Tag Archives: Stevie Wonder

i.n.l.o.v.e.

today i went to the beach with my love… and i was thinking of the craziness that love is… and how it’s the strangest things that we appreciate about the people we love… like today, dre used his hands to create a sun-dial to see what time it was… (i believe this came from his boy scout days)… i love that! it was the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen him do.  and in the car on the way home we were listening to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It” and he was like “listen…listen to the cow bell… that’s what makes the song sexy.” lol!!!!! those are the things that years from now i’ll look back on and smile. or the other day when i had all my jewelry out on the counter that i had worn the night before and he turned the pieces artistically into a smiley face… or the times when i’m sad and he’ll slow dance with me to no music. nothing is perfect. no one is perfect. but love is perfect.. even within the imperfection of us as human beings… our love is perfect.

“i love u the way billie bends her notes- fearlessly… and with loving intention, i gaze at u the way stevie sees music… and with feeling in amazement of ur genius, i dream of u in a level of consciousness that the enlightened monk meditated for years to find… my heart recognized ur soul and it was love at 1st encounter...” from my diary date unknown…


kiss

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Be fearless, be humble, give LOVE in all you do!!! My interview! :)

After doing the interviews with the band for the album release show week, Dre had the brilliant idea of me answering my own interview questions… 

-what’s your 1st musical memory?

Singing and dancing to Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga.” I thought I was Gloria in my living room! 🙂

 

-what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened while you are on stage?

I haven’t really done that many shows… I guess the craziest thing was our album release show! The energy was crazy! There was so much love in the room. It was a good crazy! 

 

-what’s your ultimate dream in music?

My musical intention on my site sums it up beautifully: to inspire adventure, creativity, and the inner artist- to give praise, to heal, to manifest love, to allow you to feel your own truth and power through my voice, to make music that evokes emotion, thought, mood, and passion, to connect with others on levels they didn’t even know existed within themselves, or simply to create something that you can shake your ass to…

 

-if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?

I would be the next Oprah! Lol! Seriously I’d do the things I already do but in a grander way- dance, write poetry, inspire others to live their dreams…. 

 

-songs that changed your life…

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” it’s soulful AND conscious… Donny Hathaway’s version of “A Song for You…” Ella Fitzgerald singing live “Mack the Knife”-I’ve never heard another singer use her voice as an instrument the way she does… Oh there’s too many… 

 

-most influential artists to you and why?

Prince (his music is beyond sexy), Erykah Badu and Jill Scott-soulful/poetic/conscious writers and singers- I adore them!, Nina Simone/Billie Holiday/Ella- their unique interpretation of the lyric, their tone, their phrasing…. Bjork-she’s innovative, takes risks, she’s her own entity…Chaka Khan is fierce… Stevie Wonder-such an incredible song writer… I love Yerba Buena- how they fuse so many genres with Latin music. James Brown- I saw him live-puts on such incredibly electric performances, so funky. I could go on and on and on….

 

-what makes an amazing song?

A song that makes you feel deeply…

 

-what’s your theme song?

I wish it was Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” lol! But at the moment I’m more Gnarls Barkley “Crazy!” lol! I don’t know. It changes. You tell me! 

 

-do you have musical nickname?

Not a musical one, but my nickname is Bella.

 

-what song were you most likely conceived to?

My parents were into jazz… hmm… but then again I was conceived in the Caribbean… so…

 

-first concert you ever went to?

New Kids on the Block… but I’ve redeemed myself by going to incredible shows ever since I promise!!! 🙂

 

-first album u ever bought?

I would just borrow from my parents they had a great collection.. the first single I bought was TLC’s “Ain’t too Proud to Beg!”

 

-how can we revolutionize music? 

By creating music that is true to who we are. By exposing ourselves to music that is not just mainstream.

 

-indie or major (what’s the way to go?)

After interning at 2 major labels in college, I really don’t think that most labels do very much. They have the connections that CAN catapult an artist to stardom but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. An artist can get their album shelved even if they are signed…or if the album is released they might not get the funding/attention/marketing to get it to the masses… I’d love to be free of all that… autonomous like Prince. He’s revolutionary as a music business man as well… But if I was offered an amazing deal I would be open to the possibilities…

 

-what inspires you musically?

Reading something inspiring, exposing myself to new things, having adventures, my community of amazing musicians, artists with something unique to express, love, passion, dancing, altered states (occasionally), spirit, growth…

 

-what can an artist do (that you’re backing) to make your job easy and fun?

Well I’ve done backing vocals… and usually back ground singers are the least respected in the band it seems. So just showing respect. As a singer- don’t be afraid to let your back ground singers shine and be who they are – there’s enough room for everyone. I’ve been lucky with the performers I’ve worked with. 

 

-what’s your favorite song from the album?

“Moments” or “Te Necesito” are probably my favorites. They are poetic and intimate and sensual. I love what “Variety Pack” is about- it’s a sexy female empowerment song! “Discombobulator” is so out and funky…. and I love the vibe of “Overflow.” But for some reason my bond is strongest with “Moments” and “Te Necesito.”

 

-advice for up and coming players?

Be fearless! Be humble! Give love in all you do!

 

-what do you hope for the show?

I wanted to elevate the room with LOVE and inspiration! And we succeeded! It was a beautiful first show!!! 

Album Release Show at Dakota Lounge

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M.U.S.I.C. album release show! Today’s feature: MATT ROBERTS

For the album release show, I’m featuring each band member during this upcoming show week! It has been so much fun interviewing the M.U.S.I.C. makers and getting deep into their musical heads and hearts! They are all ridiculously talented, intelligent, true artists and I’m honored to make M.U.S.I.C. with them! 

Today’s feature: MATT ROBERTS -guitar

The music world is a small world and I realized this even more so when the guy I always loved listening to between classes at USC, who played possibly the most beautiful music to ever come out of a guitar- Matt Roberts- also, grew up with Dre playing music and is good friend of his… I love how we’re all connected! 🙂 Matt is a musical philosopher… he’s flawless in his playing… and though he can be virtuosic he still executes with such feeling. Matt loves to play jazz, rock, funk, soul, etc. and he gives each genre what it needs instinctively and effortlessly… Matt has his own group (The Matt Roberts Group) that is mostly jazz inspired and is currently playing for Solange Knowles. Other artists he has recorded and/or performed with the last few years include Lady Gaga, Pat Metheny, Terrence Howard, New West Guitar Quartet, Left Coast Funk Orchestra, etc. Matt played on “Variety Pack” on M.U.S.I.C. I’m looking forward to FINALLY performing with this musician that I’ve admired so much over the years 🙂 

-what’s your 1st musical memory?

Dancing and singing to “Thriller” and “Born in the USA.”

 

-what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened while you are on stage?

While playing with Solange in DC, some crazy guy got on stage and tried to dance with the back ground dancers…

 

-what’s your ultimate dream in music?

To have my own musical project, to be able to live off of my own music, and still be co-writing and producing for other artists… continuing to grow as an artist…and to sing way better than I do now…

 

-if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?

Be a councelor/therapist/psychologist or a writer of philosophical books…

 

-songs that changed your life…

“Bohemian Rhapsody” I was 10 yrs old and for Christmas my dad bought me a boom box and and MC Hammer cassette and classic Queen…. “It’s kind of magic” was the 1st song and I thought how weird… then I heard “Bohemian Rhapsody” and remembered it from Wayne’s World….and loved it!

 

-most influential artists to you and why?

Freddy Mercury was a huge early inspiration. He inspired me to take chances and to be epic. Right now some of my inspirations, Stevie Wonder for obvious reasons…Joe Satriniani when I first started playing guitar, Pat Matheney in my later teen years, and now days I love simple soulful guitar players- like John Mayer- his melodicism.. he cares about every note he plays…now I’m not as focused on what I can do but more focused on what I can give to the moment.

 

-what makes an amazing song?

A song is amazing if it’s true, honest, bold, and well crafted.

 

-what’s your theme song?

I would like it to be “overjoyed” but  this week my theme song is “Rock with you.”

-do you have musical nickname

Names are funny things because our parents assign us titles before we are developed beings… with songs and movies we give the title after the creation… with human beings we get names before we have developed… I don’t know if the name I was given portrays who I am. I’m on a quest for a name that represents more who I am now…. Matt Roberts sounds like a computer programmer…

 

-what song were you most likely conceived to?

Well once again there’s the song I’d like to be conceived to… and then there’s the song I was mostly likely conceived to… being that my mom was the music person, mostly likely an Al Green song or an Allman Brothers song…

 

-first concert you ever went to?

Joe Satriani

 

-first album u ever bought

Pearl Jam’s Ten

 

-how can we revolutionize music? 

There’s revolutionizing music and there’s revolutionizing the business of music. With the art form itself just the concept of writing a good song… not just creating something that is “marketable” or just something that will “sell.” There’s a balance between doing things the way you think they should be done and being open to listening to others ideas/perceptions. (I think it’s good to) always take others perceptions into consideration regardless if you take heed to their advice… It would be interesting if music stopped for a year… no one in the world would hear/play/create any music for a whole year- and then we write… and see what comes out… if we could step away from what we’re doing and go to the beach and meditate and listen to the ocean and fall in love and then write music again…. Also, revolutionizing radio, having radio that is more connected to the people – where people could give suggestions of indie bands that they love and the radio station could filter what is hip and new and play those songs…

 

-indie or major (what’s the way to go?)

a good deal is a good deal a bad deal is a bad deal…

 

-what inspires you musically?

Love, nature, sex, food, different surroundings…

 

-what can an artist do (that you’re backing) to make your job easy and fun?

Listening to the bands ideas, to be willing to take criticism, sometimes major artists can feel that they are above the band… the artist needs to trust their band… and if you make it “big” don’t take extra luxuries (better hotel room, better bus)… live on the same level as the band. Creates respect… obviously the band isn’t getting paid the same as the artist and if they see luxury is going on around them it’s not a good thing. Be humble. Be strong, lead them but be humble.

 

-what’s your favorite song from the album?

“come a little closer”

 

-advice for up and coming guitarists”

Study as many genres as possible, as you discover your strengths harness them…

 

-what do you hope for the show?

I hope that everyone comes out and that we will begin the revolution of music in the world!  

Check out M.U.S.I.C. at http://www.andreebelle.com or http://www.myspace.com/andreebelle!!!!

http://www.myspace.com/mattrobertsguitarist and http://www.myspace.com/mattrobertsgroup

Matt rocking out on the Tonight Show! 

Matt Roberts

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M.U.S.I.C. album release show! Today’s feature: LEO COSTA

For the album release show, I’m featuring each band member during this upcoming show week! It has been so much fun interviewing the M.U.S.I.C. makers and getting deep into their musical heads and hearts! They are all ridiculously talented, intelligent, true artists and I’m honored to make M.U.S.I.C. with them! 

Today’s feature: Leo Costa – drums

Leo is amazing at mixing modern drumming with old school concepts. He’s a sensitive player- he intuitively feels what energy, essence, and foundation a song needs.  From Rio, Brazil, Leo attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music and graduated with a Professional Music Degree, he studied performance, arranging, and music synthesis which also lead him to production and programming. With dexterity ranging from funky, gritty grooves to the complex feel of samba, jazz, and literally everything in between, Leo Costa plays with an authentic, inspired, and soulful intelligence. Leo added his incredible musical feel on Moments, Abuela, When You’re Away, and Rabo de Galo on M.U.S.I.C. Get to know my favorite batera 🙂

-what’s your 1st musical memory?

Listening to my dad’s Stevie Wonder and Jimmy Cliff records and my mom’s Beatles records.

 

-what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened while you are on stage?

At a gig one time some dude kept asking if my cajon was electric! Then he starts trying to play it while I’m playing it- in the middle of the set. I had to use one hand to push him away while continuing to play the cajon with the other hand! Another time during a jazz gig, during the middle of a beautiful ballad, the singer fell HARD from the stool and from the floor she tells the band to keep playing (as if nothing had happened)…

 

-what’s your ultimate dream in music?

I don’t have an ultimate dream… I just want to keep evolving in music, keep developing…

 

-if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?

There is nothing else.


-most influential artists to you and why?

Bob Marley, to me is the spokesperson of the 3rd world… he changed my perception on music, politics, life… ‘War,’ ‘Get Up Stand Up,’ ‘Could you be Love’ are some of my favorite songs…. Michael Jackson is a genius in complex simplicity (note: this interview was done 2 days before Michael’s death)…and Billy Cobham, a drummer from Panama, made me realize that this is what I wanted to do at 12 or 13…Also, Djavan for his songwriting, the rhythms in his music, his technique playing and singing…He’s the only artist I’ve been star struck by (other than Prince).

 

-what makes an amazing song?

What makes a good song to me is constantly changing… lyrics, the artist portraying feeling and a message to the listener, a song that makes people move, makes people feel… especially with my instrument I want to do that (make them feel)…

 

what’s your theme song?

My theme song is the same song in different modes.

 

-do you have musical nickname?

Batera, slang for drummer in Brasil.

 

-what song were you most likely conceived to?

Probably some bossa nova song.

 

-first concert you ever went to?

Beastie Boys.

 

-first album u ever bought?

Faith No More’s Epic

 

-how can we revolutionize music? 

Start by bringing LIVE instruments back and also revolutionizing radio- putting real songs on the radio- not catch phrases.

 

-indie or major (what’s the way to go?)

Indie with major distribution.

 

-what inspires you musically?

When people speak through their music passionately and honestly.

 

-what can an artist do (that you’re backing) to make your job easy and fun?

Give love and respect to their musician’s time and craft… you get what you give with your band (and with your audience)…

 

-what’s your favorite song from the album?

“Discombobulator” and “Te Necesito”

 

-advice for up and coming drummers?

Practice hard and run your race.

 

-what do you hope for the show?

For us to kill it, that everyone digs it… I hope it’s a party and that everyone has fun.


Listen to M.U.S.I.C. at http://www.myspace.com/andreebelle or http://www.andreebelle.com

http://www.myspace.com/leocostamusic

Leo Costa

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M.U.S.I.C. album release show! Today’s feature: BRYAN VELASCO

For the album release show, I’m featuring each band member during this upcoming show week! It has been so much fun interviewing the M.U.S.I.C. makers and getting deep into their musical heads and hearts! They are all ridiculously talented, intelligent, true artists and I’m honored to make M.U.S.I.C. with them! 

Today’s feature: Bryan Velasco -keys

Bryan Velasco is one of the most genius pianists in music today. He is super versatile- proficient in any genre (Latin, jazz, pop, rock, funk, soul…) Bryan’s skills also lead him to playing with one of my favorites, the legendary Celia Cruz. He also is an incredible producer and uniquely revolutionary in his song writing- working with Grammy winner Keb Mo, Macy Gray, Quetzal Guerrero, Tita Lima, Tibetan singer Techung, etc. Stay tuned for his own upcoming project-it’s sublimely one of a kind! Bryan lent his amazing talents to M.U.S.I.C. on “Come a Little Closer,” “Te Necesito,” and “Dance with Me.” Not only is Bryan an amazing musician but he has lovely dance moves that I’m hoping he will use Friday night 🙂 

-what’s your 1st musical memory?

Singing the toki toki song with my mom (Korean bunny song).

 

-what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened while you are on stage?

Alejandra Guzman doing splits on stage and her mini skirt came up…it was hilarious…

 

-what’s your ultimate dream in music?

To be able to do whatever I want whenever I want- not have to do any gigs I don’t want to do… not have to play… ultimate freedom… To be the best musician I can be in my lifetime… and to take care of my mom and dad.

 

-if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?

Professional fighter or teach kids…

 

-songs that changed your life…

‘Monk’s Mood’ Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane live at Carnegie Hall… You can see everyones’ personality loud and clearly. That song is bad ass. ‘Village Ghetto Land’ –Stevie Wonder (subject matter, musicality…) ‘Future Shock’ – Herbie Hancock… the whole Rocket Man album that f*cked me up. ‘Lake of Fire’ from Nirvana’s In Bloom, I could keep going and going…

 

-most influential artists to you and why?

Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock (the reason why I started playing piano was because of the Rocket Man album…) As a kid, I thought if I started playing piano I could hang out with robots and androids… Stevie Wonder…as far as being influenced it’s ongoing… possibly everything you listen to can influence you if it’s done well… I try to find something I can appreciate in every song. I am open to anything…

 

-what makes an amazing song?

A song that’s interesting from beginning to end, that makes you feel something that you wanna feel again.


-what’s your theme song?

Goza la Vida- Orchestra Aragon 

 

-do you have musical nickname?

Latinos call me Chino, Cubans call me Nara…

  

-what song were you most likely conceived to?

I don’t know and I don’t care as long as it’s not Michael Bolton….

 

-first concert you ever went to?

ZZ Top at the blockbuster pavilion.

 

-first album u ever bought?

Use Your Illusion II (Guns N’ Roses).

 

-how can we revolutionize music? 

If we all stop thinking about money… that would revolutionize music… we have to revolutionize the world to revolutionzie music… it’s all connected…


-indie or major (what’s the way to go?)

Either or… some people do good with major some people do good with indie… right now it’s in to be indie but who knows?

 

-what inspires you musically?

My life.

 

-what can an artist do (that you’re backing) to make your job easy and fun?

To not divert from the plan… if you’re prepared and you come in and kick ass… let things marinate and sound good…

 

-what’s your favorite song from the album?

 All the songs I played on…

 

-advice for up and coming players?

Have fun.

 

-what do you hope for the show?

That it’s the beginning of a wonderful and long career for Andree Belle. 


listen to M.U.S.I.C. at http://www.myspace.com/andreebelle or http://www.andreebelle.com

Bryan playing at Carnegie Hall

http://www.myspace.com/paparelleno

Bryan Velasco

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