Why I Don't Listen to Smooth Jazz (or myself)

June 20, 2017

Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of smooth jazz for decades. I grew up listening to Norman Brown as a young child and would later explore every smooth jazz artist that has existed since. I've wanted to make smooth jazz for years, and now I have the opportunity to make that dream a reality. However, one thing I've learned about myself is that I am a musical chameleon. I often draw influences from what I hear, so much so that it often shows up in my music. This is not to say that I don't come up with my own ideas. I usually put my own twist on whatever ideas I come up with and then twist it some more.


With that being said,  as a smooth jazz artist and producer, I feel that I have a responsibility to offer the best that I have and explore new territories. My core values as a musician lie in trying something new every time I record and sit behind an instrument. By listening to smooth jazz, I would be putting my core values at stake and ultimately letting my fans down.


I'm so adamant about this philosophy that I don't listen to myself. After an album is finished, it's committed to memory, but I don't listen to it again. This may seem extreme, but my reason for this is simple: I don't like to repeat anything I've done musically. If it worked out well, it worked out well for that particular time in my life and the lives of those that listened to it. But it doesn't mean that it will work out today or tomorrow. Many artists shoot themselves in the foot by constantly doing the same thing over and over. I believe that doing so is fine for someone that wants to have an unwavering sound. However, I think things advance so quickly that if musicians and artists don't keep up, they'll be left behind.


One artist that is in smooth jazz that is very good at changing his style from album to album is none other than Norman Brown. Regardless of what people say, he never does the same thing twice. His style always grows with each body of work. There are other artists that flow within that vein, and they are the ones that continue to expand their base.


My career is still young, and I feel that I have a lot more to offer. I just hope that fans will understand my desire to push the limits.


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