record. It’s funny… technically this could be called my fourth record because I had a record in 2011/2012 called Love Is A Verb. Most of the records that are on ReVerb are those records, but because I didn’t have any push behind it– I didn’t have any promotion or anything– most of those songs went unheard. “Love Is A Verb” got a little bit of airplay in the DC area on WHUR. Shout out to WHUR for being the first to play it, but other than that it didn’t go very far. So when I hooked up with my current management, Top Notch, my manager Marvyn was like, “Man we gotta put this album back out. People haven’t heard it.” But at that time, I was already recording a new record. I was about four songs into a new record and my mind was on to the new music. I was like, ‘I don’t wanna do that… that’s old.’  But you know, he made the valid point that it was only old to me,’cause you know no one else has heard it. So, what we did was we took a couple of the joints off of the Love Is A Verb record and I replaced them with some of the new ones I was working on and we repackaged it and I called it ReVerb— like a reissue of Love is A Verb— and we put that out. It had a little traction– especially in the UK and Japan and other places. But, every since the videos on Facebook have taken off it’s starting to get a lot of momentum now. We’re starting to see the sales really pick up and people are starting to connect the dots with who I am as an artist.

GFM: Is “Fairytales” one of those songs you were gonna leave behind?

LY: (Laughter) Yes. I was doing a whole ‘nother album… I was in a whole ‘nother place you know?

GFM: Well shout out to Marv Mack at Top Notch, for having the vision to repackage the album so that we could hear “Love Is A Verb” and so that we could hear “Fairytales”. I don’t think life would be complete without us having heard that material, so shout out to Marv and Top Notch.

GFM: Who are some of your vocal influences?

LY: Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson are probably the two most obvious. Also, I listened a lot… a lot, a lot… to Hall and Oates when I was little. Daryl Hall really influenced me a lot in my writing style and my approach to the energy I put behind singing a lyric– with a lot of emotion– believe or not.  I still hear him come out sometimes. When I’m singing I can hear it all day. I’m like, ‘Daryl Hall would’ve done that.’ Those are my three major vocal influences. I had a bunch of influences musically– music wise growing up in the Midwest. Of course Zapp and Roger were very big. I really loved his stuff growing up. (I) loved Earth Wind and Fire of course, Lionel Richie, and we even had some country thrown up in there. I even listened to George Straight and stuff like that.

GFM: Interesting. Perhaps we can get Daryl Hall this interview and you can get on Live From Daryl’s House. That would be awesome. We’re gonna put that out right now in the atmosphere.

GFM: I was watching one of your live performances on YouTube. During that performance… I think you were singing “Fairytales”… I heard you say you were trying to bring the old school back. I’ve heard other artists make similar statements like that. What does that mean to you… bringing the old school back? What is so significant about old school music and why is it so important for you and other artists who make the same claim to be on that mission?

LY: Music… well I should say art in general… has the ability to kinda shape and not only reflect, but actually shape and drive ideas and revolutions and change the direction of a society. So it’s important that we get back to some of the things that we used to do as a society. Not actually as a whole in America, but particularly in the black community, where we’ve lost that sense of what love really is. You know I used to complain a lot… or I used to hear my friends complain a lot.. about songs today. (They’d say) “They’re all about sex. They’re all about going to the club and picking up this girl and that girl and what kind of whip you got.’ I had to examine it from a deeper issue, and I’m like, ‘Well it’s not that they’re not singing about love, it’s just that’s what they equate love to.’ A lot of them have not grown up in two-parent households or seen a real, real representation of a loving relationship between a man a woman and a loving family. We had love songs come out in our days in the ’70s, ’80s and the early ’90s because that’s what we were used to.  But now, the whole dynamic has changed and the music is reflecting in our kids in the younger generation. So we’re trying to get back to singing those songs about what it means to actually find real love, or what it means to get with a girl a first time but it’s not all about taking her back to the hotel, but trying to build a future with her. Or, how you talk to a woman metaphorically about saying what you wanna do, but not actually coming right out and being foul and vulgar with it. It’s songs that you can use in times of sorrow… in times of hurt… when you wanna escape… in times of joy… times of just having fun and partying. All of that. It needs to be well rounded. We need to get back to that balance… is what I like to call it… in urban music.

GFM: Along those lines, it seems that the R&B male vocalist has become a bit of an endangered species. I’ll say the R&B male vocalist who has been put out in front. There are a lot of strong vocalists, but a lot of them are independent artists like yourself… people who have not been put in front.  We don’t hear them on the radio or see them on the television. We do have some veterans who have persevered like Joe, Brian McKnight and Eric Benet, but my question to you as a younger artist is what does it mean to carry the mantle of the R&B male vocalist?

LY: I mean a woman… a woman… loves to hear a man sing to her. I mean sing like cry his heart out… put his foot into it… put his whole body into what he’s trying to say to her. There’s nothing like those kinds of records. I don’t know what the generation up under me… (what) they’ve been listening to… who they’ve been listening to, but they definitely have not gone back and listened to the greats like David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks from The Temptations. Or, James Brown, or Jackie Wilson… anybody that knows how to really sing a song and to put that umph in it (like) Bobby Womack.  I don’t know what they’ve grown up listening to. It seems they’ve grown up listening to each other. Everybody sounds like Chris Brown. It may sound good. That’s what the industry is into to now, they’re into selling sounds. ‘Cause long as it sounds a certain way, they’ll put auto tune on something and don’t care about it because it sounds good. But they’re not making music that feels good. There’s no emotion behind it. I was trying to be PC here, but the guys are singing like women. They’re singing like women now and you can’t approach a woman like that. You’ve gotta be a man when you come to a woman. It’s very important for me… it’s kinda like in a way a big brother teaching his little brother how to be a man… how to sing to a woman. You’ve gotta sing from a man’s place, not from this feminine place where you’re approaching her. I don’t know man, I just gotta do my small part in bringing back what I call those real emotions on a record and I’m glad Eric Benet and all those cats that are still doing it. We don’t know any other way,’cause that’s how we grew up. We grew up listening to people like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. That’s how we learned to sing. It’s natural for us.

And one other point, not to be long-winded on this, but when you go back and you listen to those records of Marvin Gaye and The Temptations and Stevie and (what) all those cats were doing, looking back we tend to think that because they’re older now that they were older then. But when they made these records… when David Ruffin was like, (singing) “I know you wanna leave me…” when he was in all that passion he was in his twenties. That wasn’t no old man singing that. But, you could tell that he’d been in love… that he had been in some kind of pain. He was putting it all out on record. Heck, even little bitty Michael Jackson… when he was eleven… was singing like that. So, it’s not just about the age. It’s just about who you’re trying to emulate, who you’re (listening to) growing up, who you’re studying and then actually going through something in life and putting it on record as emotion. We’ve gotta bring that back.

GFM: What’s next for L. Young? I also saw in my research and you were mentioning (it) also earlier in the interview that you just don’t sing, but you perform… so you’re an actor as well. Is that something that you also will be pursuing in the future?

LY: Yes definitely, but you know I have a couple more albums that I think that are in me that I want to put out so I’m concentrating on the music right now, but that is definitely something for the long term that I plan to get back into. I studied it for a year. I’m probably really rusty right now, but that’s something that you can always pick back up and get into. There’s always a role for a 60-year-old, 70-year-old actor, but you don’t see a 60-year-old R&B star out on the stage… not too often… if they didn’t already have hits back from when they were in their twenties and they just happen to be touring still. Trying to get the music to resonate and connect is really something I’m working on now while I’m young enough to still do that. We’re shooting another video at the end of this month (August) for the next single off the record, “Facetime”. We’re gonna work on getting another full album out probably early next year. I’m also releasing probably in about a week another free EP I’m just gonna give away to the people.  I’m doing a remake album of all those people that we talked about earlier that influenced me… remaking some of their songs, but I’m putting a twist on it and not just like straight remakes. It’s like totally different. (I) flip the songs around. We’re doing that as well and just trying to stay as busy and as in your face as much as possible. That’s it.

ReVerb is available NOW on iTunes

Check out the video for “Love Is A Verb”

Connect with L. Young
On Twitter
On Facebook


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.

Johnny Gill Talks Collaborating with New Edition on “This One’s For Me And You”

Friday, April 1st, 2016


“This One’s For Me And You”, featuring New Edition, is Johnny Gill’s latest single from his album Game Changer. The song is doing well on the charts and it’s no wonder because while we love all six members individually, there is nothing like when they perform together. Johnny Gill chatted with us about how the collaboration came to be (New Edition’s first on a Johnny Gill solo project), how fun it was to be in the studio together and how the song had to be released as a single. Read below and enjoy.

GFM: Game Changer has been out for a while, and you’ve had a few singles, but there was no way that you could get around not releasing the song with the fellas as a single. The fans have really responded well and its doing well on the charts. Talk about “This One’s For Me And You’.

JG: It’s so funny, I saw a couple of tweets from Michael (Bivins) talking about how they had to push me to get them on that song, but they didn’t have to push very much. It was song that was written and it was for me. I was playing them most of the album and some of the stuff that I still had to record, and when I got to that particular song everybody in the room stopped. All I recall after that song went off is it was just complete silence.

They all looked at me and was like, ‘C’mon man.’ I said, ‘What?’ They said, ‘C’mon.’ I said, ‘What?’ They said, ‘You know. You know we need to be on this joint. This is a New Edition joint right here.’ I was like, ‘Are you guys serious?’ They said, ‘Yeah man, we need to be on this.’ I was so elated. I was happy because I didn’t expect for them to [do anything] besides just to give me an honest opinion about how far I had come with the music I had already recorded, so I was just like, ‘Wow! Okaaay.’ That’s how it was born where everybody became a part of it and I’m truly grateful that they did. And you’re absolutely right, I couldn’t have gotten away with not releasing this song as single.

GFM: Did you have New Edition feature on any of your other solo projects?

JG: No. I’ve been on theirs, but this is the first time I’ve had them all on mine. This is absolutely the first, yeah.

GFM: I know you are touring this summer with New Edition at Funk Fest and some things like that. Are you going to perform the song live?

JG: Oh absolutely. The song is at the top of the charts in the country so we have no other choice [laughs]. That’s what makes it so awesome. We’re looking forward to it. We actually are going into rehearsals very soon to pick back up where we left off, because we’ve already started but there’s some things Brooke [Payne], wanted to change around with the song and with the choreography, but definitely we’ll have that song in the show.

GFM: Does the reaction to the single give you guys a little bit of the itch in terms of recording again?

JG: It gave us the itch when we all got in there to record because I brought everybody in when I got into New York to cut their vocals. We were all in there just talking and laughing and it was like, ‘Wow.’ We haven’t recorded since 2004. It was just a fun, fun, fun feeling just being in there laughing and talking and laughing talking. Everybody was just kind of getting into their parts.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?

JG: A song and music that you immediately connect with. A song that you can understand what the performer is singing and saying [laughs]. For me, it’s just classic music.


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.

Visuals: Johnny Gill: “This One’s For Me And You” Feat New Edition

Thursday, March 17th, 2016


Johnny Gill joins forces with his New Edition bandmates for the his latest single “This One’s For Me And You”, from his album Game Changer. It looks good and feels right. Enjoy.


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.

GFM Spotlight Interview ENCORE 2015: Brandon Williams Talks Debut Album & Detroit’s Musical Legacy

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Once in a while you connect with a project and an artist that your intuition tells you from the gate “This is important”. This is one of those whiles and XII is that project and Brandon Williams is that artist. The above interview is more conversation than a formal examination for “just the facts”, more to the point this is a conversation about the importance of great music and the need for that type of music to inhabit our atmosphere. Press play and share and share and share to help the word go forth about this fantastic musical happening.


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.