Inner Circle Roundtable: 14 Key Music Industry Players Speak
OUR CREATIVE PANEL
Fred Lipsius: Multi-Grammy Award winner and Co-founder of the legendary jazz-rock band, “Blood, Sweat and Tears.” Lipsius has performed with Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, and jazz greats Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Eddie Gómez, Al Foster, George Mraz, Larry Willis, Randy Brecker, Rodney Jones and many others. He has written music for and performed on over 30 CDs as both a leader and sideman. He has also authored six books/CDs on jazz improvisation and jazz reading.
Isaac Morris: American Music Industry Executive, Consultant and Founder of Morris Entertainment Group and Rich Life: which consists of a record label, management, and marketing company which works with and represents artists and producers such as Teddy Bishop, Dave Hall, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Smitty Lil Mo, Cadillac Don j-money, VIC, Liberty City, Devin Johnson, profile, Lil G silk, Nivea, Marquise Daniels, C Wallace, Khao, Sam Salter, Tony Rich, TLC, Usher, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Darnell Jones, Jagged Edge, JT Money, Youngbloodz, Yung Ralph, GS Boyz, Coco Kiss, Young Joc, Gunplay, Letoya Luckett, Destiny’s Child, Anthony Dent, Sterling Simms, B major, Ideal, Jackie O, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Drummer Boy, Ensayne Wayne, Gorillaz Zoe, ET Dirty Boyz, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, DJ Montay, Dollhouse, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and many more.
He’s called “one of the most powerful figures in the music business.”
Lou Plaia, Co-Founder of ReverbNation: This tremendous online platform supports 3.5 million music industry professionals from around the world — artists, managers, labels, venues, festivals — with power- ful, easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online. Music Industry veteran with over 20 years experience; spent twelve years at Atlantic Records where he was VP of Strategic Marketing and worked with Jewel, Hootie & the Blowfish, Collective Soul, George Carlin and hundreds of other artists and bands. Was also Head of Marketing and Artist Development for Atlantic imprint, Lava Records, where he worked for four years with artists such as Kid Rock, O.A.R., Simple Plan, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Matchbox 20, Uncle Kracker, Unwritten Law and many others.
The Venetia Fair, American Rock Band: As shared, “We’re a band called The Venetia Fair and we have no fucking clue what we’re doing.”“Our names are Benny, Mr. Chark, Mike, Joe Brown, and Austin. My name, specifically, is Benny and I feel like I’m babysitting four 12-year- olds all the time. Actually, I feel like I’m a 12-year-old babysitting four other 12-year-olds and doing a really bad job (even for a 12-year-old). Mr. Chark is like that weird 12-year-old who has a calculator watch, carries a compass (but still gets lost all the time), and loves the sound of his own voice, especially when he’s not using words. Mike’s more like a hyperactive 14-year-old who got held back and has to hang out with the younger kids but doesn’t mind because he gets to be better than them at everything and the older kids are boring, anyway. Joe Brown is the obnoxious 12-year-old who steals “chromies” off of tires in the parking lot and learns obscene words to scream so he can ex- plain that “it actually means female dog!” to his angry teachers.
And then there’s Austin, the excitable 12-year-old who can’t wait to get a sip of his dad’s beer or a peek down a girl’s shirt. Hanging out with us is probably more aggravating than anything else but I think we’re all best friends. If we actually were 12 years old, we’d be in a secret club and have an awesome fort. We get compared to a lot of different bands that don’t sound any- thing like each other so it’s hard to believe anyone.
We try to make music that is theatrical, chaotic, catchy, and sometimes a little silly but not too silly because it’s also serious business. We have a lot of fun writing the music we write and performing the way we perform. Not a single one of us had any substantial training in our instruments or music in general so being in a band was really hard for us some- times but we worked really hard to make up for it. It takes a lot of work to pretend to be good at something. Then Mike joined up with us and he knows how to play stuff but we still talk to him like we’re idiots (we’re idiots) so we’re still working pretty hard (not smart). We try to play together every single day and some of that playing involves music…”
S.J. Tucker: Tucker has been the glad captain of her own independent music career since 2004, when she left the workaday world behind to travel the continent, singing songs and changing lives. Named a vanguard of the Mythpunk movement and even “the face of neo-tribal Paganism” by Witches & Pagans Magazine, Tucker is the voice of lore at the campfire and the sharp laughter of modern myth. With one hand anchored in her art and the other held out to you, she is songs and stories, community and wit.
With over ten albums released to date and several more currently in the works, Tucker has received songwriting awards and has traveled the USA, Canada, and Europe with her music. S. J. (called “Sooj” by fans and friends) believes that there’s more than one way to be a rock star. If you’re chasing your dreams and living your life in a way that keeps you happy and healthy, Sooj believes you’ve got it made. You may often find her on tour with similarly hard-working artists and groups who believe in giving their fans all that they’ve got, such as Toronto’s Heather Dale Band, Seattle cellist Betsy Tinney (often with their shared project, Tricky Pixie), or Pride Rockers Big Bad Gina.
Billy Gilman; Multi-platinum-selling Country recording artist, Grammy Nominee and American Music Award winner: In 2000, at the age of 11, he debuted with the single “One Voice,” a Top 20 hit on the Billboard country music charts and became the youngest singer to a Top 40 hit on the country music charts. In 2001, he was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts. He has sold five million albums worldwide and garnered awards and nods from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Billboard Magazine, and the American Music Association.
In 2012, Gilman made waves by recruiting 18 fellow country superstars to collaborate on a charity single called The Choice to benefit the Soles4Souls charity. Proceeds from the song, which included Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, and Rodney Atkins, placed shoes on tens of thousands of barefoot children around the world.
Kenny Fame: Stage name of musician Levi Wise Kenneth Catoe Jr. In the NYC area, Fame has built an impressive resume as both a: spoken word artist and a sought-after poet / lyricist in less than three years. After creating a buzz in the competitive world of NYC’s Spoken Word/ Poetry scene. In 2013 Fame decided to focus all of his energies into recording music which led to his debut CD “Kenny Fame The First Album” released back in November of 2013. His 2nd album EP “Fame Nation was released on June 3rd 2014; and he has an upcoming “The Live Album” set for release on November 18th 2014, one year after the “The First Album.
Samantha Echo: Echo hails from the mountainous regions of the Island of Many Hills in the City of Blinking. She has been performing since the age of six, when she decided she wanted to be a Disney charac- ter when she grew up, and is a licensed busker with the Music Under New York program. Her song “The Slut of Denmark” received the November 2014 Akademia Music Award in the Folk-Cabaret category. She has been featured in Suzanne Stout’s first annual Buskers’ Carnival at the Players’ Club, the Notable Features’ documentary Rhythm in Motion, and the Award-Winning Book The Noise Beneath the Apple, by Heather Jacks, who calls her “a Salvador Dali of sound, challenging and disrupting perspective.”
Tanner: By the age of 20, Tanner had overcome not only drug addiction, but also a rare, life-threatening blood disease. Now clean and healthy, the singer-songwriter is here to share his self-titled EP with the world. The songs are delivered with the experience, knowledge and clarity of some- one well beyond Tanner’s twenty four years, yet not without the angst and raw emotion that one would expect, considering his history. The end result is rock excellence with an indie edge that’s “sure to please.”
Law: 2-Time Indie Music Award Winner & Grammy Recognized Singer/ Rapper, Songwriter, Producer, Choreographer & Multi-Instrumentalist, “Whose Talents Know No Limits.” Being the grandson of Blues/Soul legend The Late Sam “Bluzman” Taylor & coming from one of the most famous families in music history as well as one of the biggest buzzes & greatest live stage reputations in the industry, This Brooklyn hood boy from the Crown Heights section has been known to make Hip-Hop (Underground & Commercial styles) work in his favor using Funk-Rock-Metal, R&B/Soul elements while embracing Country, Pop, Jazz & even Techno exist under one roof while at the same time balancing the commercial element & staying true to his underground roots.
Lorenzo Hall: Born July 4th and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Life After Sullivan County Community College.. Lorenzo Hall’s basketball talent enabled him to continue his basketball career in Europe, playing in Paris, France, Switzerland, Venezuela and Canada, the NBA Summer League, The EBA & ABA here in the States.. Lorenzo moved back to NY in 2006 where he started his entertainment company Street Rootz Entertainment LLC which specializes in producing special events & talent management.
Lorenzo clients have consisted of public figures such as movies stars such as Jamal Woolard whom played the Notorious B.I.G. in the biopic “Notorious”, models from Americas Next Top Model, Reality show stars from Bad Girls Club, Love n Hip Hop, VH1’s Frank The Entertainer In A Basement Affair’s Cathy Nardone, Kerry Schwartz & Dana Doll, music artist, athletes and more. He has also supported charities such as The Stop Abuse Campaign for Domestic Violence, Alliance For Lupus Research, Autism & AIDS Awareness.
Marco Foster, Music Artist: Hailing from Washington D.C., Marco came to New York where he was quickly discovered and soon signed to Flo Rida’s label, IMG/StrongArm. Since then, Marco has been opening for Flo Rida around the world from the US to Russia to Turkey to the Dominican Republic – delighting crowds upwards of 40,000 people. Other TV and high profile appearances include the Today Show, The Major League Baseball All Star game and the Jingle Ball tour through- out the US.
Dennis Lambert; Legendary Songwriter and Producer: One of the most successful and diverse songwriter/producers of the ‘70s and ‘80s, with hits like “Ain’t No Woman Like The One I’ve Got,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Don’t Pull Your Love,” “Baby Come Back,” “One Tin Soldier” and “Nightshift.” He had chart-toppers in almost every genre of music – at one point four of his songs were simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a feat previously accomplished only by The Beatles.Lambert has had #1 songs in almost every genre of music.
Ken Bianco from Foxtrot & The Get Down: From the streets of Northeast Philadelphia, as well as Havertown, PA, Colin Budny, Ryan Fox, and Ken Bianco met as freshman at West Chester University. After realizing similar musical influences and a love of playing live music, the three formed Foxtrot & The Get Down.
Since late 2011, the boys have found their own sounds, comprised of Blues-based Rock riffs, with a tendency to lean on Jazzy drum fills and thick, booming bass, tinged with screaming harmonica and meaningful lyrics. With most major venues under their belt in Philadelphia, the band has traveled to New York City and made their mark in Wilmington, with many new tour dates being announced regularly.
WHAT IMPACT HAVE YOU HAD ON THE LIVES OF YOUR FANS/ARTISTS?
Fred: Most people probably remember me as the original saxophonist and arranger with Blood, Sweat & Tears (1967-71). BS&T, a highly innovative band to hit the pop scene in 1967, brought a fresh/different kind of music to the public with our blending of jazz, rock, blues, classical and folk styles. I’ve heard different comments from people over the years about how BS&T or I, personally touched their lives with our music. I’m sure each fan has their own story to tell about how our music affected them. Someone shared with me that, at a very “delicate” time in their young life, from just hearing the sound of the horns on “Spinning Wheel,” it gave them hope and energy to carry on in life. This person had listened hundreds of times to the recording of this particular song just for comfort. Two of my close friends (one is a musician) mentioned to me similar reactions they’ve had to my music—my tunes and play- ing. They basically said that my music comes from another place be- yond this physical universe and it lifts them up to a higher reality… One friend called it: “unto another ledge.” From what I remember about fans reactions at BS&T concerts, our music and energy onstage brought them great joy and happiness, something they could carry with them as a wonderful memory. Music serves as an echo or reminder of the wonder, tremendous love that was felt, along with other revelations. It’s also a vehicle for shar- ing this feeling and love or connection with God, so that others might experience a higher state of awareness through my music. It’s like passing the spiritual torch. I believe we’re all connected.
Issac: For me as a music executive I think the impact that we have had on fans are just showing artists how to interact socially through the web and being more relevant to the fans. I think it’s more so an understanding of the business, everyone I work with I try to make understand something about the business they may not know. There are a lot of artists that I have met today that know nothing about royalties, they don’t want to sign the split sheet when they are in the studio creating, but you have to sign it before you start creating, but they don’t understand that in this generation. It’s about showing them an education on this business and how to become successful. Over the years I think it was about this part of leading them that has impacted their careers.
Lou: I think that I helped develop some superstar artists in my 15 years at Atlantic and Lava Records and then helped hundreds of thousands of artists go from point A to point B while at ReverbNation.
The Venetia Affair: Let me first state that our fans impact OUR lives so much as well. I’ve been a touring musician since 2006 and honestly, if there weren’t any fans coming out and supporting, I would have hung it up in 2007. We’d be nothing without them and the most recent occurrence proving so, was the last kickstarter we did. If the fans didn’t get involved and really give us a boost, we would have never made our last album, so essentially our career is in their hands. To recipro- cate and talk about how we change their lives, I would have to say the lyrics hold a lot of this weight. I’ve seen numerous fans come up and show me a tattoo of an image of ours and/or lyrics of ours. I’d like to think they help people with certain issues they may have and act as a clutch to power through them in times of need, whether it be relation- ships, illness, friends, family, weight, depression… ANYTHING.
S.J Tucker: I hope I’ll continue to have an impact, as I’ve got no plans to stop making music! One thing I love about my job is how often people take the time to write or speak to me, to share their stories with me of what a song of mine has done for them, given them, or helped them discover. This includes (and I’m not exaggerating) quite a number of people who’ve been on the verge of choosing to end their own lives, who changed their minds because one of my songs started playing in the room, or came up on a playlist. Fans have told me that I’ve helped them to heal, that I’ve helped them remember how to breathe and to dance, and even that I’ve helped them find a stronger connection with the spiritual. These things humble me and give me the confidence I need to keep making music, even when I’m not feeling so great myself. I’m not a megastar by anyone’s measure, but I have direct evidence that my songs have done some good in the lives of friends, fans, and strangers. I’m honored by this, and I hope to keep doing that amount of good for as long as I’m alive and singing.
Billy: My goal is to use my God-given voice to be a tool in providing people with lyrics and melodies that they can either relate to and/or find some sort of peace within. I always try to give my fans quality over quantity. The songs have to touch me in order for me to be able to touch them.
Kenny Fame: My fans are my friends. I feel like referring to someone as a fan is reductive. I feel like we are friends and are from the same nation, #FameNation. My impact is [that] everybody is a star! We are one and the same. I’m very approachable. It hurts when people don’t approach [me].
LAW: I like to think I made them smile and made them ok for them to be themselves & to open to listen to any kind of music they love… I grew up in a hood where it wasn’t always cool to be different but I was one of the fortunate ones who was accepted for being who he was and the kind of music I loved.
Samantha Echo: I think that the cathartic nature of my songs has a cleansing effect on people. Catharsis originally means cleaning out and eliciting strong emotions from an audience through an experience of pity and fear. What I express in my songs is often not pretty, but I feel that it absolutely needs to be said, that there is value in that kind of art, and that it harkens back to the writing of Ancient Greece, which is where I got my stage name, Echo. By contrast, I am nice to everyone in my personal life and I disprove the saying “nice guys [girls] finish last.” I inspire the underdogs, the people who have been told they are “too nice,” and the people who are not afraid to be eccentric.
Tanner: A few months ago, I got a message from a woman who told me one of her parents had just passed and that my music was helping her get through it. That alone was enough for me to continue for a long time. I’m not trying to change the world; I’m just trying to give people songs they can relate to, so a lot of my songs have dual meanngs, one that’s true to my experience and one that can be applied to them and whatever they are going through. Most of my songs use the same words to tell a few different stories.
Lorenzo Hall: My thing is making a difference with a positive force or impact one community at a time via entertainment.
Marco Foster: From my experience creating original music and sharing it with others, I have noticed the impact and impression you can leave behind. My dream is to make others feel the way that I feel when I hear or see my favorite artists. I turned a passion into a career because of my desire to be like those who came before me. If it wasn’t for the great artists who inspired me to create music of my own, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Dennis Lambert: Fans of my songs feel as if they are transported back in time when they hear them. Don’t we all feel this way, myself included, when you hear the music of your past.
Ken Bianco: I’m totally one of those people who connects memories with certain bands/songs, so I would love for us to have that type of relationship with our fans in regard to our music. There are so many songs that when I hear them, they take me back to places/memories of my own life, both good and bad. I want our songs to be soundtracks for our own fans’ lives, for both the good times and the rough patches of life.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR IMPACT ON THE MUSIC/ ENTERTAINMENT WORLD?
Fred: I think the only music I’ve been involved with, that had a major impact in changing the world of music was the music from early Blood, Sweat & Tears. Like the Beatles, BS&T’s audiences were comprised of both young and old listeners because of the musical content—it had something for everybody. And like the Beatles, who created a wide variety of musical approaches in their songs and arrangements, our music opened up the doorway for countless other music groups to follow us and try fresh musical directions/possibilities that hadn’t been explored previously in commercial music. Around the time BS&T had a few hit singles, various top jazz players broke away from the music they had been doing in the past and formed their own groups playing “fusion” (jazz rock) music. The influence of BS&T (with lots of freedom in the music) was obvious! Many teachers at Berklee College of Music (where I’ve been teaching full-time for almost 30 years) along with other musicians I’ve met in my life, told me of the great influence on their lives that BS&T had on them.
Isaac: Being a part of great music and sharing great ideas to the world to make them dance, from all cultures. And showing people that you can be anything that you dream of. Anything you think of can happen in your life. Working hard, passion and never giving up. And for me it’s also the sound, coming from the direction of the sounds that came out of the 90’s, and then going into the 2000’s with the sounds that came from us working in the studio with TLC, Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah… we gave different sound percussions… that impacted the industry as it is today.
Lou: In 25+ years in the music business, I’ve worked with the biggest superstars in the world and thousands of “unknown” artists. And no matter how established the artist was, I treated them the same in every way. I do not think I changed anything in regards to the music itself. I think our company, ReverbNation, has helped artists accelerate their career path by providing free and low cost marketing tools and opportunities that they could probably not create on their own.
The Venetia Affair: Music and entertainment is constantly shifting with or without my addition to it, so I can’t say that I single hand- edly changed it, but I’d like to think that I added to it and hopefully inspired others to add to it as well. The fact that no one can pinpoint who my band (The Venetia Fair) sounds like is a step in the right di- rection, however it may also be hindering in that, although many say it’s “unique,” sometimes that uniqueness can also prevent us from opportunities such as lining up with a perfect tour package or getting signed to a label. People are sometimes scared of different things. I often think the industry is saying, “If it can’t be on FM radio, then why invest our time and efforts into it” where they should be saying “FM radio needs a revolution, let’s get busy.”
Kenny Fame: Probably because I started out as an international award winning poet. I think most lyricists consider themselves to be poets anyways, but I was inducted into the Poets & Writers nation- al Directory of Writers as a poet and was printed and reprinted all around the world before I ever released a single tune. That was epic! I don’t think many singers—or even songwriters—can say that.
S.J Tucker: Ha! Well, I’m as indie as they come, but I’m comfortable with that. In my own perception, rather than being one of the big movers and shakers, I’m one of the people who’s benefitted most from the actions and hard work of the people who’ve really helped to change the music world into a place where it’s possible to make a living as an unsigned indie artist– and as a woman. I’m doing that, and it’s both because of my own hard work and because of the awesome precedent set by others. I would hope that I’m doing those others proud.
LAW: I’m still on my journey but so far & from what my fans do tell me, the impact I have made is that through my musical diversity, I changed the way some people looked at Hip-Hop while opening the minds of ones who weren’t receptive to Funk, Rock, Country Or Soul music.
Samantha Echo: We are living in a time of genre-blending and we are moving towards being more accepting of more diverse styles of art. I feel that my music pulls together an eclectic set of musical influences and that my style of songwriting unites opposites, joins the morbid with the whimsical and the acerbic with the vulnerable in a way that hasn’t been done very much before.
Tanner: It’s time to bring back the front man, the performer. I’ve also noticed people seem to use the word “vibe” a lot now to describe mu- sic. Music needs more “hooks” and less “vibe” I think. Simple, relat- able songs that make people feel better about whatever they are going through. That’s my goal as a musician and as a performer. I just write what I’ve lived and what I’ve seen in hopes that someone can relate to it.
Lorenzo Hall: I would like to assist in making change in the entertainment industry by finding fun voids in the industry, hence the birth of Chuckle It Up Comedy Series which I am the Founder & Executive Producer [of]. The show includes Live R&B, Vendors (Complimentary Massages, Fashion Jewelry, Chuckle It Up merchandise and more). We also do a name-that-tune trivia for prizes, free raffles and give- aways. We just make it a fun atmosphere for the people. It is a great feeling to sit back and watch people enjoy themselves because at that moment they are not thinking about any of their life issues they may have going on, and that’s what comedy does, it’s an outlet… Laughing is also healthy and burns tons of calories…
Marco Foster: I have yet to change the face of music, but I aspire to be a voice for a generation. Music is an amazing tool because it is a universal language. I want to create my own sound that others can both respect and enjoy. Although I personally haven’t changed the world of music, I have witnessed firsthand the monumental impact that my mentor Flo Rida has had on popular music. I have so much respect for him because he has such a unique sound and approach to his art. He combines both rap and pop music in a way that no one else can. To have sold 75 million records over the course of five years is an astounding feat for one to accomplish as well.
Dennis Lambert: I do feel like I made a significant impact on the de- velopment of the Los Angeles Rhythm & Blues recording scene. From 1969 on, I was creating a lot of R&B when little had been produced or created there, prior to that.
Ken Bianco: I really do not feel a need to change the music/entertain- ment industry. If anything, I would return to that idea of making hon- est music that comes naturally. I feel like the industry sometimes can get really trendy, and you see artists trying to fit into a certain scene that simply might not be right for them. Just be yourself. I guess that’s something I hope to see more in the music world in the future.
WHAT LEGACY DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE LEAVING BEHIND?
Fred: I haven’t thought much about this, probably because I feel I’m simply a product of the times in which I’ve lived. I’ve been so greatly influenced by my many musical heroes, mostly in jazz—sax players, piano players and other horn players, in addition to some of the great classical composers, Debussy being my favorite, plus popular tunes of the day. I’ve always loved playing beautiful melodies—standard tunes from the 1920s through the 1940s and then into the 1950s.
Later, the Beatles came along and brought something new to the world of music… I’m a melody kind of guy. All the great jazz play- ers used phrases or “quotes” from the old standards in their solos. My original compositions, I feel, all contain catchy melodic ideas with strong musical substance coming from true inspiration! I’ve heard all the greats, and I’m, in a sense, imitating a lot of what they did. I loved what they did and wanted to be like that with my music. I’ve tried to reach their high level of musical artistry. I have my own sound on saxophone. It, of course, contains influences and is a mixture of all my jazz saxophone heroes plus the legacy of sax sound from my old sax teacher Bill Shiner, who taught Stan Getz. He had a beautiful, rich tone and sounded wonderful on all the woodwind instruments he played. Sound is everything. I try to do all things with sincerity, compassion and love. With our collective basketball experience, vision and passion for the game, we hope to inspire these young student athletes. We want them to build both good sportsmanship and character, developing their talents and improving their skills in the game of basketball, and, more importantly, life. Our motto is: Education + Motivation + Dedication = Successful Prosperity.
Isaac: The legacy is as a music executive who has a passion and love for music to go to the next generation. I have been able to work with a lot of people. I remember working with Michael Jackson in the studio and it was mind-blowing but he was able to make us feel so comfortable. It wasn’t like you are in here and can’t be yourself, be- cause you are here with Michael Jackson. As far as legacy goes, me as a kid growing up seeing artists they were superstars to me, and now I want to leave a legacy that is [if] I can do it, so can they with the same passion, drive, and hard work.
Marco Foster: I want to be known as one of the greatest artists of my time. I want to be remembered for my passion for my craft as well as my dedication and determination to always challenge myself to push the boundaries. Too many people in the music industry focus on hav- ing a hit record rather than a lifetime career. This job isn’t a race; it’s a marathon. It takes discipline and hard work to make a name for yourself. Not many people are universally known and adored for their work, but I plan on being one of the few.
Dennis Lambert: My legacy is a wide variety of music in many differ- ent genres. My career is proof that you don’t have to be pigeonholed into any one musical genre if your talents allow you to spread your wings.
Ken Bianco: I really think our legacy would be just a band that made good, fun music. As individuals we all like to have a good time and don’t carry ourselves too seriously, and I think you can hear that in the music. One thing we pride ourselves on is being a great live band, so as far as a legacy, I think that would be very important.
Lorenzo Hall: The legacy I feel I am leaving behind is my Non-Profit Organization called “Making A Difference Through Hoops Basketball Academy.” It is the mission of Making A Difference Through Hoops Basketball Clinics & Academy to teach young student athletes that education is first and foremost, motivation and dedication will always equal successful prosperity in life. Through basketball clinics and indi- vidual trainings, our team of coaches works with the players in a safe, disciplined environment and helps every student athlete reach their full potential while also having fun.
S.J Tucker: In spite of the fact that I’ve been singing and working almost entirely under the radar for over a decade now, having released and pro- duced ten plus albums of original music is a pretty good start on a lega- cy, I think. I’m certainly a niche artist, but my witchy, nerdy niche is very strong, very welcoming, and very loyal. That means that there are a lot of young people (with fabulously nerdy and often witchy parents) who’ve grown up/who are growing up listening to my work, and enjoying it. Sometimes I don’t really feel grown-up enough for that to be true (at the time of this writing, I’m 35 years old), but it most definitely makes me smile. It makes me feel loved. It reminds me that I’m worth listen- ing to, and that my work is relevant, when I end up having someone in a concert audience choose to ignore me in favor of their smartphone and headphones. I know that I’ve encouraged others, young and old, to go after their own dreams, in the course of going after my own. I’ve seen it with my own eyes in some cases, and I’ve encouraged it wholeheartedly. What better reason could I have to be here?
Samantha Echo: I am what nostalgia sounds like. I am the voice of a female Peter Pan, among the millennials, who are the first generation ready for a female Peter Pan. I am the voice of the secret life of the most badass good girl ever, in a generation that was born into the beautiful, technologically-charged chaos of the Aquarian Age, a gen- eration that didn’t quite know how to grow up, but also knew that it was a pioneer of something very exciting.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?
Fred: As someone who played and wrote music from his heart and was more interested in communicating—making a bridge to the audience—than looking for the applause; shared something positive and encouraging; served others in various ways; was loving, sincere, compassionate, patient; cared about others and gave them their freedom.
Isaac: As a great music executive that cares about the talent, the art, in the fans and as a music lover that has respect for the culture and respect for real music.
Lou: In 25+ years in the music business, I’ve always respected the mu- sicians I’ve met and worked with because the value they bring to the lives of every human being is completely underrated. I, in turn, want to be remembered as someone who’s, honorably and respectfully, added value to their careers.
The Venetia Fair: I guess I would like to be remembered as close to how and who I am as possible. Someone that enjoys art and wants to keep pushing it to new boundaries yet someone that cares and is genu- inely concerned about the industry as a whole and everyone that is a part of it. I would like to see it become more of a team effort of hon- est people as opposed to what sometimes feels like an “every man for himself” type scenario. In short and less serious, I’d want to be remem- bered as a handsome, young, talented rock star like Kurt Cobain, but in order to preserve my age I would have had to pass away 3 years ago.
S.J Tucker: Several months ago in Seattle, I had a deep conversation with an indie filmmaker friend of mine. Among other things, we were discussing what the world might be like after we’re gone, with respect to climate change. This friend of mine has a young daughter, and he cares very deeply about what sort of world she and her generation stand to inherit. He told me his theory, that the people who still have hope, once life on earth gets that much harder, will be the people who have community they can rely on, community they can trust. I want my music to be part of that. I want to be part of the hope that people have left.
Billy: To be remembered, period. Although I have a long way to go before I will think of this with more [of] a reflective manner, however, I hope when people hear my name or hear one of my songs they say, “That guy was a good role model.”
Kenny Fame: I want to be remembered as an artist that made a differ- ence. In terms of breaking through genre restrictions, going against the grain of what everybody else was doing and just being original while being creative. Songwriting! And most importantly good songwriting! I think it’s sad that everybody is trying to write the same type of songs. I feel like if you are trying to write a hit record, you are going about it all wrong. Just write a song with all of the right elements: 1. Interesting transitions (verse, chorus, bridge) 2. Interesting chord progressions 3. Open your heart (emotions) 4. Build up to the chorus (the payoff) 5. Build up to the crescendo (the bridge) That’s what I want to be remembered for, reminding the world how to craft a great song [that] will never go out of style!
LAW: I want to be remembered as an artist who came in the business and shook it up with real musical talent & unapologetic, non-compro- mising musical vision.
Samantha Echo: I want to be remembered as someone who was never afraid to be herself and inspired others to do the same, and as someone who made people happy.
Tanner: I want to be remembered as a solid frontman, someone that put on a good show sonically and visually. Someone that wrote about their life, and poured themselves into their music. I want people to say, “He gave it all he had until he just keeled over. He gave it 100 percent.”
Lorenzo Hall: I would like to be remembered as the one Lorenzo who changed the hall tree by leaving a positive legacy behind to be con- tinued on by my Great Great Great Great Grandkids and also the fact that I have a natural passion to help kids and people in general. That is the impact I would like to be remembered by.
Marco Foster: As an artist I want to be remembered for my music and unique voice. I want it to resonate with people and inspire them to create. Art of any form is such a powerful medium because it can change the lives of others as well as live for generations after. I’m still in an early stage of my career, but I can only hope that one day I leave my mark on the world in some way.
Dennis Lambert: As the greatest songwriter and producer that ever lived! Since that’s definitely NOT going to be the case, I’ll settle for “a songwriter and producer who created some quality music that endured.”
Ken Bianco: I would like for us to be remembered simply as a great band that made good, honest music. I think one of the things that makes us such a great band is that we are not trying to be something we’re not. What you hear is what you get. When people hear our mu- sic I really want them to picture three friends making music they love.