Musiek is…………. the voice for indie artists, and those that support them!! Visit: www.musiekmagazine.com Write for Musiek Mag! Email us at email@example.com 5
Did you Know: Your First Gig- pg 10
Hey DJ: DJ Krazy T-pg 14 Venues: The Playroom in Charlotte Zydeco in Alabama pg 18 Intro: Alexandra Moniquepg 20
Industry Trendsetters: Livio Harris â€“ pg 24 BuzzWorthy Artist: Big Mike- pg 30
Angela P Moore Nayomi Charnelle #cwspeaks
Alioune "AL" Kotey lead photographer and owner of OLI PHOTOGRAPHY www.oliphotogtaphy.com Assistant-Keano Williams
Did You Knowâ€Śâ€Ś.
Your First Gig Before you perform at that first gig you or your manager has booked, here are some tips that may help you prior to stepping on stage!
Prepare Prepare for any eventuality. If you are a Rock band with full set of guitars, drums, etc, to an emcee with a DJ with a computer, two turntables and full mixing board, you need to be prepared for any eventuality. This could be a backup computer, strings for your guitar, another set of sticks, or even a second set of everything! Last thing you want to do is lose power in your amp and you don’t have a second one to back you up. Prepare your set list before getting there. That way you know what you will perform, should another artist not show up. Also, this will be helpful once you get to the event and see how the crowd is.
deserves such because of their following and fans purchasing tickets. If you are privy to get that, be specific and don’t change it at the last moment. Always be professional, this is a business.
Know who’s in Your Corner Learn the names of the sound engineers and staff that are there for the show. You should get along with them and at the end of the night thank them for a job well done. Remember, in this industry you run into each other a lot at various events. Last thing you want is a rep of being difficult to work with.
Grab Em! Grab the audience's attention. The general rule of thumb is to open with a song that makes the audience take notice of you and say “wow, I gotta get that cd/download” Also interact with the audience. They pay money to have a memorable performance. Leave them wanting more, requesting another set or even interacting with you after the show.
Drinking Drink alcohol excessively before an event. That myth about getting it in before a show makes you perform better is that.. a myth! You should always be professional even if the liquor is free! By being moderate in that prevents you the performer from embarrassing yourself, and shows the venue and promoter that you are professional that can be called back for additional bookings.
Guests If you have a guest list, that great, but find out from the venue the maximum allowed for you. If there is four of you in a group and each of you invite four guests, that’s sixteen people that will not pay, that’s sixteen tickets the venue has lost out on. Keep the number low and just express to your friends and family that their support is needed, that means even buying a ticket.
Promotion Make sure you will be allowed to sell merchandise after the show. This is but an extension beyond your performance to pull in more fans and leave them with something so you keep them as fans. Sometimes when there is a band, group or artist that is the headliner, it may hinder you from selling your merchandise. All of this needs to be determined prior to booking. This way if you cannot, then look for alternative ways to reach out to Riders Don’t get outrageous on riders. Riders are “ex- the crowd after the performance. Possibly having someone from your group to get emails of tra” that performers ask for in a contract with those attending to keep them up to date on the venue they are performing at. This could be food and beverages, pre-arranged amount future performances is a good idea. Being a performer is a never ending job, but of money that the promoter will provide to a keeping in mind these few things prior to stepband to buy themselves a meal and some ping on stage will help keep you on track to do drinks a special area for performers and entourage to be in, etc. Just remember, if you are the thing that you love the most, to perform just starting out, don’t assume you can request and let you music be heard!!! a rider. Normally a venue will offer if their budget allows it or if the performer they’ve booked
DJ Krazy T Photos by J aka Julio
His goal, to turn your party into the hottest event…. His mantra: “When it comes to music I don’t play… I D.J.”
experience playing at various venues throughout Charlotte.
This is undoubtedly DJ Krazy T.
Celebrity parties part of his forte, as well as being recognized as the Official DJ for the CIAA tournament in Charlotte NC.
Born and raised in upstate New York and residing here in Charlotte for 15 years, DJ Krazy T has been a DJ and MC since 2005. “I just wanna make you dance” he says. So he handles a variety of events, from backyard barbeques to exclusive weddings, his abilities make your affair simply special. He is also recognized as one of the official Travel / Guest Celebrity DJ's for Johnny Gill and New Edition, opening for concerts with; NEW EDITION, Bobby Brown, BBD, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant, En Vogue and Carl Thomas, the Ken Ford concert, Johnson C. Smith University Homecoming, Rudy Currence Concert at Amos, Hip Hop Legend Special Ed’s Birthday Party, Miss Encore Couture Pageant, and additional
With over 250,000+ musical tracks at his fingertips, he enhances various music genres from Pop to Rock, Hip Hop, Oldies, Jazz and R&B, tailoring it to his clients’ needs. He is also a recognized Emcee! He is recognized as a consummate businessman, true partner to club and venue owners. DJ Krazy T is now a one stop shop for your event, as the one man entertainment phenom also has Krazy T Entertainment Services, featuring multitalented hosts and DJs for any event. Contact information: 424-BE-KRAZY firstname.lastname@example.org www.djkrazyt.net Follow him at:
enues With 27 monthly rooms, 2 hourly rooms, and a broad selection of gear and equipment available for rent, we have everything you need to have productive, exclusive, and fun rehearsals. The Playroom will do everything possible to accommodate your music needs, no matter what your experience level or genre may be. By Musicians, for Musicians, Since 1994.
916 Tuckaseegee Rd Charlotte, NC 28208 Phone: 704-258-1741 ABOUT Opened in December 1994 by fellow musician Eddie Z, the Playroom is the Southeast’s premier rehearsal facility. Catering to musicians of all levels and styles, the Playroom has been home to everybody from the garage to the Grammy’s. Currently home to over 125 musicians, the Playroom is conveniently located while being secluded enough to keep sessions private and confidential. If you need space for tour rehearsal, choreography, band auditions, label showcases, video or photo shoots, or you just need somewhere to turn the volume up, The Playroom is your answer. We are an Amusement Park for Musicians, and have been meeting the Southeast’s music rehearsal needs for over 20 years.
2001 15th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35205 Music: All Genres
Capacity: 600 Age: 18+
"A proud member of Southside’s historical Five Points District, Zydeco is the 2nd oldest venue in Birmingham. The club prides itself on providing the best in live music, quality food and spirits, and a great atmosphere on a daily basis. The upstairs music hall provides the concert-goer an intimate setting to enjoy their favorite live band. In its long history, Zydeco has garnered its unprecedented reputation by hosting some of the most wonderful musicians to ever come through the “Magic City.” Artists like Alison Krauss & Union Station, Count•The Zydeco Pub (downstairs) offers televisions, ing Crows, John Mayer, Blues Traveler...are just a video games, pool tables, Zydeco's Kitchen, and a few of the names to perform the Zydeco stage." full bar. Periodically we offer acoustic performanc- Most shows are held Thursday-Saturday nights, but they are flexible es or comedy shows in the pub, and we host the Birmingham Vulcans Rugby Team after all of their 205.933.1032 home games. www.zydecobirmingham.com Since 1989, Zydeco has been a staple in Birmingham's historic Five Points South business district. The second oldest entertainment venue continually operating in Birmingham, Zydeco prides itself on providing the best in live music, quality food and spirits and a great atmosphere. Zydeco has a three-level venue that is unique in Birmingham for its ability to host multiple audiences with a variety of entertainment selections - all at the same time.
Written by Nayomi Charnelle 20
Alexandra Monique is a singer/songwriter/pianist from Canton Michigan. She later moved to Charlotte was signed to Marshall Street Records. Her selftitled Debut EP dropped last March providing singles such as “No More” and “Heart Remains Same.”
same way about Alicia Keys. I appreciate her lyrics and the way she approaches a song.
Nayomi-Did you come from a musical background? AM-No I’m the only one that’s really involved with music. My mother can sing and everyone knows how to play 1 song on the piano Her music takes you to a place of familiarity. but I am the one who is really involved in muIt can be described as “Truthful Soul” It’s the sic and talented. type of soul music that allows you to stand in Nayomi-What was the defining moment when you realized you wanted to sing? your own truth as well as accept the truth about others. AM-I was actually in college and I would involve myself in everything musical. It’s Ms. Monique commands your attention by combining the down to earth bluesy vocals of strange because I felt really nervous about Etta James and the soultry melodic rhythms performing for a small crowed and I’m actually more comfortable performing in front of Alcia Keys. Simple Perfection… of a massive crowd. My mom said that if I In an era where most young women are wanted to sing, I would have to be ready to trying to gain attention and fame through sing whenever someone tells me to. showing off their bodies, this future law student doesn’t need to do any of that. Ms. Monique lets her music and her voice speak Nayomi-So I guess you were performing for the family whenever they asked? for itself. AM-Yes like we would be at the table and my mom would just say “Alexandra get up and She has been triumphant in covering songs such as Toni Braxton’s ‘ “Unbreak My Heart”, sing a song for us.” I wasn’t always completely comfortable with that but I did it. Adele’s “Hello” and my personal favorite “Diary” by the incomparable Alicia Keys. Nayomi-I viewed several of your YouTube All of these renditions can be found on videos and I would have to say, my favorite YouTube under Alexandra Monique. This is your cover of Alicia keys’ “Diary.” rising star is well on her way and I had the How do you prepare to for those types of pleasure of interviewing this exceptionally performances? talented young lady. Here’s how it all went AM-I make sure I listen to the songs over down…. and over and I make sure I know the song Nayomi- Let’s begin with where you are from before recording myself. and when did you relocate to Charlotte? AM- I’m originally from Canton Michigan and Nayomi-How do you feel about performing live and how often do you perform live? I moved to Charlotte in my teens. I wasn’t AM-I actually enjoy performing live. I have to too thrilled about moving here but as time keep an eye and an ear out for when there went on, I really grew to love it. are open mic nights. It’s a little difficult trying to stay up on where and when they are going Nayomi-Who were you most influenced by to be but I try my best to participate growing up? whenever possible. AM- I’m a huge fan of Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Luther Vandross, Alicia Keys and Sara Bareilles. I really love the way Nayomi- Let’s talk about some of your Sara writes and delivers her music. I feel the singles. I had the pleasure of listening to “Bliss” and “No More” Most artists draw from
personal experience when they are writing a song. Is it safe to say that you have drawn from your experiences with relationships when you wrote these songs? AM- I consider my music my diary. I’ve never been one to speak about personal things and put my business all out there so music is my diary and it’s how I relay personal things. All of the songs I write are from my own personal experience except for the song “Bliss”. That was a mix of what I was going through and a friend of mines were going through. Everything else is based on my own personal experience. It’s really hard to record those songs because they are from my personal experiences. Nayomi- So what’s next for Alexandra Monique? AM- I’ve been working on writing some new music so there are some new songs coming out. Also, since its the holidays, I will be doing some holiday covers. I have been listening to a lot of Christmas songs trying to decide which ones I’m going to do.
Nayomi- Well I have a request… I would love to hear you do “O Holy Night.” AM- Yes! I love that one and Mariah Carey does the best rendition of that song and I absolutely love her version of it. I think it came our around the year 2000. Nayomi- Yes she is absolutely amazing! I think you would do well with “O Holy Night” and I can’t wait to hear it. AM- Well, thank you. Nayomi- Where can we find you? AM- My website is www.alexandramonique.com, my Twitter is @MissMayo29 YouTube is Alexandra Monique’ as well as Facebook and Sound Cloud. Nayomi- Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us here at Musiek Magazine. Please keep us posted on where and when you will be performing live. We would love to come and show support. AM- I certainly will and thank you for having me.
A Chat With….
Livio Harris "Everyone knows what I do but not very many people know who I am." -Livio Harris This statement caught me totally by surprise when I read it. Because when you see the impressive stats on this brother, you know that you are reading not just about a man who has connected with the most influential of this industry. Nor is it about the work he’s done with an overseas publishing company making them highly recognized in the US. To even mention the roster of artists and actors that he’s worked with over the years that respect his work and wisdom is astounding as well… When reading about Livio Harris, you should know that he loves this industry. From his arrival in California to his current work with Lil’J and recently he and his partner landing a role for rapper Bre-Z (Freda Barz on the hit show EMPIRE) he works tirelessly behind the scenes to take each thing, every individual, to the next level.
MM: Let’s talk about your beginning. LH: I’m originally from Kansas City, St Louis and raised in Kansas City MO. I started singing at the age of 9, playing the guitar at age 11, so I took a liking to the music business. I’m the only one in my family that’s actually in the music business. After high school I went to the Marine Corp did my years there, came out of there and moved to California to pursue my dream, I was like I didn’t know anybody there, but I’m going to see what happens. So I came out the CA as a writer and a producer first, and then I brought up some friends from back home (KC) to out here to form a group called FourSure…. And then we met some gentlemen connected with Uptown. Uptown records had an A&R by the name of Kurt Woodley, who started managing us, became our manager overall. He got us a deal with Uptown, literally a week after Jodeci had just got signed, and he (Kurt) managed Mary J Blige at the time when she first came out. So we signed with Uptown records as artists and we also kept producing other artists as well. Jeff Redd
was one of the clients. So we started with that, and after years of singing in the group, it kinda got old for me, so I started playing in the game of management and my first client was Adina Howard. Adina Howard had the big record “Freak Like Me.” So I discovered her, managed her, wrote her records, produced it, A&R, the whole project, that ended up doing a couple million singles and a million albums. And to this day, fast forward 23 years later she’s still a household name in the business. So that brought me into the management world and I started managing actors and producers, songwriters and managing an amazing publishing company, which is Notting Hill Music Publishing, which I spent 21 years with them. I’ve just been rolling ever since! MM: Talk about longevity! That’s saying so much about an individual of your caliber as well as the history behind it. You’ve worked with the who’s who in the music industry. I’m sure with all that there has been
Livio and his client Jonathan “Lil J” McDaniels 26
artists that are multifaceted, a person that can do it all. MM: Longevity in the game is instrumental; you’ve been in the game for over 20 years…. LH: Yes, 27 years…. MM: Wow, so tell us, what have you gained out of it? LH: Man, I think I’ve gained definitely a lot of knowledge and invaluable knowledge gained along the way? rubbing elbows with the right people, and still learning. Even though it’s been 27 years I LH: Yes, yes, of course…. With Uptown know everything, I still want to just learn more. label, on the Uptown side of things, P Diddy was actually a seventeen year old A&R at the I’ve been successful with it, the fact that I still time and he was actually in charge of oversee- love the game, because most people would be ing our record. So I had the privilege of work- like, “man I’m out, I’m tired, I’m gonna retire from it.” I still love it, like I’m just getting ing with him. Andre Harrell is still a mentor. Through Sylvia (Rhone) we did Adina Howard, started. which opened up the doors to working with I think I’ve gained a lot. I’ve gained a lot of Keith Sweat and various other artists on that roster with Elektra Records and Sylvia Rhone. great friends, knowledge and successes. To Yes I had the pleasure of working with a lot think, that when I first came out here, it was to just write for people. I had no idea 27 years of great people in general! later that I would have a record deal, or manage a successful Platinum artist. Manage MM: Question, for those up and coming a successful actor, and run a publishing comartists.. What is it that you look for, in up and pany that was unknown in America and ended coming artists? What do they need to have? up becoming a 50 million dollar a year LH: Well as an artist, something original and business. So I’ve gained a lot … unique. Like Drake…when he first came on the set, he came with a total unique sound Amidst the multiple projects he has…Had to and with the rap/singing. Something special that stands out, like Beyonce, someone multi- ask, what’s next? Well…the film and TV bug talented, somebody that can do more than just has bitten Livio Harris. the music. I was fortunate enough to represent “Being able to be a part of producing a hit TV clients like Lil J, (Jonathan McDaniels) who I show or movie, and still bring music into those made sure was not just stuck in the world of things. And after that accomplishment, he just music. He was a young rapper, fourteen envisions himself writing a book. “Then that’s at the time I met him. So I’ve always pushed it, to leave a good name and a good legacy “be an artist, but try to expand beyond that, behind.” become an actor.” So now he’s an actor, a rapper, a host for a TV show. So if one doesn’t To keep up with Livio and see what this music work, you’ve got backup plans, because it’s a veteran has in store for, follow him at: tough game out here. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Livio-Harris The industry, it’s not like what it used to be, so Twitter: @livioharris you always gotta have options. I look for 27
By Nayomi Charnelle
ichael McCluney AKA Big Mike is an R&B singer who delivers soulful sounds in a wondrous manner. He can take simple melodies and add his very own flavor and come up a sound all his own. I remember tuning in faithfully to catch “P Diddy’s Show “Making the Band 3”. I couldn’t help but notice that one particular voice stood out from the rest. I was rooting for him from the moment he belted out Stevie Wonder “My Cherie Amor” and a tear came to my eye...I already knew he had made that band. I met with Big Mike one evening at TBC 54 Hundred Bar and Grill in North Charlotte. I must admit, I was a bit nervous but I soon as he and I sat down and started the conversation, I was really at ease. We shared a deep conversation over a basket of French fries and a few glasses of wine (Well, I had the wine). We talked about everything from music to TV shows, to his experience with the group Day 26, to which one of us makes the best macaroni and cheese. We even spoke about his admiration for Prince and Captain Planet. (I even got him to sing the theme song to the show) He gave me such a warm and welcoming vibe that this interview was more like catching up with an old friend more so than interviewing a celebrity. I had the honor of seeing him perform at the Queen City Awards a few weeks ago and he set the stage on fire with his rendition of the smash hit single “Shame” originally recorded by Tyrese. I couldn’t wait to get some alone time with this talented phenom and find out more about him. Here’s how it all went down:
guess you can just call me an American because I have lived just about everywhere. Nayomi-Tell us about your childhood was it always infused with music? BM-I had a very musical childhood. From the age of 3 or 4 I have always been able to see. I remember singing on the back of the school bus or at the school bus stop. I have always entertained people and changing people’s lives and giving them an escape. I have been doing this since 4 years old and I remember my teachers and peers would ask me to sing. Both sides of my family sing and we would sing at church. My aunt was the choir director and my grandma was the overseer of the kids in the choir so she made me sing even when I didn’t want to sing and then I began to understand the reason why I got the gift to sing. Singing was good. Nayomi- So describe the exact moment when you realized you had something special. BM- When I was 4 years old would sing I would scare myself and I would get to crying and I couldn’t control it until I couldn’t sing anymore. I knew every song that came on the radio. I would pick it up just like that. I didn’t think I had anything special, I just knew that it was something that I wanted to do and I knew no one else could do it like me.
Nayomi-who did you admire growing up? Who would you say molded your sound? BM-Actually it was the church I grew up in a small time that has grown a lot and the church was like a real family and my grandmother was big on everyone getting together. She had 13 children and while my parents and the aunts and uncles were at Nayomi- For those who don’t’ know; please work, she would have all the grandchildren tell everyone where you are from and where come over. It was around thirty something grand kids. All of us would get together. you’re from and where you grew up. BM- I’m from Gaffney, SC and that’s where I We had school friends but we were each other’s first friends. I’m thankful for a large grew up now I’m in Charlotte, NC and I family because this provided structure.
BM –Yes I could work my way into the look. Nayomi- That’s definitely something we have Talent was the biggest thing so we thought. in common. My grandmother had 13 children as well and there are around 36 first cousins Nayomi-Were there any times that you felt you wanted to quit and felt it wasn’t worth it so I can definitely relate. Nayomi- So let’s talk about Day 26. Let’s go and wanted to walk away. BM- Honestly yes and I never said this to over that whole experience I did see you anyone before. You are the first Nayomi. when you auditioned. I remember that episode of “Making The Band” and you were very confident with it you knew this was a big Nayomi- Oh I get an exclusive! BM- Yes you do! Not knowing what was next deal and you had to bring you’re A Game. and what to do. The first time we broke up we were at a halt the label didn’t know what to BM: I actually have been asked that quite a bit. I let people know what was exactly going do. Others in the group were dropping singles on through my mind. I was about 19 or 20 at and I didn’t know what was going on. The the time and to be honest I really didn’t want constant not knowing is what made me want to walk away and made it more difficult to to do it. I had a good job at the moment with want to stay. But I knew that I had a gift and I benefits. I wasn’t trying to leave it. So I was always entertaining people anyway. A friend knew that this gift could provide healing or change someone’s life. God would show me of mines drove me up there and he something or I would read something and auditioned as well. I was standing in line listening to all these people around me. Think- This is my purpose and they would comment or leave a message of please don’t stop. I got ing to myself is this all they got? Once I got in and Michael Bivins took an exceptional no- a message from someone I don’t talk to and they left a message of something that I just tice to me and I had to battle like seven difread. It gave me an understanding and I got ferent times in order to make it to the Diddy audition. They were sending the top 2 people my focus back. to audition for Diddy. I battled this guy named Nayomi- You singers are something special James who sung “Can You Stand the Rain” and you do have the ability to heal the soul by New Edition. That’s my boy and he sung with your voices. We could be going through the crap out that song. They let me do any something and your relaying information You song I wanted to do and I sung “End of the Road” Wanya’s part; I did John Legend’s “Or- singers are amazing and you can heal the soul with your voices. That’s why anyone who dinary People.” They just gave me different people to battle here in Charlotte until I finally has an amazing voice I want them out there. You do more than entertain you heal the soul. made it to audition for Diddy in New York. It BM-Yes there is a big difference in being a was definitely a lot of fun. They said I had to cut my hair though my hair was longer in sin- singer and an entertainer. You can build them gle twists to my shoulders. They said up and take them on the ride with you. Puff doesn’t like hair and I said cool I can cut Nayomi- In 2014 I saw a YouTube clip of my hair. We also had to battle for Laurie Ann dancing Day26. Are you guys still a group at the and she wasn’t a Big Mike Fan but I won her moment? BM- Yes. Day26 will always be a group and over eventually. we performed overseas last year and it was Nayomi so you had to win a few people over packed and a sold out event. We were asked to do a European tour but it didn’t really work BM- Yeah they wanted a certain look and I out. could work my way into the look. Nayomi-People buy the look every day
Nayomi- What about the states?
Big Mike performs at Queen City Awards Photo by Chedon
BM-We are getting together to do a 2017 reunion tour. Nayomi- Make sure Charlotte is on the map please BM- Most definitely since we never come to Charlotte since we performed at the Filmore. Nayomi- So what type of music does Mike like outside of what you sing? BM- Actually my Pilot is very diverse. So I listen to country music I listen to Jazz. I listen to some Rock whatever catches my ear. It’s a lot of different music I have on my phone. Nayomi-Would you consider yourself a Pop singer? BM- I’m just a singer. There is nothing that I can’t do. I trained myself to do the things that are necessary. If I sing at a wedding I get female songs and I can still do it. Nayomi-When you performed “Shame” at The Queen City Awards, I had to get up out my seat even though my feet were killing me! BM- Thank you I appreciate that and we didn’t even rehearse it.
BM: Prince to me, is the epitome of music. . There wasn’t anything that this man couldn’t do. I just watched Purple Rain last night. That movie came out in 1983 and it’s now 2016. I had to see the end of the movie. The whole Prince passing was very traumatic for me; we lost one of the pioneers of music. Just a good dude. I hate how he went and when we lose a great icon. Prince was like the greatest ever to me. Nayomi- I agree and it was amazing that he knew things about the record industry before anyone else. Do you ever get nervous before a performance? BM-No its more so anxiety. I am in rehearsal a lot so I’m in a rebranding phase. This is who I am before making the band. I could only display 20 percent of who I am. I like to show people who I am every time I step on stage I want to give that Big Mike Experience.
Nayomi- Do you have any favorite songs to cover. BM- Boyz II Men is the greatest group of all times to me. There is no other group better than them I do a tribute every Thursday for the next month it’s on my Nayomi- Seriously?? BM-Yes, we were supposed to do a sound social media platform. check and things got behind but we Nayomi- Lets switch gears for a minute, worked it out. what is would be the one thing about you Nayomi- Yes you did and it was amazing. that no one would ever know. BM- I’m very interested in Skydiving. That Who have you worked with recently and who would you like to work with would you is actually on my bucket list of things to do. like to work with in the near future? Nayomi-Ok well good luck with that! Lol! BM I just did a record with Three the BM- So you not feeling it huh? Rapper. I want to work with Bruno Mars because he is a bad man. I would love to Nayomi- Nope! I’m staying on the ground get to work with him. Lol! Bruno the way he writes, his ideas and I hope to work with him and we would come Nayomi- So let’s talk about what’s currently new for you? up with something great. BM- The newest single I have now is “Lay Around” featuring Three, he won BET’s Nayomi- How did you feel about the Last Shot. The newest single available passing of Prince? right now. I have another record that will 34
take over a different market may be considered Juke Joint not sure what it is. Website: www.iambigmike.com I’m not going to leave bad tastes in people’s mouths. I want people to know the “Big Mike Experience”.
Nayomi- Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. Tell everyone your social media handles BM- Instagram: _iambigmike Twitter:mike_day26 Facebook: iambigmike
is Back and Better than Ever By Angela P. Moore
From rave reviews to landing on Billboard's Top R&B 100 Chart, International Soul Singer Heston Francis is back and better than ever with his highly anticipated album, Transparency. Listen to the album and immediately you can tell Heston put his heart and soul into the project and his hard work continues to pay off, both in the United States and abroad. He will kick off his international tour early 2017.
With Heston's rich and soulful voice, it is hard to choose a favorite on the album because the entire album is great. "I think from album to album, I focused on becoming a better songwriter, better music arranger and a better vocalist. My goal is always to make the last album vocally, lyrically, musically, and sonically better than the previous album," says Heston. Some of my favorites on Transparency include, "Mind, Body and Soul", "Stay", "Yesterday", "Dear God", and "I'm a bit more confident with this album. Most of the music was co-written, and I wrote "When a Man Knows". Lorenzo Johnson, Cornell Phillips & DJ Kemit produced the all the lyrics," says Heston in a recent album. interview. “Creating timeless music has always been my ultimate goal. I want to Born on the tiny island of Dominica, leave the world with music that can be Philadelphia-based, Heston, is not new to the played for a lifetime." Heston's latest album music industry. This is his fourth studio was released earlier this year in Japan album. He was exposed to music as early as through P-Vine Records, in the U.K. And 3-years-old and learned to appreciate multiEurope through Soul Brother Records, and domestically and digitally in partnership with ple genres of music from his town's only Purpose Music Group/Nia-Eone Distribution. radio station. Heston possesses one of those rare, “instant classic” voices laced with confident sensuality, informed by the best side of mellow 70’s soul. His first single from Transparency, "Dear God" charted #8 on the iTunes World Music Charts. The second single, "Mind, Body and An international artist-at-heart, he has perSoul”, is climbing the charts internationally formed in Japan, London, France, Spain, and was nominated to be the Portugal, Jamaica, Holland, Australia, his SoulTracks.com, "Song of the Year". native Dominica and the U.S. Transparency has received rave reviews and is currently charting #62 on the Billboard R&B Top 100 and #7 on the UK Soul Chart. 39
He has collaborated with UK artist, Reel People; Amsterdam artist, Tristan and Reverendos of Italy. Heston has also opened for Kanye West, Anthony Hamilton, Wyclef Jean, Toni Braxton, Liz Wright, George Clinton, Third World, Indie Arie, Emeli Sande and Angelique Kidjo. Fast forward to the business side of music. Heston says,"My biggest challenge has always been the same - not having a solid machine behind me or the financial backing. The solid machine includes marketing and promotion, tour support and all it takes to launch an album." He adds, "Advice that I would give up and coming artists is - it's a marathon and not a race. You have to really truly, truly want it." What's up next for Heston? "I'm focused on working this album. Between collaborations with artists and Europe, I will do some touring. I will follow the album where it takes me." To purchase Heston's music, visit www.hestonmusic.com or iTunes. Follow Heston @: Facebook/Love Junkies Instagram: Heston Music Twitter: The Real Heston