Monday, August 27, 2007
This message is for the fans that are at the shows wondering what is taking the artist so long to get onstage. Now I will say, some of us are divas. I won’t say names. Feel free to fill in the blanks… But for the most of us we are down to earth people doing music. So back to why its close to midnight and I am no where near the stage. Here are the top 5 reasons an artist is late. Oh yeah, this list has been compiled from my 5 years of constant touring.
1. The promoter doesn’t have your money, and is trying to give you a personal check. Now let me say that this is a big no no. Take that check and get on that plane if you want to and you will find it bouncing like a baby on your knee. Unless you have a relationship with the promoter, you should never set foot onstage with out half of your pay if not all. Or be prepared to give a free show.
2. The sound system at the venue is complete trash, so the band stays till damn near show time trying to get the amps and mics to work properly. So as you’re walking in, we are walking out to go wash up at the hotel. Most times we go straight to sound check from the airport, so I’ve mastered the art of ironing my clothes, shaving, taking a shower, getting dressed, calling my girl, and doing vocal workups all in 20 minutes.
3. Nobody picked us up, and we are sitting in the hotel lobby twiddling our thumbs. I can’t tell you how often this happens. The promoters and their staff have a lot on their plate, so once doors open they may very well forget that the performers are no where near the stage. So by the time they get their car or get their hommie to swing thru, the night is pretty late. And for those who are wondering why we don’t have limos picking us up, please read the title of this blog. It reads “Life of an Independent Artist”. And scene…
4. This one is funny, but happens a lot. We show up, warmed up and ready, only to find out the promoter has decided to put 3 opening acts on before us. Now I’ve been the opener plenty of times, and a lot of times I go over the time I am allotted, so I don’t trip much.. but now you know.
5. This doesn’t happen much, but it does happen. At times one of the band members are M.I.A. With the late shows, the early flights, and rock star mentality there are times we go days with a good night sleep. So it is very possible for a band member to get to their hotel and completely pass out. Now that’s some good sleep when you don’t hear your phone, alarm clock, wake up call, nor the entire band knocking and kicking on your door.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I just finished recording a new song called “Head To Toe” that will probably get us (the band and i) in a lot of trouble. You know Curt was practically serviced onstage in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Hahahaha.. Lord I wish I had that pic in my computer. I will post it one day. Well there’s no telling what that woman would do to poor Curt when we play this song. You’ve been fore warned.
Speaking of Curt, please say a prayer for him.. He and his band, Franklin Bridge are competing in the band version of American Idol. It started with hundreds and now it is down to 20. I think they can win it, or do extremely well in general.. the show airs in October, so I will be pulling for my hommie. Now if we can just get him thru airport security without the machine always going off.. Sometimes I wonder if he has metal nipple rings or something.. hahahaha.. okay I am bugging.. let’s move on.
The road has been tough lately. The band has had there little scats, and I hope peace rains over us soon. Especially with a European tour and a Japan tour coming up in a couple of months.. At this pace someone is gonna get shanked like that cat in American Me. I think a lot of the problem has to do with a tough traveling schedule. For some reason these promoters keep booking us on super early flights. You know how tough it is to do a show, get to your hotel at 3:30am only to pack and head to the airport at 6am? We’ve slept more on the planes and stage equipment, than in our hotel rooms. I tell you one thing, those neck pillows you can buy at the airport are my prize possession. I can’t even get on a plane with out one now. Phoenix Arizona, thank you for opening your doors to me and my band. I had a great time performing my first show there. Next time we will come during the winter. Hahahaha.. Never have I seen it 96 degrees at 5:30 in the morning. Now that was impressive.
I’m very honored to be nominated for a Black web blog award. Just as surprised at that as I was with the BET awards. Writing my blog has been a pleasure, and I plan to dig deeper as I go forward. I’ve always kept a journal, so writing is one of my favorite hobbies. Some of my other hobbies are collecting sneakers (Raheem and Peekoso, I will see you at the FLY AWARDS), collecting pens and pads. (I only use two pad companies to write on. One is MUJI, and the other is IFS in NY) My birthday is coming up so feel free to send care packages to PO Box 37, Franklin Park, NJ 08823.. Just kidding people. I think.. Well I wont curse you out if you send me some pads. Ok don’t.. Wait, I don’t want to tell you what to do.. You make your own decision, but you know..
Friday, August 17, 2007
Okay so I should be in the bed sleep. Well I’m actually in the bed, but obviously I am not sleep. I have to leave at the crack of dawn to pick up the band and head to NY for a flight to VA. Today I found out that my blog was nominated for entertainer blog of the year. That is dope and quite unexpected. Hmmmm, do I have a chance at winning? I digress.. Often I get busy, but truth is I’m rarely as busy as people think I am. With that said, I am probably busier than I have been in ages at the moment. For the last two days I have honestly been flustered trying to take care of it all. At the same time giving my poor assistant hell. But he cant complain, cause I’m right there in the trenches too. New music, new shows, band rehearsal, musician replacement, artwork approvals, credit approvals, purchasing the flights for the UK tour we are doing in October. (damn that hurt the pockets) where was i? Interviews, traffic court (yeh at 730 this morning), conference calls, mixing sessions, and I have to have 2 songs somehow recorded this weekend while I am in virgina and phoenix. I don’t think that’s necessarily going to happen though. But I will try. That’s all we can do people is try. *thinks to himself if this entry is deep enough to deserve a blog nomination..*
I was talking to a fellow artist the other day who was quite discouraged and a little down. The business will do that at times and she said she considers giving up at times. I wish I could have reached thru my blackberry and shaked the sh*% out of her, but I understood where she was coming from. What I told her is something that has helped me from time to time, and hopefully may help someone else out there. With anything there is nonsense, struggle and excuse my French but bullsh#@. Before you give up doing what you love realize that you will still have to deal with nonsense at times doing something else. So you might as well stick it out and fight thru it doing what you love. Let me tell you, I am not built to sit behind a desk wearing a tie every day. That maybe for someone, and they may love it. But Fam it aint my calling. So I will eat the stress that comes with the business of music. Let me give you an example. Say I love a woman with all my heart and she completes me. When I am with her I feel like superman, but her mom gets on my nerves and treats me like clark kent. If I love her and she is my everything, I will eat her mom’s nagging before I settle for a woman I don’t love who has a cool mom. Did I go too far? Let me bring it back to neutral. I love my job. I love the opportunity I have been given to share with the world. At times it kicks my tail, but in the words of the infamous Bill Withers, “If it feels this good being used, come on and use me.”
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I’ve been dieing to write on here. I don’t want to give you the “wow I’m so busy” spill, but I really may apply at the moment. Outside of touring (I just got home from doing two shows with Kem, Chaka Khan, and Rachelle Ferrell in Detroit), trying to chase these songs out of my head, there’s a business we have to run. If we don’t take care of the business, the rest of the stuff wont happen.
We are putting together a European tour in October that I am quite excited about. To celebrate that I am releasing an album in Europe called “the Collection”, which will pretty much be like a greatest hits album out there.. but I am adding two new songs on there as well.. well that’s the plan that is. I say that because I haven’t written them yet. But I do have several ideas that I am very excited about. Anthony David is doing the tour with me, as well as my Japan tour that’s in October also. So I came up with the idea that he and I do a song together. All of it sounds great right.. now we just have to find the time to do it. I just got back today, and will be doing the family thing tomorrow. My dear sweet Aunt Ann is in town from North Carolina. Weds and Thursday I will be having band rehearsal to get Randy Bowland, my other guitar player up to speed, because Curt is competing in this new show that’s the band version of American Idol. Pray for him guys. I think they are gonna do very very well. So that’s the week, because we fly to VA on Friday to do a show with Erykah “My Boo” Badu. Just kidding shawn, but have you seen that fatty? I digress.. So somehow I have to find time to record 2 songs in between everything. The ballad is half written already and I think it is nothing but trouble. This other idea I have is a Smoke Signals song called “Pill”. I don’t know if the Eric Roberson audience is ready for that one yet. evil grin
Well for now I guess I need to get some sleep so I can have half a brain tomorrow.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Last night we did Chicago. Crazy was an understatement. A woman in the front tried to service Curt while he played his solo. Hahahaha.. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but I do have blackmail pics if Curt ever wants to get out of line. It was an all white event, so the crowd looked beautiful.. Wait that sounds racist. I meant the people were all wearing white. There were a couple of white people there as well and they looked beautiful too.
It is 3:15pm, and I am still in the bed. This hotel bed feels incredible. I will be on vocal rest until I have to make a public appearance later today. I’ve already drank 2 liters of water, 64 ounces of Gatorade, and peed 3 times today, and will probably have to go again in a few. Yeah it’s not a game. But its one of the things I have to do in order to be 100 percent when I get onstage.
Tonight we were going to surprise Chicago by opening for Rahsaan Patterson. We were gonna do it for free just cause we were staying in town for the day. We made just one request. That they not advertise me performing at all, so not to upset the promoter of last nights event. Well sure enough they sent out an email blast, sure enough the promoter was pissed, and sure enough we aren’t performing there tonight now. Go figure.. It really was a simple thing.. Just keep quiet and we all get a chance to have fun. So I guess the band and I are gonna go bowling.
Hmmm. What else? The Soul Summit last week was cool. The people that came enjoyed themselves, and gained some knowledge so I was happy about that. Oh yeah I flew to LA to perform on Michael Baisden’s new late night show coming out on TVone. It was dope. Proud of him. Oh yeah, his band leaded is Morris Day.. Yo Morris Day MAN!!!! Show airs in October I believe, so check it out.
I’m surprised my phone is not ringing off the hook right now. One thing about me, I never check my messages. Ever. And for some reason, people keep leaving them. I will listen to it weeks later when my mailbox is full.. But hey I’m an email cat. What can I say.. That’s what the game has made me. E@#&*?@aol.com. It really ain’t that hard. True confession.. My girl has a boy’s name, “Shawn.” But she’s all woman. But when I’m on the plane and she calls me, and the name Shawn pops up on my screen and I answer and say “hey babe, I miss you,” I wonder if the person sitting next to me is looking at me side eyed. Hahahaha.. I love y’all.. Let me get up and get dressed..