GFM Spotlight Interview: Saxappeal Talks Black Gold, Detroit & Bruno Mars


Grammy-nominated saxophonist and Detroit native Saxappeal believes his musical mission is to rekindle the flame between people and music; which is, unfortunately, flickering dim. His hopes are to touch people through his music, in ways they've yet to be touched. 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.  Saxappeal describes his sound as "SaxSoul"-- a blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and R&B.

Saxappeal has performed with a who's who list of artists. Familiar names include fellow Detroit artists Dwele, K'Jon and Zo!, French-born duo Les Nubians, R&B legend Leon Ware, London's own powerhouse duo Floetry, Grammy-nominated Indie-Soul artist Eric Roberson and Carmen Rodgers. Most recently, he toured with Charlie Wilson as he opened for the Bruno Mars XXIVk (24 karat) Magic Tour.

We spoke with Saxappeal about his album called Black Gold, and how the pandemic pushed him to finish the project. Additionally, he shared what it means to him to be an artist from a city with a rich musical legacy like Detroit, his tour experience with Bruno Mars, and moreover, how he got that gig. Finally, he gave us his definition of Grown Folks Music.  Also, be sure to watch the video to learn the absolutely innocent and delightful way that Saxappeal became interested in playing the saxophone at the tender age of 7.





Jai Fears is a determined "Gemini"

#Growns we want you to get in the know today about the debut EP Gemini from Detroit singer, actress and dancer Jai Fears. Jai Fears is not new to the world of performing and recording, having spent years working with the likes of none other than Charlie Wilson who counts Jai as one of his protégées.

Gemini is a seven song set that highlights what we'd like to refer to ask life music, stories that place what we face in our interactions with one another front and center. From the optimism and celebratory nature of "She's A Keeper"and "Detroit Vibe"(What up doe) to the more reflective tones of "Drink" there's a mood contained in Gemini for all your moods.

Press play on the focus single above "Me and My Girlfriend" and get familiar with Jai Fears.

Gemini from Jai Fears out now.

From The Press Release:

After years of performing as a dancer and singer for award-winning musicians, Jai Fears steps into the spotlight

DETROIT – Singer, actress and dancer Jai Fears has released her debut EP, Gemini which is available on all streaming platforms. This seven track project highlights Fears’ multifaceted personality, her passion for Detroit and drive to succeed, by any means necessary.

Jai Fears’ talents are exemplary when it comes to the music and entertainment industry. She’s spent years working as a backup dancer for singer, songwriter and record producer, Charlie Wilson, and has even earned the title of becoming his protégée. Her resume doesn’t stop there – she’s performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, N’Sync, Stevie Wonder and John Legend during the 2006 Super Bowl and at the 2010 Royal Oak Arts Beats and Eats Festival. Once Fears made the decision to go all in for her music career, momentum picked up and hasn’t slowed down. She has gone on to win BET’s 106 & Park Wild Out Wednesday competition and open shows for recording artist such as Keyshia Cole, K. Michelle, Boyz II Men, John B, Howard Hewitt and Ryan Leslie.

Fears’ debut project, Gemini, not only solidifies her talent as an artist but also gives fans an opportunity to learn more about who Jai Fears really is. From her single "It’ll Do", where Fears details her determination to live a good life regardless of her circumstances, to her ballroom track, "Detroit Vibe" – listeners truly get a closer look into what Fears is passionate about.

“I’m proud of being born a Gemini and it plays such a big role in who I am,” said Jai Fears. “With this being my first full project, I really wanted my fans to get to know me, which will definitely help them understand my artistry. With the help of my producers, Justin Credible and Cordell Walton, I’ve really been able to put my heart and soul into this project and I’m really excited for fans and everyone else to receive it.”

Moving forward, Fears hopes to work on visuals for her remaining tracks, celebrate the release of her EP and book live performances once the Michigan stay-at-home executive order is lifted.

Jai Fears’ EP, Gemini, can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud.

To learn more about Jai Fears, her most recent project and upcoming shows, visit

#Playlists: Have You Heard: A Grown Folks Music Playlist 2/21/2020

Check out Grown Folks Music's Have You Heard Playlist on Spotify. This week we feature music from Jon B. featuring Donell Jones, Syleena Johnson, Yuna, K. Michelle, Charlie Wilson and more.

We know you've been listening to so called "grown folks" radio stations and reminiscing on a time when music was good. But, what if we told you good music still exists... like right now.

Many of the artists you know and love and frequently ask the question, "What ever happened to..." in regards to are still creating and releasing new music that hardly ever makes into rotation on the radio and thus falls on deaf ears. We'll go a step further and submit to you that there is also good music to listen to from young and new artists if you'll have ears to hear it.

Thus, we present the Have You Heard Playlist. This playlist is our attempt to put all of you grown music lovers up on game. We're highlighting some music you should have heard, but probably didn't-- current music from established artists as well as newcomers across genres. Old school may be the sh*t, but not all the good sh*t is old. Push play and share.

Pebbles Mercedes Boy

Bringing '88 Back: Pebbles - "Mercedes Boy"

Well, I knew it would happen eventually because 1988 was one of those years. We've been bringing you this series in earnest since January and today we have our first repeat artist Pebbles! '88 was definitely a marquee year for Pebbles and for those who lived it in real-time know that "Mercedes Boy" was just as big culturally as "Girlfriend" maybe even bigger since Mercedes-Benz was such an aspirational brand in the 1980's.

I know sometimes it's easy to forget in the mindshare that was/is "Girlfriend" and how that track is so closely tied to the careers of LA and Babyface but "Mercedes Boy" is an Uncle Charlie Wilson production. One day I think will definitely delve into the production/session work of Uncle Charlie, suffice to say he's put in the work and he definitely put in work on "Mercedes Boy". The song is infectious with an undeniable singable hook which I'm sure was a catalyst for the song reaching #1 on the R&B charts and #2 on The Billboard Hot 100. Feel good music. More of a riding theme (definitely one you heard from cars rolling by) than something for the dance floor, I'm instantly transported back to the warmer days of that Spring when I hear it. Prom, college acceptance letters, graduation-- those events and the sound of this song are definitely intertwined.

This is another case where it's hard to separate the visual treatment from the song. That's not a criticism at all. Cool car. Cool outfits. Cool hair. Colors and things. That was the '80s. More than just the surface-- what the visual also represented is the fun of the cat and mouse pursuit. There are so many tools today to help aid and assist in that endeavor, but thirty years ago it seemed like you had to make things happen with your actual presence and an automobile. I think there's something to be said for that. You know the whole I see you, in person, not a pic, not a video, but you're right there. Now I'm going to drive away. Do you wanna ride? Do ya?


#Visuals: Charlie Wilson: "I'm Blessed"

Growns, check out the visuals for [Uncle] Charlie Wilson's first single from his current album In It To Win It. Click on it. It'll make you feel good.

Charlie Wilson's In It To Win Tour with Fantasia and Johnny Gill

GFM Live Pics: Charlie Wilson's "In It To Win It" Tour with Fantasia & Johnny Gill at Philips Arena

Charlie Wilson Fantasia Johnny Gill
Charlie Wilson on the "In It To Win It" Tour at the Philips Arena.

Tis the season, showgoers!!! Spring is slowly creeping in but the hottest shows are hitting the ATL strong. I just got off the “party train” with Charlie Wilson from his sold out “In It To Win It” Tour at the Philips Arena If you didn’t get your ticket, shake your head in shame because you missed a damn good show. However - because we love you - we brought home some pics from the concert featuring Johnny Gill, Fantasia and Uncle Charlie.

For a fuller picture experience, click once on the photo and enjoy!!!

Also, be sure to get your tickets "now" for the upcoming shows coming to the following cities:

Mar. 10     Las Vegas, NV Grand Garden Arena

Mar. 11     Oakland, CA Oracle Arena

Mar. 16     Kansas City, MO Sprint Center

Mar. 17     Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena

Mar. 18     Houston, TX Toyota Center

Mar. 19     Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre

Mar. 23    Tampa, FL USF Sun Dome

Mar. 24    Birmingham, AL Legacy Arena

Mar. 25    New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center


Read more


Now Playing: Charlie Wilson: "I'm Blessed" feat. T.I.

Growns, enjoy "Uncle" Charlie Wilson's new song, "I'm Blessed", featuring T.I.. With a forthcoming new album and a tour kicking off in February 2017, we agree that he is.

Charlie Wilson Forever Charlie

Grammy Nominated 2016: Charlie Wilson


The saying, "The rest of your life will the best of your life," absolutely applies to the life and career of "Uncle" Charlie Wilson. In his "second act" as a solo performer, Charlie Wilson is showing no signs of slowing down and he is respected, beloved and certainly celebrated as he is nominated for Grammy Awards yet again this year in the Best R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Performance categories. Long Live Uncle Charlie!

Watch the video for "My Favorite Part Of You".

GFM logo black 2017

#GiftGrown: GFM's Certified Gift Giving Guide 2015


Hey Growns, we are back with a list of artists who released albums THIS YEAR (2015) to let you know where to lay to ears and spend your grown currency. Did you know that new music, new GROWN FOLKS Music abounds? We're here to put you up on game. Don't get disgusted. Get Grown. Gift Grown!

In addition, this year Grown Folks Music had the pleasure of speaking with many of the artists on this list. (Check out our interviews).

*The GFM Disclaimer: this list is NOT all inclusive. We know there's some artists/albums we've missed. This list is just to guide you in the right direction as you consider giving the gift of music to someone or even yourself this Christmas.

Jazmine Sullivan: Reality Show

Johnny Gill: Game Changer

Avant: The VII (The Eighth)

Case: Heaven's Door

Brian Courtney Wilson: Worth Fighting For

Lyfe Jennings: Tree Of Lyfe

Tyrese Gibson: Black Rose

Russell Taylor: War Of Hearts

Angie Stone: Dream

Tamar Braxton: Calling All Lovers

Vivian Green: Vivid

Tamia: Love Life

Jeff Bradshaw: Home: Jeff Bradshaw and Friends: Live at the Kimmel Center

Allen Stone: Radius

Janet Jackson: Unbreakable

Kenny Lattimore: Anatomy Of A Love Song

Raheem DeVaughn: Love Sex Passion

All Cows Eat Grass: Self Help

Bilal: In Another Life

Charlie Wilson: Forever Charlie

Hiatus Kaiyote: Choose Your Weapon

Teedra Moses: Cognac & Conversation

Adele: 25

Jodeci: The Past, The Present, The Future

Jose James: Yesterday I Had The Blues

Marshall Knights: The Marshall Knights Experience

Lalah Hathaway: Lalah Hathaway Live!

Maysa: Back 2 Love

ConFunkShun: More Than Love

Monica: Code Red (12/18/2015)

The Internet: Ego Death

Babyface: Return Of The Tender Lover

Jef Kearns: Soulfisticated

Foreign Exchange:Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey

Will Downing:Chocolate Drops

Carmen Rodgers: Stargazer

Jill Scott: Woman

Prince: HITNRUN Phase One

Black Violin: Stereotypes

Now Playing: Charlie Wilson Feat. Snoop Dogg: "Infectious"

Now Playing: Charlie Wilson featuring Snoop Dogg: "Infectious", from Uncle Charlie's current album, Forever Charlie.