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    BLUES AND SOUL MAGAZINE / INTERVIEW / SEPT 2017 How did you first become involved in music? Hello Karen and nice to meet you . Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed by such a legendary magazine . Since i was a kid i was into music . Music with an S actually .From Jazz to popular music of all kinds . Pop , Soul , Rock . Then Soul , Funk , lots of Jazz , Reggae . My Uncle and Dad used to play Django Reinhardt repertory with guitar and harmonica , playing some popular anthems, also some Louis Armstrong , Sydney Bechet on unforgettable late saturday night family good vibes moment . Dad toured the entire world for two years in the French Navy and he brings back incredible 7" vinyls , i still have , of Be Bop , Caribean Calypso , Cha Cha , lots of Harry Belafonte or some original Elvis . In a shop in NYC He had an amazing taste . When i was 12 years old i remember of my first big musical shocks seeing Sun Ra then Charlie Mingus live @ Museum Of Modern Art in Paris . It was free , free jazz music , free entry , crazy performance and music sounded like something very impressive to my ears . This probably definitely open my young mind about how everything can be possible and become reality with music . Then i had a long and absolute passion for Jimi Hendrix . Rainbow Bridge is still a crazy piece of music when i listen to it now . I first been a drummer ,at 15 ,playing in a band ,Then i wanted to compose then drums was not the best then i learned the guitar and also a little bit of the bass . Then the first electronic 808 and synths ..I play a little bit of everything since then . I don t read the music . Music is just intuition to my ears . My favorite hobby in life is and has been to creating songs . I've always wrote songs . And since very young actually . How did you come up with the concept for the album and how did you choose the vocalists? December of 2015 , i finally met Kenya and Kendall Duffie @ Jazz Café in London . All started there actually . I had the real pleasure to remix three tracks of her album and i was just finishing the beautiful " MakeUSmile "one . I wanted to say thank you and humbly tell them how much those reworks and collaborations had been important to me musically and also at a human level . I mean , positiveness , always and talent , always too… What a team . I also met , after the show , Tristan members , Funmilayo NGozi & Nia Simmons and we promised to stay in touch and make some beautiful music together . Three weeks after , on Christmas Day , i remember , we started to work on "All I Need Is You" with Funmi and JD73 . Funmi wrote words dedicated to The Almighty . Radios and audiences loved "All I Need is You "so much and the song get some #1 chart on Traxsource and others plus a massive airplay . I already was working on two other tracks with Nia Simmons and Gina Carey . Nia delivered also something like pure magic . My Time ( Shine ) . Fantastic song and vocals . The Songbird was in and a beautiful slow jam was . At the meantime i also had that soul vibes track with this " Tribute to the Music " theme . Gina wrote and sang something like unique and i was doubting about what next single release . Steve Ripley got the good idea to release those two tracks as Double A Side release and we reached #1 uk soul chart with it..After this , and everyday couple of days , someone new was on board . Hil St Soul first with " Soul Train" Another fantastic lyrics and her super groovy vocals . Then S.E.L and her magic voice came with " Teach Me " . Soulful house is also my everyday food and wanted to have two soulful house inspired tracks to open the range of already eclectic color of the album . Then Candace Woodson with who i had another #1 in the UK Soul Chart with " The Answer Is No " working on another Slow Jam . Terisa Griffin , on the other side of the pond working already on her " Spell on Me " with dedication and that crazy voice on a Disco inspired track . That was making sense . For the second soulful house track , we had a chat with James Germany and he said he wanted to be on board . What a surprise when he told me " Stephanie sang it . We re sending stems " ..And was not sure what Stephanie it was ;) ..And it was Stephanie Cooke , one of my all times favorite vocalists but also vocal arranger . They wrote those highly inspired vocals and lyrics with "Light up the Sky " in their studio in New Jersey . Goosebump when i opened the vocals tracks and . I stayed months on it to get the right version .. i made lots of it and have lots of it actually .. beauty of the words and this crazy vocal arrangement. Then i met Kenya again last December and we started to work on True Fantasy in a little studio in North London.. She completed her delicious vocals with Kendall Duffie re arranging vocals and Alan Litten missing the track in Nashville . We made lots of works together with Kenya and brings this " MakeUSmile "to another #1 in the uk soul chart . This is a person i love collaborate with and a model reference in her way to live her independent artist status . I worked with Tracy on No Limits then we knew each others . She has been the cherry on the cake and the last minute invited actually . I wanted to have a real funk track on the album but was very shy to ask her . When i asked her she said " Sure i wanne be on board ! " ;) I wanted something with a massive funk groove and a One beat game on it . She cames out with this fire …." Strong Feelings "… I remember don't believe to my ears when i first listened to it . I had all tracks then . The puzzle started to come together but , sometimes , it was kinda scary . It was so eclectic in styles and i had to challenge myself in remodeling tracks outside of my usual comfort zone . The diversity of vocals and diversity of styles / genres i had in my computer leaved me infinite possibilities . Then the concept and album title track helped me in getting more and more confident everyday. Finally everything began to make sense . Something dedicated to women….. their stories….. their voices….. their fights….. words and melodies creating delicate and elegant original soulful songs .I didn't want to stay within one way style . I wanted to give more of an overall view of what soul is intended for today ..From Neo Soul to Funk to Soulful House , Jazz funk to Rnb , Slow Jam with a one line direction. The voices .My everyday mantra on this musical journey has been " Let's make this ONE " This has been the most challenging aspect in creating this . Quality lyrics and vocals of all artists helped me in this way too . And musicians close friends Ivan Russo and Daniel Florean . People i work with since always actually . We use to each other since so much years now shah . That is my musical family You co-wrote all the songs on “Divas Got Soul” with the singers. What was the writing process like? Things have been different with every singers involved . In general i delivered demos with some vocals inputs to use or not . With , sometimes , some gimmick words here and there but always leaving the author singer absolute freedom to interpret that piece of music as she likes and feels . Results always have been incredibly fantastic and I received just high quality vocals from all of them . Then , in the process , i re-worked my copies increasing the arrangement to serve and give life and space to the vocals and them words . The song “Old Skool dayz” with Chidi is a great song. It's getting a lot of attention at the moment. Can you tell me more about that song? I think Old Skool Dayz talks directly to people's hearts and memories and the same people , gratefully , are making it a popular soul choon actually. This is beautiful ! Tony Blackburn played it last Sunday on Soul on Sunday @ BBCRadiolondon . The radio airplay has been and continues to be massive . Chidi here wrote fantastic evocative lyrics about her 1979's childhood memories and sounds like you ve gone back 40years……reminiscing . Melody is anthemic ." Walking in the sunshine , Dancing in the rain ". I remember working on this special song with my friend and keyboard player Ivan Russo since a few years back & always something went wrong . Never the good voice , the good lyrics , Then you change chords and the progression a hundred times to finally and suddenly been absolutely hooked when Chidi put her voice , words and melody , giving sense to it ..Beats , bass lines , some synths , Isley-ish chords and guitars were already there . We played some other guitars with Dan Florean , i played other basses and arrangement, reversing some chords and the magical happened . “A Tribute To The Music” is also a very special song. What inspired that? When i started to collaborate with Gina i remember asking her to keep in mind this " Tribute to the Music " expression present in her thoughts for inspiration and we had long conversations about it . She wrote something unique as her words about music and her voice are unique . Then yes , the inspiration around this song is the music . How deep we love music , How deep we respect music and fight to make it exist . " That music , it sets you in the time , sets you in a place , makes you wanna groove , put a smile on your face…" she said and sing . Streaming , Download and Piracy , in the order you want , tend to devaluate the creation and the copyright of it to a point of no existence . Just saying to them all …..Hey , we re here , we re musicians , we re spending months , years , to create music and you give me that much ! ? Have you seen how much we love and dedicate our life to it ? That is what this song is about . Gina wrote about the beauty of it with her words , poetry and talent . I want to send here big love to John and Gina who are delicious people . Your band, The Luv All Stars have worked with some iconic musicians - Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, The Rolling Stones.. how did you all meet and start making music together? Too many amazing musicians and persons in one go ahah..45 days of musical heaven . Memories about this album are too many and is embedded in my soul …Los Angeles was the perfect place on earth for this musical experience . All this borned with succession of positive meetings/events with Rahmlee who create links with Larry Dunn, Tim Owens but also Byron Miller and Alex Al as bass players and drummers Gordon Campbell and Mr James Gadson in his personal garage/studio there in Englewood for an unforgetable drum session . This man played with absolutely everybody from the Stones to Diana Ross , Marvin Gaye . During sessions pauses we had those conversations with Alex Al who have been the " This is it " last rehearsal with MJ . His words about Michael Jackson was tainted of sadness and magic of . Rahmlee talking about the " Don t Stop Till Get Enough " horns session . That kind of things . And , beauty we were making music together . In college, you and your friend Patrick Smadja dreamed of working with members of Earth, Wind & Fire. How did feel to work with Rahmlee Michael Davis and Larry Dunn? We talked about this Luv All Stars project very recently with Patrick remembering how beautiful this moment has been to live this moment of life together there in LA . Rahmlee has been the first interested in the Luv All Stars project . Rahmlee is a very funny , immensely talented horns arranger and an incredible teacher. From him i learned a lot about overall voicing of a song, horns arrangement and also learned a lot about dynamic and progression of a track . Larry invited all the production team in his house in the Valley to finish keyboard sessions and visiting his studio and have the privilege to see his infinite collections of Awards , Grammy's and other distinction everywhere in the house . He played some Moogs and spicy Fender Rhodes . We had amazing moment after the session with everybody eating in the kitchen talking about life and this also been an unforgettable moment . EWF , for us two with Patrick, was like the untouchable Grall and just making music with those legends is something we'll have in our memories for life . The original idea was to get as closest to the EWF spirit . We learned a lot and gave our best. Patrick is now producing a fantastic Jazz Fusion album , still in LA with Guitarist Kamil Rustam and some of the greatest musicians of the planet like Vinnie Collaiuta , Peter Herskine or Manu Katche , Tim Lefebvre With the album In “The Name Of Luv”, you said “it erases the distance between the past and the present”. Have you continued pursuing that goal with “Divas Got Soul”? What is your aim this time? That 's a very interesting question . I think Divas Got Soul is all about it too . The album , musically , but also lyrically is the expression of it . If this mix of past and present guide to a better future i will have humbly contributed a tiny bit to a better optimism image of it. Musically , going to a style to another , it has been obvious to project this to the future . I love the Old Skool music . Even more when composed for the future . You clearly have an affinity for working with female artists. What appeals to you about working with female vocalists? I think it s just a true matter of circumstances. Things happened like that before the project with remixes for Kenya , Tracy or Candace and naturally this make even more sense today when i think about it . The natural path of the album is the result of that . Making an album with all female vocalists increase probably even more that sensation you have … But in the recent past , i worked with fantastic male singers like Tim Owens and Orlando Johnson with the Luv All Stars . Then Timmy Thomas and Joe Leavy on early TGee Records digital releases . I have several "work in progress" projects with male singers too . But i just don t know when and in what format or moment i will release them … You clearly enjoy collaborating. Are there any other artists that you would like to collaborate with? Oh that's " an impossible to respond " kinda question . When i think about , and in my deepest dream i think that the majority of them left the planet recently during those last years . MJ , Prince , Leon Ware , Marvin , Miles Davis . This would have been great right ? Just being there and learn about music .Today ? I d love to collaborate with strings and/or horns arrangers . That is my passion . About today and for tomorrow the list is infinite . But i m working on it very seriously ..And everyday What is your earliest musical memory- the first song you heard or record you bought? Well , in a row and how my memory 's talking to me now . Arthur Conley " Sweet Soul Music " but also John Kongos " He's gonna step on you again ". This " Come Together " Beatles Track , First i bought ? Jimi Hendrix "Purple Haze" 7" . I listened to it ( the intro ) more than 6 millions times . Vinyl actually . I was into vinyl as anyway there were nothing else ;) TGEE Records, is that your own label? Yes i founded TGee Records 5 years ago now when arrived in the UK What challenges and benefits do you experience by releasing your music independently? It s a fantastic experience Karen . And it s all about real fans actually . Their love to your music gives you this everyday faith , energy and courage an artist need to believe in what he s doing . You know TGee Records is a small enterprise . We do everything by ourselves with the help of Penny . Signing , sealing and delivering soul music records to . The approach with physical is different as you have direct contact with someone . You can exchange and chat . That is beautiful . They buy your music and they share their enthusiasm to you directly . We met some of them at Soul Brother Records in May with Chidi and S.EL . People coming especially , on a bike with young kids , on saturday morning , just to meet you , make the selfie with you and get their signed copies . But challenge is an everyday challenge . Challenge is also continue to manufacture more . And it s not simple believe me . Tightroping to preserve a balance between some benefits and production expenses . It a lot of hard work , a lot of responsibilities or rules and you often have to be very pragmatic with but i definitely love it . Also being master of my own ship , being independent by nature . More liberty of musical expression . It s also a team of persons . Penny for the everyday same songs in her ears for 14 months , 16 hours a day but also the way she always encouraged me when i was struggling in front of the amount of work . Making an album is not only the music but also all the administrative stuff going with . Steve Ripley , without all this probably the album would never have seen the light of day. Intellligence and clairvoyance always present when i was doubting . And also Jo Wallace and Ashley Beedle , here in Ramsgate , for our present and future vinyls releases on Ramrock Blue and how beautiful it is to have local buddies . I don t wanna forget Roger Williams for the labour of love with this incredibly beautiful artwork .Old Skool Dayz will be release in a couple weeks as 12" vinyl with two fantastic Ashley Beedle's North Street remix added to the original . Several other vinyls will follow . Next one after Chidi one with Hil St Soul with " Soul Train " and much more to come . We ll be live on the Sunset Stage @ Margate Soul Festival live with my full English Divas line up . Chidi , Hil St Soul and S.E.L . That s gonna be great .. You can purchase your signed Album copy here : http://www.tgeerecords.co.uk http://tomglide.bandcamp.com Also available at Soul Brother Records , Simply Soul in the UK . Disk Union , HMV , Tower Records in Japan . Dusty Groove in the US You can download Old Skool Days single EP on Itunes here : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/old-skool-dayz-tom-glides-summer-of-17-rework/id1255246879?i=1255246938 Visit TGee Records : www.tgeerecords.co.uk
www.facebook.com/tgeerecords
www.instagram.com/tomglide
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 DIVAS GOT SOUL / BRIGHT STAR AWARD / BEST SOUL RNB ALBUM 2017