B-Sharp: Especially Now
Born in Houston, Texas, Atlanta- based R&B singer B Sharp has set the tone for the resurgence of R&B music. With humble beginnings at the age of ten, the son of a pastor listened to gospel greats such as Thomas Whitfield, James Cleveland, Andre Crouch and others. Immediately afterwards, he was writing songs and singing in the church choir. As each year came, he honed his craft and wrote numerous songs, solidifying himself as singer, composer and talent source for all to know. Now returning to his music career after a hiatus, B. Sharp’s “Erotic Adventure” video released in 2011, has gained over 15,400 hits on You Tube, ushering in to many fans and others what to expect from this talented brother!
B Sharp is currently in the studio working on his debut album, “Especially Now” which is scheduled to be released in July 2015. UT grabbed the opportunity to speak with him in between time with his music, family and work with the Bryn Kennedy Foundation…..
UT: B Sharp..Can I call you B?
BSharp: Sure you can call me B everybody always did and at least every other Sunday back in the day in San Antonio, I would step into church and my friends would say, “B… sharp!” to compliment my suit or whatever and it just stuck with me.
UT: Brother, you exude a smooth vibe that is akin to some of the seasoned R&B greats. How important is that, with today’s music?
BSharp: Thank you! It’s crucial honestly. I did my homework and studied quite a few “crooners” and great writers from back in the day. There’s a void in the music industry; at least the mainstream music industry that someone or several up and coming artist have to fill. People want to hear good music and good original songs! With today’s music it honestly feels like the popular big artist have to go through this filter or through a template of what the song/album has to be in order for it to have mainstream success and if you don’t fall in line and meet that criteria they won’t market it. I’m sure it’s really hard for some music executive types that really love music and want to see an artist blossom, but on the other hand, there’s several that look at a spreadsheet and just see artists as a number and what numbers they can produce. It’s a cutthroat business but I remain steadfast in my endeavors to make music you can feel.
BSharp: I would not say it was a lost art. I would you say it’s just not mainstream anymore. There are several artists that embody this skill, but for me, it’s my standard. So branding R&B in my view is what has become a lost art. R&B has basically been rebranded to mean Old School and in some regards Hip Hop.
UT: Paint us the picture..the creation /concept of “Erotic Adventure.”
BSharp: Paint a picture, huh??? That’s a great question. This song was inspired by one of the most exhilarating real life experiences that I have ever had and I had to figure out how to express it in song. When I first sat down to write this song, I was in a Denny’s sipping coffee and was brainstorming writing on a napkin words like Erotic, raging lust, spontaneous etc. this is what happened. I will never forget when I worked at bank in a tall office building in San Antonio, on East Houston street. One day I rushed to catch the elevator just as it was closing, stepped in and there was a pretty lady across from me. I said morning under my breath and she nodded and did the same. She looked like an executive type with a nice knee-length plaid skirt and a fitted designer jacket that was above her waist line so you see the matching thin black belt that popped against the classy white blouse. Her shoes clashed with her outfit though and had a square toe with a thick heel and she had a black briefcase. I figured she was the soccer mom or Sunday school teacher type but her hips were a bit thicker than your average, so I knew she was a mom.
As I was contemplating my day, rubbing my hand down my face and trying to get my mind right, I noticed she was staring at me. I didn’t think anything of it, but shortly thereafter I glanced in her direction and she was staring at me again so I stared back until she bowed her head and she must have taken a deep breath because I heard her exhale. That cleared away any doubt in my mind…. This woman was feeling me. The third time I looked at her, her head was down and she looked up at me biting her bottom lip and her body language said basically kiss me and I looked back at her and my body language said for real and she looked away grinning. I don’t even remember stepping to her I was upon her so quick. I grabbed her by her jacket and pulled her to me and just as we were about to kiss, ” bing!” The elevator stopped and I felt her breath in my mouth and boom! she gone!!! Bolted! Never looked back or nothing. I sat there for a second tripping, because I couldn’t believe the experience I just had. I felt high; not like “horny” but literally like I took a hit of some drug. My coworkers asked several times what was wrong with me when I got to work but I never said anything. So now, when you listen to the lyrics of Erotic Adventure again, you will hopefully appreciate it a little more!
BSharp: Absolutely!!! I had a chance to grow personally more than anything, and I am so grateful for the time looking back. As far as my repertoire, it’s kinda funny some of my favorite songs weren’t as appealing to me as others before the hiatus and some songs I wrote that I really wasn’t fond of grew on me. That completely is a result of my growth and maturity. I am settled now in who I am and my sound.
UT: Your fans are eagerly anticipating the release of your album “Especially Now”, how do you feel about this album? What should people expect out of this album? Really excited!
BSharp: I’m very excited and even a little nervous at times. This album is a lot like a biography for me. You should expect to hear classic tones and chord progressions you recognize from R&B in its purest form. Prepare to hear some real quality music that has an elegance to it. I even have a Reggae style song. You will hear a little jazz, an inspirational song, and a couple intimate ballads. All encompassed by A-List musicians. I have a few surprises as well.
UT: You mentioned that you learned key elements from several musical greats……
BSharp: This a very loaded question for me! I could go on and on so I will just mention a few briefly. First I would say Barry White because of the ability to set the tone and his use of orchestration. Smokey Robinson because of his ability to take simple words and make them powerful and Marvin Gaye simply taught me to mean what you’re saying or singing.
UT: You formed the Bryn Kennedy Foundation to bring awareness and help families dealing with Rett Syndrome. You have to tell our readers about this and the incredible work you do and how it has personally touched you.
BSharp: Actually most the credit should go to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF), the Rett Syndrome Research Trust and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as these entities are paving the way for a cure as my daughter, Bryn, is one of many grappling with the condition. These groups and others like them take basic science and create medicine and then they take that medicine and create clinical trials with the goal of developing a cure. We need a cure. Mothers and fathers that deal with Rett carry the weight of caring for a special needs child/adult daily, and my goal is to bring a greater awareness of Rett Syndrome to the world and to provide relief and encouragement to the families in some regard.
UT: Music you mentioned, has healing power….. please share.
BSharp: Sure! The first thing that comes to mind is the late great song writer Pete Seeger who wrote or co-wrote and arranged “We Shall Overcome,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn”. To this day, just humming the melody to “We Shall Overcome” gets inside my soul and gives me peace and or hope. I hope in my own way my lyrics have the same effect because words speak life.
UT: If you could perform at specific place and time, along with an artist in a duet…when would that be, and with who?
BSharp: I would say in Australia on New Year’s Eve with Lionel Richie. I’ve always had an affinity for Australia. Even in my early days starting out on Myspace, people in Australia showed me love. I would choose Lionel Richie because I really admire him. Who else can say they wrote and had commercial success in Funk, Soul/R&B, Pop, country, and gospel? I would stay close to him in hopes of garnering as much wisdom as possible. That wisdom has the ability to groom me to do my thing in the same manner.
Follow B Sharp at : www.bsharptheartist.com