As we settle into the New Year, 2014 sees in the return of The KINGS OF R&B tourfollowing the success of it’s sold out October show.
The 90’s was an astounding decade for the smooth sounds of R&B, and the headliners for the next installment of THE KINGS OF R&B tour, Brian McKnight and Eric Benet were two of its biggest stars. Brian McKnight has managed to serenade the masses with soulful, timeless, classics; Back At One & Anytime whilst Eric Benet brings forth harmonious, up-tempo hits such as; Spend My Life With You & Love Don’t Love Me.
A full live band will accompany these two R&B kings on the night, ensuring a night filled with soulful classics that should not miss!
The celebration of authentic R&B music continues to take centre stage at one of London’s favourite live music venues, indigo2, on Wednesday 29th January 2014.
The music scene in the UK is flourishing and rather than a particular area being known for music it’s all four compass points that have a fair share of talent. To that effect let’s head to North London, the home of the Gunners and check out the scintillating talent of J Brook.
The singer/songwriter actually played for Arsenal’s girls’ football team when she was younger but after realising that her passions resided in the world of singing she kicked footie to the curb and embarked on her musical voyage. In 2013 she finally came properly onto the scene as a solo artist and dropped an RnB UK bomb on the masses with the brilliant Game On produced by Pro2jay.
Game On with its street energy is a club banger and radio hit for sure. I kid you not that one Rita Orawould easily be more than happy to have this as part of her discography. As it is, J Brook blesses the track with her on point vocal displays which have helped her to amass some 500,000 (and rising) views on her U-tube page.
Standard procedure at any rate and I got a little time with J Brook to talk about her music, Jessie J and those piercings!
Before we talk a bit about your past tell me about the recent show you did in Camden?
The show in Camden was madness I have played with acoustic guitarists and stuff before but on this day, they put together this band of session musicians so they had never played together before. I was stressing out because it was the first big show that I had done all year since I was being developed as an artist. I was thinking-“how are we going to do this because we have not even rehearsed?”
So did it go well?
Well we went in and practiced literally for half an hour and I could not believe it but they nailed it I mean like with no mistakes so I was so happy! It went really well though I did my track Game On, we also did a mash up of the Brandy track I Wanna To Be Down (1994) and then it modulated into Monica’s track Before You Walk Out My Life (1995).
So are you a lover of that 90’s vibe?
I love the 90’s vibe, really love Brian McKnight I think he is just amazing. I am into a lot of older music and I think that partly came from my family. My mum and dad would play 80’s soul a lot; my mum loved people like Barry White, Tina Turner and one of my mum’s idols is Barbara Streisand. My dad is weird though because he loves his soul but then he will go to the other extreme and be into rock. When I was growing up my dad listened to a lot of Jimi Hendrix.
So generic question but who are your inspirations?
At the beginning a lot of my inspiration came from Christina Aguilera. I always wanted to improve my range and when I used to hear her hitting these crazy notes I would wonder how does she do this? In the last few years I remember my dad randomly found Jessie J and he showed me her and I was just amazed. I went to see her live and she was a great performer her voice control is just on another level.
So talking about voice control your single Game On is huge.
Thanks it so good to hear someone else say that they love the track. Game On was written towards the beginning of 2013. It sounds cliché but it is a way to release all the emotions that I am feeling. Produced by Pro2jay and co-written Vania Khaleh with and we just thought we wanted to write a song about those boys that have ten bottles of Grey Goose and they think they can get any girl and then we just say “Game On”.
And 2014 plans.
2014 will be crazy, we are planning on keep on writing and performing we will release a second single towards to the New Year. Hopefully by September it will be good to have four videos circulating I want to do the uni circuits and just getting myself out there.
Lastly what are your long term plans?
I really learnt a lot about a year ago when I was picked up my manager but he is more than that he is a friend and a mentor. He has taught me more than my uni course could ever teach. He has taught me so much about the business and he has taught me more than just the music he has taught me to think about my career and longevity.
Flavour caught up Charlee Drew to find out a bit more about him
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I’m from Leicester, technically I still live there although I pretty much never see it these days, If I’m at home I’m in bed or in my studio! I like it there, there’s loads of nice restaurants, just enough shops and it’s small enough to never get lost, but not small enough for everybody to know your business!
How did you get into music?
I can’t say I ever got into music really; I was never not into music. There was never a day I ‘started singing’ and picking up a guitar or sitting at a piano was always just the right thing to do… I never cared about sport, computer games or TV it was always music!
How would you describe your sound? What makes it different to everything else out there?
British- Pop-RnB-Soul-Dubst-Rap-Folk-Metal-Acoustic-Dance with a hint of SouthAmerica-Tamberine-Funky-Disco, no but really though, I’d say its quite a live feel, live instruments is a big thing for me, as for how its different, ill let the music speak for itself…
What does your typical day consist of?
I’ve started eating too much, I wake up thinking about breakfast, so I find breakfast, then It’s usually a nice long drive down the M1 until I find myself at whichever studio I’m working in that day! Then its lunch. What do you want people to take away from your music?
If anyone can relate to any of the stories I tell and get some strength from it that’s a massive bonus for me. I’m not one to sit around moping if someone’s hurt me; I’m more likely to tell them where to go than to sit around crying about it. I’ve always been more into the way music sounds and makes you feel, than the message its putting across to be honest.
What projects or music are you currently working on?
I’m still working closely with Skepta, I just came back from doing a UK tour with him, I put all the music together for that and performed with him. I’ve been writing so much material for myself recently, working with a lot of really great producers and focusing on getting everything in place for next year. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I dunno, I’d definitely have to work with people, the best bit about doing what I do is getting to talk to so many different people all the time, You meet so many interesting people doing this.
What angers you most about society today?
Oh you don’t want to get me started on this. If you followed me on twitter you’d know that isn’t a topic you wanna be bringing up, I could be here alllllllllllll dayyyyyy, so all I’ll say for now is question everything and don’t believe everything your told or made to believe by those that your supposed to
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with?
I would kill to sit in the studio for even an hour with Brian Mcknight. Nuff said! Any hidden talents?
Is singing, guitar/piano playing song writing not enough for you?! Do you want me to juggle while I’m doing it?! (Laughs) What artists inspire you and why?
I’m a massive fan of great vocals, going back to Brian Mcknight he has the best male voice I can think of and also plays the guitar and the piano to a crazy level. He’s an alien. Beyonce manages to kill me off every time. But at the minute in the UK I’m really feeling what Dappy is up to, I think he’s got the edge over everybody else at the moment.