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Soul and the City 8 | Soul and the city



Soul and the City #8 - "Tortured Soul"

It’s a humid September day here in New York City as I sit wondering where the summer has gone. No beach time, no vacation-I have been on the road working or teaching. I thought I would spend August resting and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in the past year, but the month has come and gone and September is here! The fall semester at Berklee College of Music has started and it is time to go back on the road.

Two really nice events ended my summer, well actually three when you include the Mood Control picnic at my parent’s house (Lots of food, volleyball, and big fun to be had by everyone). saveoursoulcrew I was invited back to the Jazz Café in London. I really do love that place, and ya know I had a great time. I finally got to meet Richard and Theo, ya know the two who keep SaveOurSoul up and running for soul artists and soul aficionados. They came to London to check out my show, and we got to hang a bit. I also met the owner of a hip new online magazine called F Magazine. I was August’s featured artist and now I have a feature in the magazine called Soul Sessions. My girl Monet is the September artist. If you get a chance go to and check it out-- it is really happening.

While in London I got to hang with some really nice folk: DJ Sugar Ray, true lover of soul music and definitely the one to know when you are starving after a gig and ya need to find some place to eat! Also hanging with us was Adjoa, the sistah with the sultry voice. She is a great person and a wonderful singer-so be on the lookout for her project…ya know I will let ya know when it is gonna drop.
Karen Williams, a dear friend and an amazing talent joined us onstage at the Jazz Café and she ripped it! The energy and vybe in the room was really high. I took the stage and just felt connected. The band was off the chain so we played for about 2hours!! I really do love London, the people, the love and respect they show me in terms of my music
I performed at the Soul Patrol East Coast Convention and this was really kewl because I got meet soul legends like Billy Paul, B.T. Express, The Persuaders, and The Escorts. I also got to hang with new soul artists Rio Soul, Ascendant, and SounDoctrine.
While hanging with all of these artists I got to thinking about the making of a recording, the touring, the promoting, making money, and just living your life. I thought, “ How does one keep it all together in this biz’ness of music?”

Well as y’all know here at Soul and the City whenever I have a question I go to some of my favorite artist for the answers. My good friend Rosa Russ has recorded an amazing CD entitled “Sincerely Yours” - it is definitely one that you want to add to your collection. So I thought I would see what insight she could share. “I take every free moment I can get,” Rosa told me. “While recording my CD my time was limited so time was important. I had to let it flow-just know when it was there. I had to allow time to focus. I work best under pressure-things come a lot easier that way for me. No elaborate schedule, my best results are when I’m under the gun”

I then reached out to my boi Jere B of SounDoctrine and this is what he had to share… “I literally quit my day job to have the time to do this - Thank God for a Praying Wife who stands with her husband and believes in this vision or whew! Not having an office staff, you must wear every hat extremely well, know when to switch or even wear two or more simultaneously! The key is probably that I don't wear a watch! - I've got the PDA, the planner and so on to keep track of what to do but I try not be constrained to the clock to just get the stuff done, but to see it through so it's done right. Fortunately I have the flexibility to reschedule the non-essentials so that helps - I also don't get much sleep. In terms of future projects, I work on stuff as often as possible so I won't have to absolutely start from scratch - even if my mind is the only notepad I have - I keep a file cabinet in my head and constantly rehearse the material when I'm driving, cutting the grass or at the grocery store. When I finally get to lay it down, there's less of a struggle involved.”

I wanted to reach out to Tortured Soul because I respect what they do and wanted some insight as to how they make it happen when they are so busy. This is what Christian Urich of Tortured Soul shared with me…

“Lately I've been getting up earlier. I don't know what to say about
that. It's very difficult. I never have enough time these days. There's always a lot more things to do. I think a more appropriate question would be ‘How do you manage to fall asleep at night when there are so many unfinished things to do everyday?’ Maybe that's crazy, but that's the way it feels all the time.”

After hearing what these wonderful artist had to share I felt as if there is never going to be a simple solution to keeping it all together in this crazy biz’ness that is forever changing and evolving. I think that is part of the reason we do what we do, and in the meantime we understand that sleep is often a luxury, time will always be demanding, and music an unpredictable friend…Peace

More Soul and the city:
Soul and the city #1 - Stand clear of the closing doors
Soul and the city #2 - The Turkey adventure
Soul and the city #3 - Mr. In Between
Soul and the city #4 - Cold Industry
Soul and the city #5 - Reminiscence
Soul and the city #6 - Big Ole Nap
Soul and the city #7 - The Good Life
Soul and the city #8 - Tortured Soul
Soul and the city #9 - A Change Is Gonna Come
Soul and the city #10 - Spring In NYC
Soul and the City #11 - "Luther"

More info about special crew member Marlon Saunders:
SaveOurSoul interview with Marlon Saunders
Jazzhole SaveOurSoul artist of the Month

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