What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of recording a new album?
Trying to do something new and ensuring that each new record sounds different from the one(s) before it. “Vision of Dreams” is my 8th album. I’m always trying to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience and try to capture a portion of the listening community that I haven’t yet reached. Although my sound can mostly be categorized as Smooth Jazz, I do enjoy a wide variety of music and am influenced by music of other genres. I want to infuse some of that into my craft, but it can be risky. For instance, I’m currently working on something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time – incorporating an “old-school” DJ spinning in with my live performances. Fortunately, so far this is going over really well with my audiences.
Of your touring gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
Absolutely. There have been so many. The most recent is when I took the stage at the Lakeland Civic Center in Florida this past October. I went on just before Charlie Wilson who would be followed by Frankie Beverly. I don’t have to tell you what an honor that was for me to share the same stage as these two phenomenal performers. I mean, you can’t turn on a radio station without hearing one of Charlie Wilson’s songs! I was overwhelmed by the crowd’s response when they honored me with a standing ovation and shouts for an encore. There’s nothing I enjoy more than knowing that I have reached someone with my music and to know that they have enjoyed listening to something that I have poured my heart and soul into providing for them.
What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?
Beyond having recorded 8 records, and having taken the stage with or worked with so many talented artists, such as Freddie Jackson, Ramsey Lewis, Kim Waters, Betty Wright, and Peobo Bryson, just to name a few, I would have to say it is that I persevered and never gave up. I was born with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which is a chronic condition that affects muscle coordination and depth perception. Throughout my life, I’d been told by some medical and education professionals that I wouldn’t be able to exceed at anything. Some tried to tell me that my quality of life would be lacking and that my future would likely exist in a wheelchair without much use of my extremities. Through God, the love of prayerful parents, and a sheer will and determination to triumph over the obstacles, I have overcome the physical and emotional challenges of being disabled and have emerged as a living testimony to others who face similar obstacles, that nothing is impossible.
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
In addition to my faith and spirituality, I would have to say my family and friends. At the end of the day, life is about balance. I really enjoy meeting new people and developing new relationships. For me, this is not outside of my musical career. I have been blessed with family and friends who enjoy being a part of my musical career. And, I have been fortunate enough to find a management team, RLM Entertainment Group, who have become my friends and family through their tremendous support.
What’s your favorite charity or cause you work for, and why?
Any cause or charity which promotes the personal and emotional well being of persons with disabilities. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I have served as a spokesperson for that organization. On a daily basis, I actively look for opportunities to help people overcome obstacles they are facing in their lives. Amongst my strongest desires is to find a way to share my life’s story in the hopes that it will inspire others to know and believe that they can overcome any obstacle and to never allow anyone else place limits on their joy or dictate the amount of success they can have in their lives.
What question do wish someone would ask you that has never been asked of you in an interview? And your answer?
Are you single? … Yes, ladies, I AM single, available and looking!! All jokes aside, I’d like people to know that although I am very serious about my music and I do have a very mature sound, underneath all that, I’m just a laid back, down to earth, humble fun guy who likes to enjoy life and all that it has to offer. I’m just a normal guy who’s been given an incredible gift.