Liv Warfield and her band rock the Late Night With David Letterman stage with “Blackbird” from her current album, The Unexpected.
Daily Archives: April 5, 2014
“I will not conform to what’s happening now I will always continue to make the music that’s always on my heart and soul to make”
Noel Gourdin’s arrival with his song “The River” in 2008 felt like a mini time capsule of soul had landed in the midst of a scene heavily weighed down with the concerns of pop music. Images of baptisms, Confederate Flags and Impalas tapped into a long-held Americana romanticism with the south that transcended your average soul fan. The song gave him an immediate identity among a mass of R&B singers and a presence on the Billboard charts. His tone has often been compared to Sam Cooke who he openly admires and his love of R&B after hip-hop is something he calls Retro-Relevant. The release of his third studio album, City Heart, Southern Soul this year has him sticking to his unadulterated sound to the delight of his fans. In this interview he talks about the meaning of Retro-Relevancy, the new album and his thoughts on why soul music continues to be pushed to the margin.
What have you been up to since we heard from you the last time with Fresh: The Definition?
I’ve been recording and staying on the road as well as working on City Heart Southern Soul. I think that’s very important to stay in front of people. I’ve been trying to step into other realms of entertainment. I’ve been taking some scripts for some films and been reading for those. And just trying to reach out to other artists to do some collaborations. I think that’s really important. I have a future project right now with half females and half males. I’m working on that and constantly writing and just staying busy. It’s always about that next project because people have really short memories.
I know you were raised in the south and spent time in Massachusetts, So how would you describe your city heart and southern soul?
The City Heart would have more of the influence of the music I grew-up with while I was hanging with my older brother. So he was listening to more of the hip-hop, classic R&B and New Jack Swing that type of music. The Jodecis, he used to listen to Ready For The World, those types of groups. The southern soul would have to be the influences I got with my pops because Lord knows he wasn’t going to be playing any hip-hop. The oldies but goodies we use to call them, Tyrone Davis, Johnnie Taylors and Wilson Picketts, Otis Reddings and Al Greens the Sam Cooke and Marvin Gayes which I grew-up with while hanging with my pops. That’s pretty much where the City Heart and Southern Soul comes from.
What kinds of connections do you see between your music and southern soul from the past?
I would say the spirituality not religious in a sense but the spirituality of certain chords the feel of organic instrumentation the strings as much as I can put in there as far as live instrumentation that’s what I wanna do, but I still wanna have my hip-hop, New Jack Swing, R&B I still want the track to have a punch to it. I still want the drums to have a kick to it I want you to be able to feel the beat, but if I’m able to incorporate live drums, the right kit to have that punch the fat punchy snares the real kick. I always like to incorporate live instrumentation, it’s really important for me to have that because when I fell in love with it, it had that sound you can’t get from synthesizers and you can’t get from keyboards and just sampled sound. There are actual instruments being played and the strings and the horns and such having a quartet you just can’t duplicate that with synthesizers and keyboards.
1. Will F.Gary Gray use unknown or known actors for his NWA biopic that starts filming this summer?
2. Did any of Jay Electronica’s rants about society have any merit?
3. Who has offered the Wu-Tang Clan $2 million and $5 million dollars for the purchase of their Once Upon A Time album? Will fans around the world pay $30-$50 to listen to listen to the album in gallery and festival settings?