Posts Tagged ‘Def Jam Records’

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Date of Interview: 06/03/2010

In the world of hip-hop, one group stands supreme: Run DMC. Although Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell stood upon the shoulders of several rap giants, their countless contributions to the genre are unparalleled in scale and scope.

Run DMC was the first rap act to earn RIAA gold, platinum, and multi-platinum    albums; the first rap act to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine; and the first rap act to receive a GRAMMY Award nomination. Run DMC also received heavy rotation on MTV – starting with their first rap rock video, “Rock Box,” to the unforgettable crossover smash “Rock This Way.”

More recently, outside of the music arena, Darryl McDaniels has ramped up his role as a social and political activist – tackling issues within foster care and the adoption arenas in particular. Even so, in spite of his jam-packed calendar, DMC managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the 25th Anniversary of Krush Groove, the influence of Ken Webb, and Run DMC’s prophetic induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Willy Northpole

Date of Interview: 06/04/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

Willy Northpole’s presence on the mainstream rap scene is a testament not only to his talents, but also the groundbreaking arrival of Southwestern hip hop.  In fact, the way in which Willy made his mark from Phoenix, Arizona, as a musical “connect,” may be a sign of things to come – especially in the digital music landscape.

As the newest member of Disturbing Tha Peace, Willy Northpole has obtained the support of Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, who was largely responsible for putting the South on the national hip hop map.  So with proper label support, a noteworthy debut from Willy may – for once and for all – put a permanent spotlight on the Southwest’s hidden talents.

Upon the release of Tha Connect, Willy Northpole managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on “Body Marked Up,” the death of his cousin Salt, and the current state of hip hop.

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Chrisette Michele

Date of Interview: 05/18/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

For years, the national media has asserted that the music of Chrisette Michele respectfully invokes the spirit of Billie Holiday.  And like Billie, her distinct vocals have made her musical performances distinguishable from her industry peers.

Although Chrisette Michele’s talents were undeniable, her debut album stalled at #29 on the Billboard 200 chart, with 26,000 copies sold during the opening week.  The strength of I Am resonated with music lovers across the globe, however, and the album would eventually attain gold certification from the RIAA and receive back-to-back GRAMMY nominations in 2008 and 2009: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for “If I Had My Way”) and Best Urban/Alternative Performance (for “Be OK”).

After her GRAMMY win in 2009, the stars aligned upon the release of Epiphany, her sophomore record.  The groundswell of public support and her massive “underground” following propelled Epiphany into the #1 spot—taking the industry (and Chrisette) by surprise!

As Chrisette Michele embarked on a promotional tour for Epiphany, she managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on “Porcelain Doll,” Billie Holiday, and her recording experience with Ne-Yo.

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Karina Pasian

Date of Interview: 08/27/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

When Quincy Jones goes out of his way to support a new, budding artist, the world would be wise to grant an audience to the apple of his eye: Karina Pasian.

On May 16, 2004, Jones invited Pasian to perform in Rome for his “We Are the Future” benefit concert, which was concerned about children in war-ravaged cities.  Shortly thereafter, Pasian earned a place in history, by becoming the first person of Dominican descent to perform at the White House, at the age of 15.

A classically trained pianist, Pasian also sings in seven different languages.  And while her Def Jam debut, First Love, only makes use of two, English and Spanish, Pasian’s music has transcended language barriers and inspired thousands of fans around the world.

Her first single, “16 @ War,” is a powerful introduction that resonates with female empowerment and expresses the day-to-day hardships that many young females face.  Upon review of First Love, Karina Pasian managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Ella Fitzgerald, her professional relationship with Quincy Jones, and society’s need for positive music.

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