I was Blessed to have Atlanta Hip Hop artist RETI at LDP Studios a while ago and managed to get a couples questions out to him.
1. Where are you from?
I’m from Vacherie, La its about an hour from New Orleans. Im from La. but I was raised in California, Texas, Tennessee. I love La. but I like the fact that I got to live in different regions because it gave a unique mind state.
2. At what age did you become serious about hip hop and why?
I became serious about hip-hop when I was 19. It was passion of mines to express my thoughts to people thru the music. Why? Because I decided I was ready to take on this industry. I built up my drive and talent for the entertainment industry.
3. Who were your early influences and who do you think is hot in the game right now?
Some of my early influences were N.W.A, Fresh Prince, Run DMC and plenty others. I think im hot right now (lol) other than that im digging Weezy, Nas, Jay, and Kanye right now.
4. Where can fans learn more about reti?
I’m on facebook under firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter under _RETI
5. Are you currently working on any albums?
Yeah I’m working on a mix tape right now called “It Aint Hard to Tell” and my anticipated album called “Crack Muzik”. I’m also working Tai ‘Upgrade’ Rotan on a project as well.
6. What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
I love cartoons but my favorite one is probably Johnny Quest!
7. Do you have advice for those getting into rhyme?
Never stop! Keep doing it until you see the results you want!!!!
“Sasha Lisnichuk has spent the past fifteen years
creating a sound that
is truly distinct. His formative years, spent in Kiev,
Ukraine, were given to establishing a firm technical
proficiency on the classical guitar in a formal musical
environment, as well as in the folk traditions of
Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Gypsy music. He
continued to cultivate his musical ear after moving to
the United States by changing to the seven-string
guitar and studying newer musical traditions from
Brazilian Choro to American Jazz. The disparities
between all of these very discrete folk music
traditions blend seamlessly into his delicate musical
acuity and inspiring virtuosity.
In the second phase of the evolution of his music, Sasha
developed the commonalities of his Slavic musical
sensibility and the dynamic and range of percussion. A
richness and breadth was given to every song from the
taste of musicians steeped in the traditions of
percussion from around the world. On a foundation of
an extensive catalog of folk rhythms and sounds,
largely from Latin America, Sasha has built upon these
musical traditions with exceeding respect, augmenting
their contexts while also enhancing his own musical
Taken from Album notes on CD Baby.
We recently had a chance to shoot the beautiful and enigmatic Leila Adu.
Her music has been described as sounding like ”Treacle poured over hot glass” !
I could describe her music as a mix of one artist and another but I won’t because she ‘owns’ the sound she makes.
She sings and plays keys with dissonace and intensity, her songs have unmistakable narratives, the kind you’d hear in a movie when they’ve convinced you the hero just might die…
Was I going to be able to capture her operatic, film noir intensity?
For this, I needed an added touch, just a little extra something to push what could be a normal Photograph into the ‘Amazing arena’.
Enter Mary Egbula and her impeccable sense of style!
So Leon Dale Photographer, Mary Egbula Fashionista and an over enthusiastic pair of scissors met up to try and capture an iconic image of songstress Leila Adu.
The Facets of Jazz Through Gary Motley
|Jazz is huge,
a rich, organic
“I think most
of the labels
are more of a
than anything -
what do we call it
so we can sell it?”
|Jazz is humanity.
“It’s an oral tradition.
It’s handed down.
You can study it
but the best way
to do that is to get
out there with the players.
Chick Corea called it
of the Streets”
|Jazz is a science.
“Sometimes you really do
think about [
the Golden Mean
as you compose.]
Music is science,
in the artistic sense,
if we go back to
the early origins of music,
music was developed by
That’s the thing,
you have to be
in the shed, practicing
and figuring out, and
it’s a growth process
and it’s not going to
The more you learn,
you get to the point
where you’re mature
enough to deal with
certain things and it’s
going to come out
in your music.”
Jazz is simple and complex.
“I realize that
the longer I’ve played
and the older I get now,
I’m finding that
I play simpler things because
that thing I was looking for
that I was thought was so elusive
and was a long way away
was right there
in my face
all along and
I wasn’t able to see it.
|. So you start to .
. express complex ideas .
. in a series of simple ideas. .
The end result
is sophisticated -
the thing that
makes it sophisticated
is how we organize it. “
Jazz is a language.
“If someone walks up
to you and you don’t literally
speak the same language
if they smile
there will be something implied there
just as if they raise a fist
there’s going to be something
in the physical body language;
. Either they’re going .
. to be receptive or not receptive; .
in the music
that makes us react
a certain way
and become sympathetic to it,
sympathetic in that
in sync with it.”
Jazz is Oscar Peterson…..
“I was in Toronto
when he died.
he had been ill
for a long time,
but a loss is a loss
Pretty much immediately
after that I started
looking at doing
a tribute album.
The project is not
the traditional tribute
that you would think of
when you’re doing
a tribute to someone.
Most people would try
to play like the person
My thing was not
to play like him
but to try to incorporate
some of his concepts
and his approach to music
with the idea of
getting people to think
about where he left off
and where we go from here.”
Jazz is Technology.
“I pushed the envelope
in a lot of different ways.
I composed pieces that
were in the style and
in the tradition,
but it was done electronically.
The bass was me playing the bass,
The idea with that
was to say that
technology has gotten
to a point where
we can recreate
that are fairly realistic.
The idea is not
to replace musicians
but to offer an
What is the boundary?
When does technology
get in the way of
creativity and art ?
Here’s traditional jazz
presented in a
The bottom line in jazz is, can the cat play?
All I’m doing is
using technology as a
means to an end.”
Article by: Sam Chupp
listen to the live interview of Gary Motley by Sam Chupp.
UpComing Gary Motley Events
Emory University Jazz Festival 2010. Bassist John Clayton and drummer Herlin Riley will join Gary Motley in concert during the annual Emory University Jazz Fest on Friday, February 12th at 8:00 PM. More
Carmen Bradford Quartet in San Diego. Be sure to catch vocalist Carmen Bradford and her ensemble featuring Gary Motley in concert on Wednesday, March 3rd at 7:00 PM.More
Ocsar Peterson Tribute CD Released. Now available, Renaissance: a Tribute to Oscar Peterson features original compositions by pianist/composer Gary Motley.
Majestic Piano CD Available. MCG Records has released its latest solo piano project entitled Majestic Piano.
The recording features the unique treatment of sacred hymns by pianist Gary Motley
I am a fan of Flamenco. Flamenco is the blues of the Spanish Oppressed. Flamenco came from somewhere via some people, but that is a heated debate that has no bearing on me and my world. I was commissioned to shoot a Flamenco recital, and this was one of the photos I took. I love their dresses and hair adornments. I love the feminine aspects and the riotous foot stomping. The passion! Oh! The Passion! The love of life, somehow enhanced by pain and turmoil! it’s the same reason I love the blues! How the scarred soul sings tears and manages to make us sing, dance and love again!!
I am, I am, such a fan. I plan to add more flamenco photos.
Check out the link to Jaleole.com at the side there.
Sometimes I buy an item and immediately go, ‘wow, what a dumb move.’ and frown as if someone else must have done this to me and I must find them, and remove their eyes.
This little guitar here was a mere $99. Not much of an investment. But this was one purchase that I never regretted. Alas, I took it to the old Lenny’s ( a slimy, grimy dive down here in d’Atl) where it was promptly and irreversibly destroyed.
But before that, this little guitar that I so aptly named ‘PePito‘ had paid me in full for it’s expense and then much, much more. The pleasure and fun I got from playing tunes on this guy was worth far more than $99. And although I never actually made a Dime playing, I’d say the value of PePito before his untimely death was placed at no less than two grand. well, I mean, whose really quantifying value that can’t be monetized? If we can’t make a direct withdrawal, we often ignore the value. I do know that I placed great value on this guitar and withdrew many good times from it’s account. well, rest in peace my friend…..it was good.
I have been a fan of Flamenco ever since I became a fan of Flamenco. One Day one of the guitarists that played on the scene needed some shots. I got to chance to listen up close and personal and even learn a trick or two for my own bag. Felipe was a modest guy, young, but vastly skilled. You’ll see more about Flamenco in this blog as it is one of the genres of music I am all about. As for Felipe, I think he got some real good gig’s out of town and is now out of pocket. Probably somewhere making a killin’ off of his skills and buying big screen TV’s.