A SongWriter's Odyssey
“Amidst all of the “music” on the radio, it sure would be nice to hear a song every now and again”. - Reginald K.Son
I’ve always known that I had an appreciation for good tunes. As a teen in the eighties, I used to tape songs off the radio in my hometown of NYC. I had at least 50-60 full cassettes of different songs from various genres. It wasn’t until I got into some trouble during that time that I would fully realize what music meant to me.
As a Queens, NY teen whose mom (single parent) worked in Manhattan, I was left to my own devices after school. Long story short, I took some liberties with my freedom that I really should have thought twice about. As punishment, mom proceeded to make me incinerate my whole music collection. I’m sorry... I need a moment... It still hurts a little. This confirmed that music would be more than a passing fancy in my life.
In 1984 I saw “Purple Rain” against my will with my cousins in a Detroit movie theatre. As I went into the theatre I was like “and who is this Prince person again?” ... Oh yeah, “Controversy”. When I left that dang theatre I was a 6’ something Prince wannabe. When I returned home, I ran, not walked, to the local instrument store and bought that same style Telecaster guitar and an amp. I wore that damn record out learning “Computer Blue” and all of the other songs on that LP. When I came to my senses several – ahem – months later, I realized that I didn’t even like playing the guitar. The fret board and strings really annoyed the crap out of me. My guitar and amp were eventually sold and I moved on...to piano.
The late 80’s/early 90’s were here and I’d bought my first synth, sampler, sequencer, and a drum machine. Ahhh...electronica. Me and my box haircut were off and running. It’s been quite the evolution from then to now. My music has grown up and matured with me.
During those times I’d met people who would go on to become lifelong friends as well as songwriting partners. Enter Art Thomas. Art had the best studio (at the time) and could write lyrics to any subject that popped out of your mouth. That really is a double-edged sword, believe me. Some left much to be desired while others were poetry in motion. Art brought his guitar playing buddy (Alonzo Wells) in from Los Angeles and we began cranking out tunes as “A.R.A” – figure it out. We even started producing folks with such names as Hennessey...don’t ask. Wonder where he is now? We disbanded after about a year or so because Art had to move with his job. Oh yeah, did I neglect to say that we had real jobs too?
Enter AmariM. When I met her a several years ago, we began talking of writing together and I remember telling her that I didn’t write about asses and thongs and other things of that nature. I’d leave that to the folks on another echelon of existence. To that, she spoke of her vibes and philosophies of lyrics and music. I was feeling her, and we decided to get together and see what we could do. The results of this “mind meld” can be heard on “Vibes from the Inner Garden”.
Enter Kia Hamm. Kia worked with me at one of my "jobs" and we forged a quick friendship over the love of music and general love of laughter. Yeah, she had jokes. When I got her into the studio, she reminded me of Denise Williams and Minnie Ripperton. I wrote some songs for us, and we had an enjoyable time vibing until she moved away. You can hear all our treasures on the "The Sounds" page. :-)
Most recently, enter Rosie Bans. Let me say this up front. I love working with Rosie. I met her on a musician's website and hired her to sing on the track "This World". We vibed so hard that it was decided that we would try to write together instead of one hiring the other. She is from Glasgow, Scotland and is someone I never knew would have such an impact on my sound. It would reinforce the adage, "don't judge a book by the cover". You don't know who you'll have the dynamic musical connection with. Look for FIRE from us in the not-so-distant future.
As I grow in music, I seem to be getting closer to what I really am at my artistic core – a kaleidoscope of my musical and worldly influences. The list of talented artists that I am influenced by is too exhausting to list. My latest opus is a result of self-exploration and a releasing of the fear that can hold one back from realizing one’s full potential. These songs recognize my father (or lack thereof), my gratitude, my sanctuary, my storytelling, women overcoming domestic abuse, tender moments, world happenings, social commentary, and nostalgia.
I would also like to acknowledge the many fine musicians that worked on that project, but I must mention one in particular – Mr. Larry Grant Fowler, Jr. Larry passed away of cancer shortly after laying the bass down for “Brazilian Queen”. I love the song, but it is made extra special now. I appreciated your bass skills, but I appreciated our budding friendship even more. My prayers to your wife and family. God bless you brother.
If I were to categorize myself in a record store, I would be hanging out with the likes of: Asa, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Brand New Heavies, Amel Larrieux, Sade, Jill Scott, Me’shelle NdegeOcello, India.Irie, Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Sting, Michael Franks and Groove Collective. It would be an honor to keep that kind of company, believe me.
On this site you will find a variety of songs emanating from every part of me. Some are playful, some serious, some upbeat and some not. All are, however, from the heart. I’ve always appreciated all styles of music and I’d like to think that this presence is a great representative of what lies beneath my surface.
-Reginald K to the Son
“Music for Life”