Zo! Interview in HuffPost Detroit!

Source: HuffPost Detroit
Author: Kelly Frazier

Zo! Brings His ManMade Soul Music Back To His Hometown of Detroit This Saturday

The music of the Detroit born and raised multi-instrumentalist/producer Lorenzo Ferguson, known to all us as Zo!, brings back the deep soul music from generations past. Currently residing in Maryland, Zo! has been releasing his own projects for over a decade now and is currently a member of The Foreign Exchange collective started by Phonte Coleman (formerly of the hip-hop group Little Brother) and Dutch hip-hop/soul producer Nicolay. Recently, Zo! released the newest chapter in his vast discography with ManMade, a voyage into depths of real soul music, and he’s coming back to his hometown this Saturday, June 29th at the Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Detroit to present the album live in concert. I asked Zo! about the new album and his feelings about living a life in music.

How would you describe the progression of your projects from the early works to ManMade?

I think there’s a greater quality of musicianship from album to album because of the time that I get to put in on my instruments. Experience has played a huge part in being able to develop a sound that I feel is my own as well as just being able to apply music making in the studio to more of a live experience because I’ve been on the road more often lately and it’s been easier to pick up on what a crowd responds to. To me, live presentation and interaction with your listeners is just as important as your studio release. If you’re able to make the two work hand-in-hand, you have a much better shot at connecting with your people musically.

Why did you name your album ManMade? What’s the principle theme behind it?

ManMade describes the work ethic needed as a completely independent musician/artist. We’re booking our own shows, building relationships with our listeners, making the music, etc. — it is very much blue-collar work and you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in order to accomplish long-term goals. Even the cover art is a depiction of me walking to work, where “work” is in this dilapidated building that represents our music industry. I’m basically representing the “last of a dying breed” group of artists who has no management, plays 95 percent of the instruments on the album, helps to distribute the music while touring… and I’m walking into this broken down building/industry to shine my light on it as much as I possibly can.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Zo! Interview on SoulTrain.com

Source: SoulTrain.com
Author: Chuck Nunley

Q&A: Zo!- Keys Open Doors

Ever since Henry Ford opened up shop in 1903, Detroit, Michigan has been associated with the motto, “Building from the ground up.” This means perfecting your craft as a “labor of love” at a perfectionist level, then taking your work to the people one by one to create loyal supporters. As a native of The D, Lorenzo Ferguson, better known as Zo!, embodies this motto. As a member of The Foreign Exchange Music family, a collective who represents “from the ground up” to the core, Zo!’s musicianship as been a vital piece of the +FE Music sound on record as well as on stage, while serving as the band’s musical director on tour. Now with the release of his sophomore album, appropriately titled ManMade, Zo! sat down with SoulTrain.com during a tour stop in Los Angeles to discuss bringing his latest labor of love to the people.

SouTrain.com: In your bio, it said as a kid, you aspired to be a Major League Baseball player and despised taking piano lessons. What was the moment that changed that and music became your passion?

Zo!:  I think it changed almost overnight when I learned how to play by ear. Once I learned how to play by ear, then I was able to learn songs I wanted to learn rather than only classical pieces. I could turn on the radio, pick out songs and play them for other people. When you’re a kid, it’s important to you to be able to kind of show off and get your little praise. Once I was able to do that I thought, “Oh this could be something.” But at that point in my life, it had yet to trump baseball yet.  It was there, but I never knew I would be making a living off it.

SoulTrain.com: For a number of years, while progressing in your career, you were a music teacher. Talk about the importance of music and other arts programs in schools, and how your experience as a teacher shaped you as a musician.

Zo!: . It helps you tremendously as a musician because you’re practicing all the time to teach your students. I think when you teach, you have to be on top of your game. This was especially [true] with the environment I was working in, which was kids with special needs that were also in and out of jail. They’ll come to my class, look at me like and go, “What do you know? What can you teach me?” And If I play on the piano and suck, then they’re really looking at me like, “Aw you’re garbage, now I don’t have to listen to you on any level, period.” So when you are on top of your game and answering all of their questions the way they need to be answered, then they are looking at you like, “he cares enough to answer these questions and is looking out for us.” The same applies with music education as a whole. If you are able to, for example, decipher different notes and signs while reading music, you’re able to unlock other types of reasoning that applies to other subjects and basic problem solving. Music and arts can be applied to math, English and science.   When states get to cutting budgets, they look at arts as a hobby. I see it as a life changer; I’ve seen it save lives first hand.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Zo! In The Michigan Citizen (06.20.13)

Source: The Michigan Citizen
Author: Steve Furay

Detroit’s Zo! Releases New R&B Album and Prepares For Homecoming Show

DETROIT — Detroit’s own Zo!, a soulful R&B music composer and master hip hop producer, has released a new album and is getting ready for a triumphant return to his hometown with a live performance June 29 at 8 p.m.

Critics and fans are celebrating his newest release, making this show a highly anticipated summer performance.

The show will be at the Elizabeth Theater at The Park Bar, located at 2040 Park Ave. in downtown Detroit.

“ManMade” is Zo!’s latest full-length album, released May 21, following his 2010 release “SunStorm.”

He shot a video for the song “Count to Five” featuring guests Gwen Bunn and Phonte, and the exposure has helped the album reach the Billboard New Artist and R&B sales charts for three weeks, marking the first time he’s been on the charts.

“The response has been great. I’m really, really happy with how things are starting to shape up,” says Zo! “I guess my thing now is I’m curious where the album and where the music is going to take me to. It’s going to be fun.”

“ManMade” is filled with the lush, soulful sounds that are a signature of the Motown experience. Tight bass and drum rhythms create a strong foundation for the keys and vocal melodies, a classic funk sound from an authentic Detroit musician, who now resides in Maryland.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Studio Campfire Stories: ‘ManMade’ Edition – “We Are On The Move” (feat. Eric Roberson, Gwen Bunn & Sy Smith)

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Those who know me and my preferred musical tastes are fully aware of how much love the music catalog of the great Leon Sylvers III. As a kid, there were two albums that I would run REPEATEDLY… Shalamar’s “Three For Love” and “Friends” where Mr. Sylvers was the producer on both. Matter of fact, I used to love anything on that Solar Records label ….Why? Because not only was there some great music being released through them, but I used to get a kick out of how dope the vinyl label looked as it was spinning around on the turntable. That alone would fascinate me for at least a song or two… Once I got older, picked up the bass guitar and revisited some of these songs that I grew up with I noticed that the basslines within Leon Sylvers’ production work were pretty challenging. The bass is so noticeable that instead of playing a supportive role, it’s damn near carrying the entire tune. When I found out that he was also the one playing these lines?!… I got SUPER inspired. So much so that his work was added to my “go to” list in regards to shedding on the bass (Jamerson’s work, some disco jams, and various mid and up-tempo 70’s/80’s songs are my other “go tos”). So one day I was messing around on the bass and kinda thought to myself, “I don’t even have an uptempo ‘jheri curl jam’ in my catalog… It would at least be FUN to try and construct one.”

“We Are On The Move” began on the bass… It was actually the only song on ManMade that I wrote on the bass guitar. I wanted the bassline to move, be playful….but remain funky – I wanted it to “carry” the record. A good number of uptempo records from the late 70’s/early 80’s have very memorable basslines and I wanted this one to be no different… PLUS, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to show off my bass playing a little bit. A lot of folks aren’t aware that I play anything outside of the keys. ……Soooooo with that being said, I wanted to make sure to add in a guitar part in there as well. What it ended up becoming was 30 seconds of me playing two instruments that most of my listeners don’t even know I play… bass and guitar. Once the keys roll up into the first chord, that’s a clear indication of jheri curl juice beginning to be flung freely from that “yellow bottle” saturated moistness of a hairdo a/k/a …the official start of the party.

The original instrumental for this joint was titled “Eighty Three” as in the year 1983 for obvious reasons. The music for the joint literally took me back to that particular era. I can remember playing this one for everybody in The Foreign Exchange live collective at my house the night before we hit the Capital Jazz Fest stage last year and from their reactions to the just the music, I could tell that I had something pretty special on my hands. Once the crew and I returned hom from that early/mid June 2012 +FE run, Phonte and I got to work. Phonte was sent the instrumental and immediately sent me a vocal referenced version back. We had ideas…. We had HUGE ideas. And they seemed to come through for this one piece by piece….

First of all, I think I let out a clear, “OH SHIT!!” when I heard Gwen Bunn hit that “Get ready!!” on the hook because I didn’t tell Phonte exactly where I pulled inspiration from to create the music, yet he wrote an almost Shalamar-inspired hook for it providing me with further evidence as to why we work so well in that studio. We had a couple of challenges in getting a lead vocalist, that is until we turned to the brotha Eric Roberson. Now as busy as Erro remains with EVERYTHING, he always seems to have time for our music and it’s a blessing to have a kat that talented in your corner – especially since I was a fan of his before we started working together. Now he has appeared on my last THREE albums (ManMade, …just visiting three & SunStorm). Phonte hit Erro up with the reference and he turned it around in less than a week… I mean, the dude is a PROFESSIONAL and I love working with him for that very reason. He simply gets the music, walks in a studio, murders it, sends it back to you, and keeps it moving like nothing ever happened…. But right before the final lead vocal was done on it, Phonte said, “Ive got an idea for the ending… just give me a minute.” …..Ok, bet. Now, I admit I can be a bit impatient sometimes. So I created an ending of my own…. One that has a few percussion instruments on it and once the song is completely over, it breaks off into a SECOND part… and that was cool. But one morning at about 6am, I got one of those, “G MUTHAFUCKIN MAIL” texts from Phonte and I already KNEW what the deal was. I opened the email and there was a new version of the song. I played it through and didn’t notice anything different…..UNTIL

*chiiiiiimes* into……. *conga playing*

“Wait…… Hol’lup. Who?……. What the f…… YOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

Phonte had gotten Brevan Hampden to add some live percussion playing at the end of the song and it took on a whole new LIFE. I think I played that shit about 25 times in a row that morning. From there, I added a synth line and rhodes key chops at the very end of it so that the joint would in the words of Phonte, “go out in a blaze of glory”. We wanted the listener to be PARTYING by the end of the song. And then to hear Sy Smith, Erro and Phonte go back and forth as if all three of them are on stage together clowning out…. maaaaan, that was a treat for me. And when Erro says, “Come on, come ON, Come OWN, COME OWWWN!!!!” …That’s when the stage is set for a full out “dance as if you could give a damn about ANYthing else in your life right now.” Brotha was tryna bring some MJ to the table on this joint… We hear you brotha Erro, we hear you.

Purchase ManMade HERE • Or on iTunes

‘ManMade’ in YRB Magazine

Source: YRB Magazine
Author: Ingrid Ellis

ManMade is an apt title for Zo!’s recently released album, which has already climbed to No.2 on the Itunes chart.

Nu-Soul Tuesday celebrated his new album, ManMade, with a listening party/meet & greet event on the day of its release. Hosted by Jodine Dorce, Zo! opened up to his long-time friend about the project, ForeignExchange and music.

While hanging out with fans at Frank’s Lounge in Brooklyn for his album release party, the laid back artist admitted that he played all of the instruments himself.

“In order to keep costs low,” he chuckled to host Jodine Dorce.

All modesty aside, however, Zo! (aka Lorenzo Ferguson) plays piano expertly and says that he taught himself bass, guitar and drums.  The sound of real instruments (and voices!) prevails on this album, yet is complexly woven with the synthesizer, creating an effect that takes us back to the days of 80’s funk and R&B.

Known to many from his work with the group, The Foreign Exchange, Zo!, a Detroit native, commented that he has great respect for legends such as producer and bassist Leon Sylvers III.  The influence on his work is evident.

It’s “grown-folks” music (you know you’re grown when you immediately recognize a Rick James riff), but speaks through the generations – simultaneously vintage and modern.  Post-generational.  Most tunes on the album are driven by a funky bass line, but textured through the melodies sung by talented guest artists.

Representative are the first and last tracks featuring the sweet voice of Sy Smith who starts the album off with a fast mover – The Train, but ends with the vibey “Body Rock.”  Anthony David’s baritone is featured on “Show Me The Way” and gets you to feelin’ all Barry White-ish (or maybe that’s just me…).

Fans of The Foreign Exchange will delight in hearing contributions from the varied likes of veterans like Choklate, new comers, 1-O.A.K and Gwen Bunn, Eric Robertson, Jeanne Jolly, Carlitta Durand, and, of course, FE’s Phonte.

Zo! Says that he is happier with this album than the others because it “represented what I wanted it to represent.”  He noted that he wanted to create a dance album and, indeed, he does.

The album is mostly upbeat, but at the same time varied in its use of tempo.  Fans who thought the producer/artist had reached a pinnacle with his last album, SunStorm, should be relieved that the beat goes on.  “After Sunstorm people was lookin’ at me like what you gon’ do now,” jokes Zo!, a hint of cockiness in his voice.

“I took that as a challenege.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Zo! – ‘ManMade’ (2013) FULL Album Credits

ManMade

Zo!
ManMade
PURCHASE ALBUM
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-Listed at #3 on CentricTV’s Best R&B Albums of 2013-
“…the album maintains an easy elegance and never derails.”
-AllMusic.com

01. The Train featuring Sy Smith
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Sy Smith for Sybersong Publishing (ASCAP)
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Grant “G-Nick” Nicholas
All Vocals by Sy Smith
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and Rumbo Studios, Winnetka, CA

02. Count To Five featuring Gwen Bunn
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Gwen Bunn
Background Vocals by Phonte and Gwen Bunn
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

03. New In Town (Happy) featuring 1-O.A.K. and Carlitta Durand
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP) and Carlitta Durand for Durand Music Group (ASCAP)
Lead and Background Vocals by 1-O.A.K. and Carlitta Durand
Additional Background Vocals by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

04. Making Time featuring Phonte and Choklate
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP) and Choklate for Chokolesta Music (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Phonte
Background Vocals by Choklate and Phonte
Trumpet by Al Strong IV
Trombone by Andrew Kleindienst
All Other Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

05. Tell Me Something New featuring Jeanne Jolly
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
All Vocals by Jeanne Jolly
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

06. ManMade featuring Phonte
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
All Vocals by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

07. We Are On The Move featuring Eric Roberson
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Eric Roberson
Background Vocals by Gwen Bunn, Phonte and Sy Smith
Congas, Timbales and Other Percussion by Brevan Hampden
All Other Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

08. Show Me The Way featuring Anthony David and Carmen Rodgers
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP) and Walter Baker for Songs For The Rebel (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Anthony David
Background Vocals by Carmen Rodgers
Additional Background Vocals by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

09. For Tina
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
All Vocals by Sy Smith
Flute by Claudia Hayden
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

10. Out In The World featuring Choklate
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Choklate for Chokolesta Music (ASCAP) and Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Choklate
Additional Background Vocals and Rap by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

11. Body Rock featuring Sy Smith
Produced by Zo! & Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music, LLC/The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Lead Vocals by Sy Smith
Background Vocals by Sy Smith and Phonte
Flute by Tim Smith
All Other Instruments by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

Mixed and Mastered by Chris Boerner at The Burlap Palace, Raleigh, NC

© 2013 The Foreign Exchange Music, LLC
P.O. Box 12208
Wilmington, NC 28405

Studio Campfire Stories: ‘ManMade’ Edition – “ManMade” (feat. Phonte)

Zo_Phonte 04.17.11

A.M. hours in the studio with Phonte in NC – 04.17.11

“Ayo man, I think I’ve got an idea for the title track… I’ll record it on my phone and send it to you” © Phonte

The title track began with a simple idea for what was to become the hook sent to me in voice memo form from Phonte in late June 2012. The .mp4 file was simply him singing, “ManMaaaaaaade…. MaaanMaaaaade…. MaaaanMaaaaaaaade” repeated twice. We had already started discussing plans to get up as soon as possible to sit down at the keyboard and compose the full song. From the 16 second voice memo, I was able to come up with a chord progression that worked with the vocals so that once we DID sit down to work, we would have a foundation to work from.

Two months later on August 29, 2012 while at Phonte’s spot in NC… Myself at the keyboard and he at his desk at 2am, we started constructing the title track for ManMade. We had done this same thing once before in my studio three years prior. ……The end result was, “If I Could Tell You No” from the SunStorm album (I still have that original demo). For “ManMade”, we started working from the hook because that was the part that was already worked out vocally and musically. From there we worked out the verse parts and a pre-hook, which found me experimenting with different chord changes + voicings and Phonte humming and mumbling through the melodies – keeping what worked and scrapping what didn’t. Once we finally had everything together, we ran through it a few times all the way through just to practice and then see how it sounded together as a piece.. Finally, our phones came out and ‘record’ was hit on the voice memo buttons in order to capture a very rough reference. Three minutes and 46 seconds later… “ManMade” was officially documented and I had what I needed in order to make the music once I hit the studio …and I couldn’t WAIT because I knew we were sitting on something DOPE.

When I took this one to the studio, I remember completing the entire composition in less than an hour… In a 3/4 time signature, I programmed the drums first and utilized a double hi-hat technique that I’ve heard used on songs like Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown”. First, I recorded myself playing an open hi-hat pattern and panned it to one side, then recorded myself playing a closed hi-hat pattern and panned to the other. This was how I heard the pattern even while in NC after recording the voice memo reference with Phonte. I can even remember explaining the pattern to him when he asked, “What you hearing for the drums?” Next came the keys, live bass and other layers to complete the production work. Musically, “ManMade” is probably the least complex song on the album and I’m glad I left it that way because once I sent it through to Phonte and he recorded his vocals on it… I was like, “YOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” Very powerful lyrics. I had never heard him write like that before… This was the joint that showed me that Phonte was continuing to grow as a songwriter and vocalist. When you’ve worked with a kat for several years and you’re still able to see creative growth?! …That’s a helluva thing, man.

“If God is love and I’m truly forgiven, how do I know?
If I was really made in His image then, where does it show?
‘Cause you are everything that’s good and perfect and I fall short
‘Cause all we do is merely….
ManMade”

Come on, now… These are things we have all wondered or have asked at one time or another. So I felt this, not only as a collaborator and a fellow artist, but as a human being – and I’m not even big on picking up on lyrics like that at all. Relatable topics over music that you can nod your head or just zone out to. This joint was a special one because it became such a personal piece thus becoming exactly what I wanted to bring forth to the listener as a title track, which is always important when producing your album. The reason why there won’t be another “Zo! & Tigallo Love…” cover album? …Because we have a lot more of this kind of original material to bring to the table…

Purchase ManMade HERE • Or on iTunes

Studio Campfire Stories: ‘ManMade’ Edition – “Tell Me Something New” (feat. Jeanne Jolly)

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In December 2012, I was sitting fairly comfortably with the album….. But the perfectionist in me still felt a bit uneasy. To me, the album as whole was cool… but I needed at LEAST two more joints to make it RIGHT. Not too long after making this declaration to Phonte in a phone conversation one day, I had a drum pattern enter my head seemingly out of nowhere… and the time signature was in 7/4. Hmm, interesting… But I was proud to realize that the patterns and compositions that were starting to pop up in my head weren’t always tied to a 4/4 count (see: “Count To Five“). Creative expansion and growth in that studio is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Another great feeling is recording a drum pattern and having it sound EXACTLY the way it did when you ran it a million times over in your head – accents, fills and ALL. I can remember playing just the recorded drums over and over for about a half hour before I even put my hands on the keyboard to figure in a chord progression. The open hi-hat that I played in the pattern gave it a “smoky” feel to me and the colors I saw for the music were various shades of blue… So, I had the setting and atmosphere already, all that was left was to sit down at the keyboard and play with a progression that matched not only what I was feeling, but also visualizing. I can remember messing around on the keys for about five or ten minutes and coming up with this progression where the bassline seemed to ‘walk up’ the board to accompany the chords being played (this part ended up becoming the intro and hook). Once I demoed it and got an idea of what direction it was going in, that’s when I began re-recording all of the parts separately. The keys were recorded first followed by the bassline. I EQ’d the bass guitar and adjusted the tone on the preamp so that if you listen closely on a few parts in the song, you can actually hear my fingertips on the bass strings… That’s EXACTLY how I wanted it to come through. Maintain the beauty of the music itself, but still keep some of it raw as hell. Hearing fingertips plucking bass strings is always reminiscent of funk players like Bootsy and Larry Graham playing… To hear that on a ‘pretty’ record was just the contrast and texture that I wanted for the song.

Once I added the changes, completed the instrumental, and titled it “Seven Eight Enough”… I hit Phonte with a typical, “Check that gmail” …or a more exaggerated “G muhfuckin MAIL” text, because I KNEW we had something crazy on our hands. He called me back within about 20 minutes and when I picked up, he quoted the great Negro Poet and Philosopher…………………….. Gucci Mane

Phonte: “mmYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” 

Me: “IssssssGuuuuuuuucci!!!!!!”

*Heavy Laughter*

Me: “Looks like I just need ONE more joint now!”

And guess who happened to be in the studio with Phonte when I sent the instrumental over to him? …None other than the one and only, Jeanne “If you don’t want the executive producer….. ALL IN THE VIDEOS… DANCIN’… COME TO DEATH ROW” Jolly!!! The two of them were already recording for something unrelated to the album. Before this joint was sent, we were talking about putting Jeanne on the instrumental for what ended up becoming “New In Town (Happy)” (the instrumental was actually titled “Lifaudit”) BUT!!!!….. Since Jeanne was already there, a song was written for her to the brand new music. I mean, why not? …The excitement was completely there and dammit, so was the vocalist. And to be honest, this was one of the greatest examples of “right place in the right time” I have ever witnessed because Jeanne got in that studio and CLOWNED on this track. Phonte sent that joint back to me a couple days later with her vocals and what bugged me out the most was how the tone of her voice MATCHED those same colors I saw a couple days earlier when I ran the drums over and over again. It was like I made the song specifically for her without knowing it in advance. To this day we refer to this joint as her “one hitta quitta” track… She simply came in, took no prisoners for about three and a half minutes …then rolled the hell out. The dope part about it was that she really loved the results. The next time I saw her was at soundcheck for our New Year’s show in Durham with The Foreign Exchange and she was raving about the song, “I looooove the new song! Phonte really wrote some beautiful stuff for it!!” Truth. I am happy with the fact that the song allowed her to show off that vocal ability…

“…This…. is…. my… heeeeeaaaaaarrrr-eraaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrt!!!” *fades out*

I’ve heard this song literally over 300 times and that part STILL gives me goosebumps… Very well done, Jeanne.

Purchase ManMade HERE • Or on iTunes