Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Have a impact on someone!

Have you ever felt like you made an impact on someone with what you do for your profession? Have you ever left a great first impression on someone by just simply taking the time to say hello, or by saying thank you after you've been praised for something? 
It's astonishing to see when people don't do it. Here you are, this amazing person with all this talent and people come to check you out and your rude, and ignorant to the fact that you can't even make a fan night by saying hey, thank you for coming out, I appreciate it!
Sad to say, there's a lot of those entertainers out there . I've seen a few in my time in working in this industry and it makes me always wanna do the right thing.
We're all human, so take the time to take that picture after the show, or greet a many fans that walk up to you!
Pause......…I'm not going on a rant or anything but these are things I think about when I greet people. I always wanna be that respectable person, where you can always come to me and ask me questions about things. Every now and then you get that one person that ask more then they should, but at the end of the day, you have to remember that people love what you do and they are passionate about it.
It comes with the territory you know!
My journey has been great so far. I've met lots of folks throughout my career and developed friendships and most importantly grew as a musician and producer that I am today. If those particular people didn't make a great impact on me, would I have become the person I am today. Its fair to say I don't think so. 
It's a real blessing to have someone around you, while they are already amazing at what they do, in turn, they have an impact on you, and you go on to be the person you knew you could become. That's the greatest feeling in the world.

There's a few people I wanna share with you guys today that have had a major impact on my career. I've spent my last ten years on the road with these guys, Often sleep at their houses, hung out with them all them time.  
They are Tone Whitfield, Bilal Oliver, Robert Glasper,Donald Robinson,Lee Patterson, Adam Blackstone, Chuck Treece, And Danophonic Dan
I know I'm putting them on blast but, those guys were a huge anchor in my musical paths, and all of them believed in my sound,personality, everything it took for me to be in this position.
Adam and I worked close together on a number of projects and still does to this day.
He's a great Bassist/Producer and he's working with Everyone in the game right now! Just name them, and he played for them. We share a brilliant sound in the studio. He has his own ear and techniques, and I offer my fair share of things and we make it work. Its magic, its almost like, whatever were  feeling, it comes out.
The part In which I find is cool that, we have limitless possibilities, whatever sound it is, we'll crank it out

Robert and I, well I'm sure most of you guys are familiar with him, he's amazing. He makes everyone around him that plays with him for an extended period of time that much better. Innovative at its best, he made the things that I didn't think were cool, a regular commodity. If I banged on a wall next to the drums to create another ambience, he did the same thing with the piano, or keyboards. He has an amazing array of ways to place chords, and changing all in one song. That has impacted me to use the same methods in my playing, in which is not like a bunch of people that are playing. We're great friends as well, and I'm glad we've shared all those crazy and fun moments on the road, and in studio.

Tone Whitfield. What more can I say about him, he introduced me to Bilal back in 1999. Yes, I said 1999, seems like such a long time ago. Around those days, music in Philly was cranked on all levels, and it was so much going on, you could easily miss a well crafted guy like him. He's also an amazing bass player like Adam, who could play on any stage, any style, and posed the skills of a dope producer/writer.
Tone and I played many jam sessions together with a few great friends. We developed a style that cannot be duplicated!  It's our own sound! Don't believe me, listen to any live show from bilal, or the new album. It's all there.
I'm forever grateful for him and his ability to help me craft my sound and style.

Donald Robinson, A great Producer and musician, well respected in this game!
He saw me a while back while I played a short stint in church, playing for a gospel choir. After every performance, he said to me, man you're getting better and better, keep practicing.(You know the kind of tone where your positive and you wanna encourage a young player) But He keep telling me, and one day he would eventually invite me to dinner, and we talked and he said, If your serious about music, then you have to do it NOW. This is your road from now on, and he gave me a list of things to do, that has forever helped me in this crazy Business.
He told me every in and out possible, still to this day, he's telling me things and believing in paths. Thank you don, I always remember that moment.

Leroy Patterson, this guy worked at my high school and he played bass at night.
He gave me amazing opportunities as a teenager and it helped me out so much, by the time I was 19, I was playing music professionally. He gave me a chance on gigs that I shouldn't have had any business on. Some of them I wasn't quite ready for, but them most of them I was. He picked out the third string kid, who came to class, played everything, soaked up everything conversation on what you should be doing.
As a result of that, I'm the only one from that band who's on a bigger stage at this point. He also, like everyone else I mentioned so far, has believed in my sound.
He put me in a great position to make myself better.

Chuck Treece and Danophonic Dan were amazing people to me, we grew as friends and they also noticed something in me and gave me great opportunities as well. Chuck the amazing musician he is, would always jam with me and show me important techniques that I missed out on, and would always show me about sounds in the drum! How to hit it, how to develop yourself in the band, and how to use certain snares and stuff. Even to this day, Chuck is rolling around with snare drums and other things giving me great idea's to toy with. ALmost forgot to mention Chuck plays a slew of instruments and is amazing on all of them! What a pioneer that dude is. Danophonic Dan, what a great friend, he introduced me to portis head a while ago, and got me started listening to different bands to craft and open my ear and playing to different standards. We've played in countless jam sessions with Scott Sturch and many other folks, he introduced me to the recording world, and how to get good sounds out of the drums and proper mic placement. He kinda took in a lost kid who didnt know jack. We now share a studio together in Philly, in which all these creative and dope projects were made! He's an awesome guitar player, turned Dj.
Bilal, What more can I say about this guy! You all have your opinions about him, but here's mine. Bilal is an Icon in every right you can think of. When was the last time you check a person with his ability? He's another big impactor! He makes you better even when you're not realizing it. He took me in and once he heard me play, he believed in what I could become. I already had enough in my playing, but he knew that once I joined his band, along with Robert,Tony, and the other guys that I would blossom. I didn't know at the time and I was just along for the ride. When your young, you like to hop from gig to gig to think that you're the hot commodity!
Little did I know that I would take place of such a band and grow into who I am today. His amazing vocal ability has spoiled me from ANY other gig I've played on.
We built such a cool vibe on stage and off, you would think we're best friends.
Every person in the band has grown to such high levels, its expected almost.
When a bunch of people counted me out, he gave me the chance to share the stage with him and develop my signature sound. Who knew that years later me and him both would produce a well put together album in Airtight's Revenge. That's like us though,we like to push the boundaries, and think outside the box. Do music that we think will inspire others. He's like a brother now after all these years, on stage I know his dynamics well, and off, well, we're like brothers. We've done everything from arguing to, fighting in bars together, cracking jokes, hanging, tipping the waiter too much! Lol That's my boy, and he'll probably won't ever read this, but I thank him dearly and always will be appreciative of him letting me be apart of his career.
I had a few honorable mentions but then that would cause for a  short story as well, and I didn't want you guys complaining saying how long of a blog I typed today.

In closing, I just want you guys to remember that who ever it is, in your life, in your class, anywhere. Your able to make a huge impact upon these people's lives' and it goes along way. 
I've been impacted upon and maybe I've even inspired and impacted a few people. We all can experience it one way or another.
Who has impacted your life?
After Rob saw mike and his new attire, he bursted out in laughter! His costume, pretty funny.
Mike Severson,Steve Mckie,Bilal,Tone Whitfield, Chris Turner,Corey Bernhard
The Band
Why do I look so angry? Oh I remember,  The guy wouldn't let me back stage, after I just got finished performing, He took his job so serious, so that explains the look!
Always joking and smiling, never a dull moment in this band!


  1. i love your blog. i'll just copy paste that from now on.

    but for real. it doesnt even matter how much you write. caus you write A LOT!

  2. yeah man. we just did a hit at BB's right before you guys came. the security dudes be on some ish after the show.....lol. they be like.. aight shows over yall gotta go! lol. glad to hear everything is going well. Peace.

  3. Hey thanks oux, i appreciate that much, thanks for reading, remember, spread the word!

  4. That's pretty crazy man, dudes taking their job pretty serious!

  5. As Always I enjoyed reading! So proud of you and how far you've come!

  6. i think that it is so beautiful that you recognize those who have helped you on your journey!!! so important, and not done enough:)

  7. Wow Steve! thanks for the compliments. I'm glad i could and will be apart of your life. You know the story, feel free to call me anything about anything. Great blog! It takes a man with a big heart to look back and give sincere thanks. keep up the great work. I still believe this is only the beginning for you! Much Love. D.R.

  8. Donald, you know it means alot coming from you sir, I've always taken everything you said close and for surely applied it to my life. Wow only the beginning! thats crazy.
    Maud-Thank you for reading, and supporting me, i will always do the same in return.
    Mr, or Mrs anonymous, who are you? Come clean!