Anyone who knows me knows I love reality tv. I am SO not ashamed to admit that. Just like I wasn’t ashamed to admit I LOVED the internet in 1991 when everyone around me thought it was dorky and useless. I like reality. I’ve dedicated my life to trying to live the best one I can.
I love reality shows about creative process like Project Runway and Top Chef. But bottom feeders like “I Love New York” seriously steal my heart. I loved loved LOVED that show and its star. And I loved loved LOVED two contestants on it even more, Chance and Real, the two brothers who came in 2nd and 3rd on Season 1.
Soft spoken Real and firecracker Chance were fascinating because even as as they were vying for the heart of a lunatic the love and respect between them was always apparent. And they were hysterical. But trust me, any time one of them brought up their band, Stallionaires, there wasn’t a brain cell in my head that thought it would be anything more than ok.
I live for combining hi and lo culture. I have no interest in the middle, the safe zone where mediocre talent whose of-the-moment work clogs pop culture like sludge from the Exxon Valdese. I love to take the very top levels of art, music, technology and design where style and innovation live and jam them together with what’s happening at the bottom, where passion, guts and a bizarre take on art rule. Many people think reality tv falls into the lo category. Maybe that’s why I love it. And maybe that’s why I jumped at the chance to meet Chance and Real when my friend, Steve Lindsay, who I met in 1985 when he asked me to co-write the Dance Fever theme, told me he was managing them.
I would have written with Stallionaires if they were the worst band in the world just to meet them. But guess what, they’re FANTASTIC! As is brother #3, Love, who joins them on their spin-off ‘Real Chance At Love’ that debuts on VH-1 in November.
I haven’t been this happy with collaborators in a long time. Not only are they just as rough and tumble, spontaneous and untrained – i.e. fearless – as I am, they are incredibly musical, hooky and full of spirit to boot. And interested in news ways of doing everything – from the music itself to the mediums it will live on. And they’re very, very fast. No nudging notes around on a grid until everything snaps into place as stiff as a corpse. It’s not about precision; it’s all feel all the time, just the way I like it. And we’re all indie, which means no pansy ass decisions by producers or entertainment conglomerates to dictate our fate. We live or die by our own sword.
And then there’s this. When Love, Chance and Real were 11, 12 and 13 they were discovered by Paulino DeCosta, the percussion maestro of Earth Wind & Fire, the band that discovered me when I wasn’t much older than Stallionaires are now. My obsession with percussion came from watching Paulino. They’re equally obsessed with percussion because of him.
I wish I could leak the record we just finished, “Does She Love Me?”, but it’s the first single and theme song to their VH-1 series so I have to play by the rules and wait til the show airs. It’s an eternally happy song like “September”, my first Earth Wind & Fire hit. You’re in a good mood from the downbeat and you can feel the writers’ joy in every beat.
I know some people won’t understand how I went from The Color Purple to this reality universe. But for Bubbles & Stallionaires it’s all about people being all they can be and experiencing genuine joy as they do it. It’s the same basic story.
I’m not the type who stays on a ship that sails the same course every time it sets out to sea. I get bored, I fall asleep and I’m outta there. Thank you, Stallionaires, for slipping me a big, fat happy pill because I’m way onboard.
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Categories: Afro, Bubbles the artist, Creative process, Creativity, Discography, Music, Reality tv, Self expression, Technology
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