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What recent projects have you worked on or working on?
Well in the past 10 or so years I have participated on over 25 records which includes 6 soundtracks most notable the Oscar Award Winning film of 2005 Crash at the time I was a Lead Vocalist/Rapper for the group KansasCali. At that particular time a song was also nominated from the movie but it wasn’t ours but we had the single off of the Inspired By CRASH album and our music video for the song “If I…” made it into the “Special Features” section of the DVD. Before anybody knew the movie was going to win, my group had already won! We weren’t suppose to be the single, but we were and the DVD had already dropped with our music video on it so when it was announced as the Oscar winner, it went on to sell close to 10 million units, if not more.
My other notable soundtracks includes Mr. & Mrs. Smith (International Soundtrack), Haven (by Orlando Bloom), ESPN’s Once In A Lifetime, Kicking It Old Skool and the 911 First Responders Docu movie.
You have produced as well for TV.
Yes, I have created theme song for Emmitt Zone by Hall of Fame Running Back Emmitt Smith. Theme song for Lil JJ – Almost Grown comedy show, theme song for TV One’s George Wilborn’s Comedy Special I Don’t Want To Be No Star & Lav Luv’s TV One special, I Think I’m Gonna Get In Trouble Tonight.
In the past couple years alone I have been featured on over 30 Mixtapes by DJ Hustle of HustleTV, AllHipHop.Com and WeTheWest.
You are extremely prolific!
Well, if you count the mixtapes then you could say I have done well over 60 or 70 records in the last 10 years but hey over 25 is still not a bad number considering people are just getting to know me!
Explain the difference on working on music soundtracks then working with artists for featured albums.
Soundtracks are meant to describe and or set a mood and tone to the motion pictures theme that engages the consumer in a way that they connect with a particular scene or overall premise of the movie. So all the musical thoughts that go into that are really specific, as was done with Crash. At the time, the movie was already done; we watched it and then came up with the song. However today, very rare and few get to watch a movie and create a song, 9 times out of 10 the Music Directors select the songs from the artist albums, unless the Executive Producers want to pay an artist to go in the studio and record a song that’s exclusive to the movie.
Now with working with artist for featured album it’s almost the same process except it’s not a movie, it their album or yours and your songs are orchestrated around the theme and premise of the album. Actually I guess you could say it’s the same now that I think about it. It’s just that you don’t have a music director selecting your songs it’s just you.
I heard you are also into poetry.
Yes, I have a poetry book hitting the marketplace called 50 SHADES of L.O.V.E. – (Learning Our Various Emotions) 50 pieces of thought provoking poetry formulated to stir conversation. Everyday we go through various challenges, whether it’s the highs or the lows, where the mood swings and the emotion change depending on the moments. Love is governance, is a genetic part of who we are, in acknowledging that and committing to understanding that, a person is committed to L.O.V.E.
Musically, what’s next for Emcee N.I.C.E?
My album “However U Want It” just dropped and a along with Kelly Keys I feature other notable producers such as Ralph “Phantom” Stacy, DJ Fat Jack, Shawn J and Young Kros. Legendary singers & writers such as Emanuel Officer & Dennis Bettis, features included Suhana Machete, Natasha Marie, Dennis Lorenzo, D.B.I., Jus Blake Smith, Maisha “Mrald” Johnson, Manny B, Jakkai Butler and also 9 time Grammy winner Bassist Kevin “Brandino” Brandon and Trumpet Player Jon Barnes. The record has a real classic feel to it Recorded & Mixed by Super Engineer Dan “Deezy” Naim, Mastered by Eric Labson of Universal & Executive Produc
http://ermag.co/2015/07/emcee-n-i-c-e/ Emcee N.I.C.E. Tiffany Soroyia Emcee N.I.C.E., talented producer, writer and recording artist, has worked with legendary artists such as 2Pac, Nas, Aaron Hall, K-Ci Hailey, Melissa Molinaro just to name a few, opens up to ERM about his music, busy life and dreams.
Being one of he top producers in the music industry, what influenced you to get into music?
Listening to all of the musical stories that the different melodies by various artists would tell, the different emotions delivered and the moods that the rhythms would evoke, that allowed that particular song to resonate with your spirit, soul & life. So for me, having the ability to create songs that would describe what I see, hear, and feel is what drove me. Imagine the first time you heard Biggie, Jay Z and or Pac better yet Sade and or Brian McKnight. They all created records that set the moods and tones to peoples lives and for me, that’s what I wanted to do, and that was the influence.
Explain your experience on working the legendary Tupac and Nas.
Working with 2 Pac is an experience, you can’t really put into words. For me when that moment came, 2 Pac had already died but that album Better Dayz was the first album after his passing. Either way, when the album was being constructed, the label had stashed everyone involved with the initial recordings up in Modesto, California where everyday the 2 Pac hard drives were brought in everyday under armed guard and when the sessions were finished for the day they would take them out. I, myself thought that was the weirdest thing, although 2 Pac wasn’t alive at the time, they sure made you feel like it!
How did you get into this project?
I wasn’t originally suppose to produce on the album, at the time I was in a group called KansasCali and my former partner who was a phenomenal producer was asked to do like 10 or 12 songs, he was being tabbed that “next” guy. I had produced a song that featured the Outlawz that made it to the second wave of selections for the album but ultimately didn’t make the album. The song that did Thugz Mansion feat. NAS (Acoustic Version) turned out to be the single for the album.
The way the song came about, was the original production by my former partner needed a guitar on it and the label flew out a world renowned guitarist by the name of Fish to play along with the existing melody. As we sat right outside of the studio listening to the recording, I instructed the engineer Claudio Cueni to mute everything but Pac’s vocals and the guitar. At the time, one of the Executive Producer‘s Molly Monjauze was there, and I conveyed to her how that record would hit the heart of a lot of non Pac listeners as well as his core, because of the passion that 2 Pac exuded in the song and the way his vocals cut through would resonate with a lot of people. At the time Molly was excited talking about maybe doing a whole Acoustic Tupac album because in that moment, she seen it and felt it. So that’s how Thugz Mansion came to be, they added NAS and J. Phoenix and it became prolific. Almost didn’t get credited for it, but that’s a topic of another conversation.
The newest single “Tonight”; explain the concept behind the song and the production process.
My song and single Tonight was actually produced by Kelly Keys who created a cinematic musical backdrop and when I heard it, I immediately started seeing images in my head that I could use to lyrically paint the picture of what I was hearing. That vision became the plight of the modern day consumer, you know, “to live like a star for a night and not worry about a thing in that moment”. While the modern day stars live it everyday, the average person just wants to experience it for a night if they could! Big shout out to Director Slick Two Three for giving me an excellent video for it as well as Lil Bankhead of Streetz945 FM.
What recent projects have you worked on or working on?
Well in the past 10 or so years I have partic
APR 7 2015 | 9:00 AM USPS Honors Maya Angelou with Stamp says Oprah Winfrey & Jon Barnes Who: Jon Barnes Orchestrations | What: Maya Angelou Stamp Event Where: Warner Theater in DC. | WHEN: April 7th, 2015 , 9:00AM OPRAH WINFREY & QUINCY JONES AND MANY OTHERS ARE DELIGHTED TO SEE MAYA ANGELOU HONORED WITH USPS Maya Angelou and here body of work is a major voice in American Culture that speaks of love, hope, charity, music, art, and education to a global community for more than half a century. She inspired the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and generations of writers, educators, businesses, government leaders, churches, poets, students and ordinary people from around the world. Her words helped to invent a better future, says Jon Barnes - Virginia Tech Alumni. Her poetry has taught us to share, care, and fight personal greed to develop better working, social, educational, and religious environments helping others get along . Maya Angelou's personal struggles and accomplishments teaches us how to have a spoken, yet poetic voice in our own communities, making changes as needed and inspiring ourselves. Maya Angelou didn't need people to tell her to rise up and go to work. Her pencil drove her thoughts to create master pieces sprinkled with love, says Alex Bailey - Berkeley School of Music Alumni. Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey loved working with Maya Angelou on many projects, since she was such a shining light of hope to all who knew her. We are delighted that Dr. Maya Angelou, the author & poet, is being honored in this manner, says Quincy Jones. Please join us in honoring Maya Angelou in her new USPS! - Kirston Bailey www.JonBarnesOfficial.com www.BarnesAndNotes.com Jon Barnes Music itunes
Enjoy your da Man!
New Music with New Electric Cars! http://www.amazon.com/Mims-Motors-Jon-Barnes/dp/B00U0VDW6S
This weekend, I get a chance to rest, relax, and reflect on how good God is! Enjoy Peeps!
I'm having a blast teaching with Music in Education in California and many schools are putting more money into their music and arts programs. Keep up the Good Work! nes Take a peek at the August issue of CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine proud 2 feat: Music ICON Sheila E. Check-out Jon Barnes article he has much to share about Music Education. http://issuu.com/ms.bridgette/docs/ctjm_summer2014_preview (Share our link) To purchase your physical copy SHOP our website http://www.coffeetalkjazzradio.com/......
This was a great event more pictures to follow! Take a peek at the August issue of CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine proud 2 feat: Music ICON Sheila E. Check-out Jon Barnes article he has much to share about Music Education. http://issuu.com/ms.bridgette/docs/ctjm_summer2014_preview (Share our link) To purchase your physical copy SHOP our website http://www.coffeetalkjazzradio.com/#!__coffeetalk-jazz-radio/sweet-shoppe You’re welcome to share our link with your friends.
We had fun touring, swinging and selling my new CD last night. Check out the new Magazine with Sheila E. http://www.coffeetalkjazzradio.com/ Right On, Jon Barnes
"Something BIG is Brewing" The New Magazine is soon to be released. Ms. Bridgette Lewis and CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio and TV have become a Global Leader and community for all things jazz. Committed to the promotion and preservation of all forms of jazz and its rich cultural heritage, CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio has consistently served up engaging, inspiring and informative programming. However, all great things must evolve. Expanding on this mission Ms. Bridgette Lewis, Executive Producer of CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio and Managing Editor of CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine along with Cicily Janus, Editor-in-Chief and all of the CoffeeTalk Jazz Network are proud to introduce the premiere issue of CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine. Offered both in print (12.95 USD/print)and online at http://issuu.com/ms.bridgette/docs/ctjm_winter2013 CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine is not only about the music. Published as a quarterly magazine, it encompasses all aspects of the industry from the process of studio mastering and production to tales from touring musicians and a look at the inside of the best clubs such as the Jazz Bakery etc. CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine also features artist spotlights that provide an exclusive glimpse into the careers and lives of today’s best contemporary jazz artists. The first issue features stories from and on Paul Jackson Jr., Al Caldwell, Erin Dickins, the late George Duke, and jazz legend Ruth Price in addition to many more. CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine is now accepting submissions from musicians, music industry professionals and those who work closely within various facets of the industry for future issues. Please send a pitch letter in addition to a short bio and resume to Ms. Bridgette Lewis at email@example.com if interested in becoming a contributing writer. Advertising rates start at 250.00. Ads can be full page, half page and quarter page and historically have come from a wide variety of areas within the music industry from instrumental craftsman to recording companies and more. For advertising information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine is a national and international multi-cultural digital platform that celebrates all aspects of the contemporary jazz scene. Please direct any press inquiries and questions to Mya Allen at email@example.com You can also follow CoffeeTalk Jazz on social media: https://twitter.com/CoffeeTalkJazz https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeTalkJazz https://www.facebook.com/bridgette.lewis CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine 4508 Atlantic Ave. Ste. 790 Long Beach, California 90807 Ph:562.355.0311 Ms.Bridgette Lewis and Mya Allen CoffeeTalk Jazz Network 1-562-355-0311 email us here