Art is a gift to be received and shared and comes in many many forms. Paint, Cook, Travel, Poetry... you name it, if you're sharing creative energy, that's an Art. ~Steph

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mr Instrrumentalist - A Musical Force of Nature!

Nick Jones also known as Mr Instrumentalist shares love of Music and Relaxation with us. If you weren't relaxed before you listen to his music you certainly will be after! His videos share beautiful live images and sounds of nature mixed with his jazzy instrumentals. Unique and Artistic, Introducing Mr. Instrumentalist!

MrInstrumentalist. Where did that name come from?

The name comes from my love of instrumental music. Even when I listen to songs with singing in them I'm paying more attention to the instrumentation in the background.  I write arrange, mix and play all the parts in my songs. The beauty of music is such a wonderful thing. I love the blending of different instruments, all contributing their part to create something that triggers your emotions. Whether it makes you smile, laugh, cry, upsets you or any other emotion.  I just want to put a smile on your face and/or get you up dancing. If you can't get out of bed you can dance in your mind. I do that all the time. 'scuse me while I dance in my chair.

What instruments do you play? Do you sing?

I started off playing the guitar, bass drums and harmonica. I became interested in keyboards very early and now keyboards has become my love. My singing is servicable . I'm no professional vocalist but I think I manage well enough for the songs that I write.  Don't book me to sing the National Anthem at the next Super Bowl though. I'll gladly play you an Instrumental version of it though.

Where did you grew up? And what was the musical climate like there?

I was raised in northeaset Houston, Texas. There was a lot of blues and country coming out of Texas. but I have to say though that there is music in everything to me so I got musical inspiration out of life and it's experiences more so than just listening to music. 

So, what was your childhood like?

I grew up in a very modest home. We were far from rich: closer to poverty than prosperity but my mother always made sure we were comfortable.  Sometimes we would have rice for dinner. My wonderful mother put so much love into it and she would say we're having "hot buttered rice".  I'ts such a beautiful thing to be raised by such an outsdanding special lady like my mother. Ms Willette Stephens is her name and I am who I am today because of her. I was into my music making so much as a youth. I had great friends and we played football outside almost everyday, much like the kids play basketball now. I remember running through all of our neighbors yards, touch in the street and tackle in the grass and I know you fellas know what blind man sidelines meant. Ouch!  I was shy unless I was performing. I enjoyed rapping and mixing and scratching as well as playing keyboards. Life was simple and good then. 

Are there musical influences in your family?

Threre was always music going on in my home. My mother would sing gospel songs, mostly mahalia Jackson. On the other end of the spectrum there would be Texas blues coming out of an. I used to try to get my brother involved in the music. I used to get into rap battles in high school. My aunt was an accomplished gospel pianist.  My first musical experience was making beats on an old desk while my cousin sang. I wish I still had the tapes we made of that.

Who were some of your influences growing up?

Roger Troutman, Lightning Hopkins, Phil collins,  Kurtis Blow and Gary Newman were my earliest influences. I like the innovators like Jimi Hendrix, Buddy rich, Charlie Cristian, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Barry White, Louis Armstrong Stanley Clarke, JS Bach, Afrika Bambata and Kurtis Blow. My favorite artists are the ones that came out doing something you had never heard before as opposed to the ones that when you hear them you say "oh he/she sounds like..." Ym exception would be Roger Troutman. now I knw there were talkboxes before him but noone did it like Roger. Roger is my all time favorite performer and artist.

Was it always your dream to be an entertainer?

Maybe not a big time star but I always recieved satisfaction from putting a smile on someone's face. I know that I was born to make music and even though I am my biggest critic my music is still my favorite music. now that may sound a it concieted but if I don't love my music I cannot expect others to feel what I am doing. I'm not the most technically gifted musician but every note that I play  comes from deep within my soul.  I am talking to you when I play music for you and fortunately there are some that like what I am saying. I am eternally grateful for all of you that support my music and I love you all.

When you realized that you were headed in the direction you wanted to be in what was that like?

I cannot see myself not making music. Music is in my blood and in my heart. It is my dream to be able to make as much music as possible all the time. I do believe there are enough good people that have the same taste in music that I have that will support the music that I play. I am trying to find them all. Of course not everyone will like my music and I respect that. I just have to keep playing and keep hustling until I find all of those that hear what I am saying through my music.

What inspires you to Sing?  

There is music in everything. every color has a sound happiness has a sound. the sky has a sound. I can see a dog walking down the street and music comes to me. Sometimes I am asleep and I dream Im playing a song and then I get up and write that song. I am inspired by the beauty, despair, sadness, humor and the colors of life.

What would you call your style of music? And why did you choose that Genre?

I just like to make music. I reluctantly use the term smooth jazz just because  you have to fit in somewhere. I like to think my music is "funky smooth relaxation" but there are no categories with such a name. Oh well. My classical music is more of a cinematic style. What I really like to do is blend elements and colors and come up with something different.  I am also a rock musician so you will hear some of that from me as well. In fact if you hear a style of music that you haven't heard from me before, don't think I'm selling out or anything. I'm just experimenting and enjoying all colors of the musical spectrum.

I read that you are a Studio Engineer. For those of us that don’t know, what is that?

A studio engineer is the guy that records your performance and assists the artist/producer in making sure your "tracks" gel together sonically into the  sound that the artist has in their head. That's oversimplifying greatly. You have to have an ear and you have to know what and what not to do. An engineer is your link  between you and all the equipment in the recording studio. He/she understands what all those knobs on the equipment in the studio. When you say to the engineer you can tell the engineer in laymans terms how you want something to sound and the engineer knows what buttons to push in order to make that happen. Most people see videos where artists are in the studio singing into a mic and then BAM, we have a finished song. Actually if you don't love what you are doing studio work can be strenuous. You might hear that song or parts of it over and over again, recording the same take over and over. I love it all though.

I am a total Nature Lover and love the fact that you put many of your songs to images of beautiful natural spots. What inspired you to do that?

Because there is so much music  in the water, the sky, the trees that those images just have to be accompanied by some soothing, funky relaxing music. The trees live for it.  As you know plants respond positively so soothing sound. This is why people talk nicely to plants and they grow. Muaic is such a wonderful thing.  

Do you play live any where? If so, where?
I am not playing live at the moment but I will play live where people want to hear me. 

What’s in the works for you?

I am currently working on a funky smooth relaxation album (can I still say album?) that will be available at my website. "Lake Travis" and "Galveston Beach"  are the first two singles so this is the direction I am going in with this project. My first album " So Much to Say" is already available on my website and features "Whats Next?"  and Midnight Livin. Both of these albums will be available on Itunes, Amazon Rhapsody and all major online retailers in the future. I am currently looking for radio on air and online that will play my music.  I am an unsigned artist so all of my support comes from the people.

Where can the readers hear more of your music and find out more about you?

All of you good people can head over to my website
I sincerely look foward to hearing from you. You will see that I enjoy the friendships that come from meeting good people through music and I love to hear what prople actually have to say.

Always remember that the music dies without your support. I love all of you and I want you to stay positive because that's what I'm all about.

Mr Instrumentalist...Thank you so much for such a wonderful interview. Folks head on over to YouTube and listen to some of his other fabulous music. You'll love it! Have a great day!

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Stephanie Jordan, Diviacity

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