Funky! Cool. Prez!

Prez sez "My music is about honesty so I have to play what I'm feeling at the moment"

Prez is a multi instrumentalist singer/songwriter who embraces a wide variety of influences. From the Earth, Wind & Fire inspired "I Wanna Be With You" to the Sly Stone vibe of "Sing My Song" or the psychedelic sound of Just 4 You that has a hint of Prince to it, Prez packs a lot of history into his music. He explains" As musicians, we are really just a product of the music that we listen to and grew up on. I happen to love the older stuff. Music that some of the older cats turned me onto." There was so much feeling and soul in those tunes that I would spend my career just trying to write and produce music that made me feel the same way." Prez goes on to say,"There are two things that I would like my music to do to people. I want to make them smile and give them something positive to think about." To do this he had to do things his own way. "I wasn't really interested in singing about what everyone else was singing about. I was writing about "Bluebirds and Butterflies" and how "Everybody wants to Be Free" instead of going out to the club and hooking up with someone."

Prez's quest to measure up to those that came before him (Sly, Stevie, EW&F, Prince, The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz) has taken him on a fantastic journey through the music industry. "My first recording session was for reggae artists that would come up to NY and record in a studio that my bass player owned. Then I would get calls to do some Freestyle music for artists that were coming out of the Bronx. Next I started getting calls  for hip hop sessions. I was still in high school and attending the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music to study jazz and classical music. I had decided that I wanted to work with famous people so I started networking and auditioning as much as I could and playing as many gigs as possible."

Little by little things started to pay off. Soon Prez found himself attending open call for musicians to go out on tour with well known recording artists. "To me, it just felt as if it were just a matter of time before someone said yes and I got the gig." Finally someone did say yes and Prez's career as a side musician began. "It was cool travelling all over the place and meeting new people, but the biggest blast was getting up on that stage in front of all of those people to play some music!"

Prez was also getting a lot of calls for recording sessions. One time the legendary "Ben E. King had called him up for some work. "At first I didn't believe that it was him (I thought that someone was trying to prank me) but then I recognized his voice! It really was him. He needed an engineer and had liked a demo tape that I had made. He liked the production and when I told him that it was me, he asked me to do some writing and arranging for him which also lead to me going down to Atlanta and co-producing his next album."

At the same time that Prez was working on this material, he also found himself doing marathon sessions with Tupac Shakur. "That was crazy. I had to work very fast because he worked fast. He would write his verses while we worked on the music. When he finished his parts we would have to stop and let him lay down his vocals. Sometimes we would never get back to the music and little mistakes were left in. I had to get in the groove of laying stuff down correctly in one or 2 takes just to ensure that I liked what ended up on the recording!" Prez goes on to add, "I was the in house musician/singer so I would set up a keyboard, a guitar, and a bass and be ready for whatever they needed done. It was a great learning experience for me."

During this period Prez was also working with a young singer named Maxwell. "This guy was incredibly talented! His sense of harmony and rhythm was amazing and his showmanship was incredible as well!" Never one to relax Prez was also still on and off the road as well, working with such notable artists as Cheryl "Pepsii" Riley, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and Jeff Redd as well as performing with the 98.7 KISS Wakeup Club Band." Prez reveals, "This was when I started seriously working on my own songs. I had built my own home studio and I had a steady stream of clients and I realized that I had a lot of music inside of me that I wanted to share with the world." I would work on my music in between my other commitments, I was playing in a wedding band at the time as well as a fantastic funk group called Cafe Au Lait and then later Manchild. My plate was full."

This was when Prez started working on his own brand of groovy, funky and infectious tunes. One of his most popular songs "In the City" was written during this period. Also written during this time was the crowd favorite "Just 4 You." I wrote that song in 15 minutes. It was like a stream of consciousness. Because it happened so quickly, I never considered it one of my best songs but a lot of people seem to like that song. You never know."

After releasing his debut CD "Welcome To My World" Prez was given an opportunity of  a lifetime by being called onboard to do some arranging for yet another living legend, Aretha Franklin. " I had done some arranging and production for Barry Eastmond years earlier and one of the songs that I put together came to the attention of Aretha Franklin. She wanted it for her next CD "So Damn Happy." The song was called "There Ain't No Way" and the album ended up being nominated for a Grammy!

Since then Prez has also been working in the contemporary christian music field. He released a CD called "My Father's house" and travels around to different churches sharing his music and his life experiences with different congregations. "People sometimes feel that you can't do secular music and christian music at the same time, that it's a contradiction. Well, it's not for me because I never sang about anything that was crazy so I didn't have to change who I was from one gig  to another."

Today Prez is working on a second mainstream release entitled "Sing My Song". It is a culmination of all of his musical influences. There's a lot of guitars and a lot of keyboards and electronic stuff but it still has a live vibe to it, it still has "soul."

Prez say,"I have so much music to put out that I can't really keep up. I started my record label "Perfectly Cool Records" so that I could put out my music the way that I wanted it to be and I have my publishing companies as well. I hope that you enjoy my tunes, my vibe and that my music might somehow touch your life and inspire you to follow your dreams as well."

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Prez Tunes

My Father's House