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Stevie Wonder

The Year of Living Stevie: Nadir Omowale and his Band Discuss and Perform The Music of Stevie Wonder

The Year of Living Stevie” is host Daryl Bean’s biweekly podcast about life, creativity, and the music of Stevie Wonder. In each episode, musicians explore Stevie’s influence, and the affect his music has had on them.

In this episode, musician/vocalist/songwriter/producer Nadir Omowale and his band (Steve Caldwell, guitar; Phil Whitfield, keyboards; Chris Spooner, bass; Lauren Johnson, drums) talk about political activism through music, their deep well of experience in the industry, and what made Nadir want to throw his bass at a drummer (not Lauren). Plus they perform two deep Stevie tracks, “That Girl”, from Original Musiquarium, and “Let’s Get Serious” (a hit for Jermaine Jackson, but written and produced by Stevie).

Click HERE to Listen.

Icon Global NAMM 2016 Recap

I had a fantastic time at the NAMM Show this year working with my new client, Hong Kong based music technology manufacturer Icon Global. Yes, the weather in Cali was much nicer than the chilly grey of Detroit. But I also got to hang with a bunch of old friends, and make a few new ones, all while surrounded by thousands of professionals who are passionate about music.

It was an exciting week for my client as well, highlighted by a visit from one of Michigan’s favorite sons… Check out my report HERE.

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Are Albums Still Relevant?

I’m currently in the studio working on songs for two new albums. I’m writing and recording my own record with my band and several collaborators, while I’m also executive producing a debut album by Nashville-based emcee, poet, singer Iayaalis.

It seems natural to me to work on an album at a time, but when I see publications like Fast Company ask “Should Albums Cost $1.50?” I have to pause.

We live in a sound byte driven, instant gratification seeking society where grabbing a listener’s attention for 3 minutes can be difficult. So asking audiences for an hour to listen to recorded music almost seems like an imposition. In a world of iPods and YouTube, are albums still relevant?

When we look at sales charts like the one Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy Records presented at the New Music Seminar, we have to ask that question again.

Continue reading

Blame the Corporate Media

Less than one week after Don Imus was fired, only days after Oprah’s round table with hip hop, and days after a gunman killed 33 people in Virginia, nothing has changed in the world.

I was listening to commercial radio in Detroit for the first time in months. I’m giving a songwriting workshop at a high school next week, and I wanted to hear what the kids are listening to so I don’t seem “out of touch”.

I heard the word “ho” bleeped or edited out more than I heard any real lyrics or original ideas. Let’s not even talk about how bad the songs are as “songs”. Let’s just talk about the language and the subject matter. It’s ridiculous.

But alas, I know that this is the state of the music industry. As an independent artist, I can’t get a song on commercial radio without literally paying THOUSANDS of dollars, but these knuckleheads with NO real lyrical content and NO real musical content get played over and over in Clear Channel’s 14 song playlist.

Do I sound bitter? Continue reading

© Nadir Omowale