Bulletin Board Archive

Topic: One on One with the Legendary Roy Ayers

  1. Jun 27, 2005 03:56pm by NRG - livin the art that is life ! www.64111clinic.com fam www.nrginmotion.com massage www.myspace.com/nrginmotion world community Location: havenhouse KCK/ 64111 Clinic 4 Life
    One on One with the Legendary Roy Ayers By William Hernandez [url]www.uannetwork.com[/url] Born in Los Angeles, Roy Ayers is a gifted & talented legendary artist. Starting his career in the early 1960’s, he has recorded a total of 80 albums; a feat almost unimaginable. His music has always had an uplifting & positive message. It’s no wonder why his music has been sampled by such hip-hop artists as Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian, X Clan, Tribe Called Quest and The Roots. Mr. Ayers’s appreciation for hip-hop music and the culture in general has gone beyond just giving permission to have his music sampled. He worked closely with such artists as GURU on his Jazzmatazz project, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu, Common on his new album Be, and will soon be working with Pharrell of the Neptunes, Alicia Keys, and Andre 3000 of Outkast. It was very inspirational to converse with an elder such as Roy Ayers and hear him speak so fondly of hip-hop culture. It was a real honor to speak with him. Here are just a few things we had the opportunity to discuss. UAN: Talk to me a little bit about the new album Virgin Ubiquity 2. RA: The albums are tracks I had in the can from several years. Ubiquity Vol. 1 was the same thing, except these tracks featured me a lot more and I even like it better than the first one. I’ve got Virgin Ubiquity 3 and 4 also. The guys from BBE know about, but they haven’t really listened to it. Anyway this new album, Virgin Ubiquity 2 features a lot of songs that I tucked away at the time. I just put them to the side and did something else and probably used something new. These, I just tossed to the side. I’m just glad I talked to Peter from BBE. When he flew over from England to listen to them, he flipped out. When I heard them the second time in my life it was fantastic. I said, “Wow, they are nice!” Virgin Ubiquity 2 is phenomenal, it’s great. It features Kerri Wells, Mary Clayton on a couple of tracks who was also on Ubiquity 1. I have four instrumentals plus a solo, which I have never done before. I’m more excited about this than the Ubiquity I album. UAN: Why did you choose BBE and not another label to release these albums? RA: This is the 100 % truth. I had a lot of problems with other labels, whether they be established or small, new or old. There were problems with them just communicating. It seems like BBE and Peter was a strong Roy Ayers fan. He really was into my music and he had been into my music. That was why I choose him in contrast to anybody else. He was the only one acting intelligent and I had gone through a lot of changes with distributors and record companies before. In my life I have done 93 albums with major labels and so now that I got with BBE. It makes a lot more sense at this point. They’ve been treating me right. That’s what is most important and a lot of labels have to learn how to deal with artists. UAN: Your music has been made timeless through hip-hop artists sampling it. How do you feel about that? RA: I think it’s wonderful, I think it’s a respectful thing. I’m glad I didn’t go after them to do it. I’m just glad they decided to do my music. I have more sampled hits than anybody including James Brown. He has more samples, but I have more sampled HITS and that is a wonderful thing when you think about it because I’ve made very good money from the sampling aspect of things. It is interesting, people are still sampling my music now and it is a wonderful feeling to have these young artists sample my music. I just hope some of them change up the gears; that is, playing an instrument instead of just sampling all the time. Maybe if they can put some time into playing some instruments I think it would be something new and creative going on with them. I like what Pharrel (of the Neptunes) is doing and he is playing real music and he’s not sampling. I’m not coming off on the samplers. I would like to see more play instruments, because just a sample is not enough. UAN: Which is the song that you enjoy the most that a hip-hop artist has sampled from you? RA: I like the X Clan’s The Red, The Black, & The Green what they did on that. I like the fact that Mary J Blige used me on Searching, because she did Searching and My Life In The Sunshine. I like the groove that they produced for her. She invited me to play on it. I love the fact that I played with her on that. It was my tune of course. I think probably the most sampled that was the most inspirational for me was EDO G & Tha Bulldogs Be A Father To Your Child where he used Searching. I was very impressed when that came out. UAN: How about Funkdoobiest’s Dedicated. How did you feel about that song? RA: That was great too man. A lot of people think I wrote We Live In Brooklyn Baby, but I didn’t write it, I played it. Harry Whittaker wrote it. He was my piano player at the time. I like what Smif & Wessum did to it. The song that stands out the most is Be A Father To Your Child. That was very strong. UAN: Mind my asking, but give me a ballpark figure. How much have you made off of artists sampling your music alone? RA: I’m going to say it like this. Mary J Blige’s company sent me a triple platinum record. I haven’t really looked at the figures because the money is coming in at different times. You can imagine a triple platinum record and I have one of the best songs on the record. My Life wasn’t even one of the singles. Just to have that and when she did Searching on the other album. A lot of people don’t know that I’ve recorded with Whitney Houston, Vanessa Williams, Mary J Blige, Eric Benet, Erykah Badu, so many artists. Will Smith just sampled my music and Big Daddy Kane as well. There are so many people that have sampled my music; Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian. So many people I didn’t even know. I’m very thrilled not just about the fact that they felt my music, but that the music they wanted to sample represents their words. It’s a beautiful thing man. You have no idea how I feel about that. It makes me feel very good inside, very warm and very respectful of them. UAN: Any last words of inspiration Mr. Ayers? RA: I would like to say that the music continues to turn around. I still say that all artists should start their own record company. Eventually, what happens is the major record companies, and the small ones too, eventually DROP you whoever you are. Had I had the chance to start my record company at the beginning I would have started it at the beginning and gone through the trials & tribulations of that instead of what I’m going through now, later on in life. One of the things one should do is start their own record company and go through the hassle of learning and understanding the business. You’ll get over much faster and you don’t have to wait 20 years until they drop you. (laughs) Because that’s what they do. It has happened to everybody in the business. You don’t need to be dropped if you’re still creating and you still got music in your mind. But you become too expensive for them and that is why they drop you. To me, one of the greatest people in show business is Ray Charles (R.I.P). Ray Charles was able to leave all of his children, I forget how many, he had he left them 1 MILLION DOLLARS each and he had his own record label. A lot of people didn’t know that Ray Charles had his own record label until later on. He had been with the majors but he was smart enough to get his own label and he was blind. (laughs) It’s a heavy statement I’m making. The important thing is to learn the business and get your own company, get your own stuff, and try to be independent as possible. For more info on Roy Ayers visit www.bbemusic.com and www.royayers.com.