jueves, 23 de septiembre de 2010

Red Baron

1. What's the meaning behind the band's name?
The moniker “Red Baron” means” the baron painted red with the blood of Christ.” There is a scripture in the Bible where Jesus says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” During British nobility, a baron’s job was to add to his king’s kingdom (e.g. annex new land and/or obtain other forms of wealth for the kingdom). Rather than extending the boundaries of a given territory as barons of old, I desire, to exalt the name of Jesus with my music and with the life I live. In so doing, I add to my king’s kingdom.

2. How the band started??
While in high school, I went to the mall with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. We bought a cd single of a popular song on the radio while there (do they still sell those things?). When we got back to the house, we listened to the song. When it ended, the instrumental began to play. My friend said, “Hey, let’s freestyle.” I reluctantly agreed, he liked what I said, and decided we should start a group that day. We worked together for several months, and disbanded after he moved to a different area. I continued rapping, and the rest is as they say . . .

3. What's the message to transmit with your music??
I oftentimes begin my set by telling the audience that hip-hop and my car have a great deal in common. Aside from making far too much noise at times, both are vehicles. I typically further the point in saying the fact that my car brought me to the evening’s venue does not make it good or bad, it simply makes my car a vehicle. Likewise, hip-hop is not good or bad; it’s a vehicle, that when used correctly, can transport the listener to a greater understanding of this life we live, this life as it should be and the God I serve. That is my aim, to use my music to transport the listener to a place where he/she can see there is a better way.

4. What's your method at the time of writing a song??
Each of my songs has its own story as to how it came to be, so I do not have a standard formal for writing. Notwithstanding, all of my songs begin with a concept (e.g. appreciating life, the search for satisfaction, my upbringing, balancing my legal career with my musical career), and then begin to evolve as the idea develops. Typically, I write to an instrumental of a song that captures the mood I want to convey (it also serves as a good starting point when I talk to my producer about making music). At that point, I generally write small portions (e.g. four to six bars) of the song at a time, then arrange it in the most fitting way.

I actually enjoy writing rather than composing verses in the studio (though I have done that on occasion), because I have the opportunity to better collect my thoughts and ensure the lyrics are of the utmost quality. During the writing process, I tweak and revise the lyrics until I record them. Presumably, I developed this habit in part because studio time was a luxury for me early in my career, so I had little time to waste when I went to record. Even though I have more consistent access to the studio, I tend come to the studio with the song near completion. Once I record the song, I consider it complete.

5. [Who are] your [biggest] music influences??
Ironically, I did not begin listening to rap until my early teenage years, primarily because my parents’ introduction to rap music came from the musings of 2 Live Crew. Naturally they forbid rap in their house, so I drifted towards their collections of the classics of soul as a small child: Marvin, Aretha, James, Bob, Stevie, Michael, you name them. Additionally, my parents also ensured that I learned to play the violin and piano at a young age, so by the time I actually encountered rap, my musical stylings were more influenced by Bach than ‘Pac, more Mozart than Mos Def.

Once I started listening to rap, I initially hung off every word of any emcee that said something that demonstrated skill. For example, Talib Kweli is one of those rare artists that never ceases to make me say, “Wow.” Eventually others would prove influential (e.g. ‘Pac’s versatility, Jay’s wit, Nas’ lyricism, Big’s delivery, The Roots’ chemistry, Common’s perspective, Outkast’s artistry, etc.).

Later, one of the more instrumental influences in shaping the music I make and helping me find my voice as an artist just so happens to be three great friends of mine that I went to college with—The Remnant. They taught me how to balance lyrical dexterity with relatability. In essence, they showed me how to be myself and not compromise my message. They helped me learn how not to lose sight of me when presenting the message.

6. What plans do you guys have for the future??
I am presently nearing the completion of my second album, entitled, Shades of Grace. The album is the natural progression of my debut in terms of content and instrumentation. The music itself includes a deft fusion of jazz, blues, soul, rock and yet still ring true of hip-hop. The actual content will tackle some of the more compelling issues of our day—conversion, the intersection of race and faith, overzealous religious fervor, unity of mankind, the search for love, satisfaction and purpose--all neatly packaged into great music. It will be available on iTunes, Napster, Walmart Music Downloads, Great Indies Music and Cdbaby.

7. Which has been the funniest prank you guys have been or took part while on tour or after a show??
I wish I had some funny stories to share, but my road stories are pretty tame. When I travel with a band, we always laugh and joke, but rarely play jokes on each other.

8. If you guys were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour. The help is 65 miles away from where you guys are, ¿Who would you guys send to look for help? And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed yourself is by eating each other, ¿Who would you eat first?
Since I am a solo act, I would have to send myself for help, and eat my imaginary friend for a snack. It’s better than chewing on my hand while I walk.

9. Which country you guys would love to play?
I would love to do a show on every inhabited continent, and venture into any country that would have me, but I have a particular affinity for Ghana (where my father is from), France (I studied French in high school and college), India (I love the culture), China (it’s China) and Australia (arguably one of the coolest places on the planet).

10. With which bands you guys would love to share stage??
I’m usually lumped into the category of people like: Common, Jill Scott, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, Outkast, J. Cole, and Indie Arie. I’d love to share the stage with all of them. Additionally, I would love to share the stage with Stevie Wonder (that would be a tremendous honor), Norah Jones, K’Naan, Israel Houghtin, Chris Tomlin, Kirk Franklin and Lecrae and Sho Baraka.

11. Are you guys OK, with the direction the band is going actually?
Most certainly, I just need to keep moving forward . . .

Check out more of this artist by going to www.myspace.com/thetrueredbaron

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