Who’s BAD?

Today is the 60th birthday of the King of Pop Michael Jackson. One of the most legendary artists of all time and I had the privilege to see him perform live a couple of times.

When people ask me what my favorite MJ concert is I always say; the BAD world tour.

It was the first time I ever saw Michael live and it was my first big stadium concert experience. I was and still am a huge MJ fan. I would record all of his videos and play them over and over again on the VCR till I got all those dance moves right. As soon as I came home from school I would go up to my room and dance. I danced so much there was a big hole in the carpet in the middle of my room, that’s how much I loved it and that’s how committed I was.

At that time there was no internet or YouTube so if Michael had a new video out you’d better make sure your butt was in front of the tv to record it on time. Nowadays if you want to see a video of your favorite artist you just go online and search for it. Back in the days (OMG, I sound so old) you had to put in more effort to get hold on footage of the artist you admired. I think cause of that it made them become a bit untouchable. 

The BAD concert had a very big impact on me. I went to the show with my parents and my lil’ brother. It was Michael’s first big show in the Netherlands. We were seated way in the back of the stadium. I still remember the vibe, it‘s something I can’t describe, cause you just had to be there. The audience was so diverse, every age, color and religion was represented. The combination of Michael and the power he gave to the music made everyone unite in this stadium. 

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” was the opening song and I still recall how the entire stadium was shaking the moment the screens on either side of the stage lit up and the illustration of MJ’s feet doing his signature move was projected. The feeling that the performers, the music and the surrounding gave me was amazing. People around me were laughing, crying, screaming, singing, but all in a positive way. It felt like the crowd was hypnotized by this amazing performer who gave his all to give the best show ever. I can write an entire story about that concert, but I’m not going to, cause my words don’t come close to the real experience. You just had to be there. 

Yes you can listen to music and you can look at a performance on your screen at home, but trust me it’s not the same as when you’re actually in the audience. So if I can give a piece of advice to you it would be: if you get the chance to see a live performance, just go there and be part of it, EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC AND THE POWER OF MUSIC!

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson! Thank you for being an inspiration !

 

 

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An angel with a bass guitar.

The talk I had with my big brother Melvin Lee Davis is finally up at the Portraits section. Like mentioned in an earlier post I’ve known Melvin for such a long time. He’s become part of the family and every time he’s in the neighborhood he always manages to make time for us. We’ve seen him on stage so many times and each time we see him play it makes us proud. There were times he would say: “If you guys aren’t in the audience I’m not gonna play.”...lol

I’m thankful for the fact that I met him, because he’s the first one who actually gave me the chance to explore the music industry by managing him. He believed in my talent. Through him not only did I learn a lot but I got to meet a lot of people, one of them being my big sister Patrice Rushen.

Melvin is best described as a big angel on earth. That’s how my mom would always refer to him. Being in his presence lifts you up and he has this charm that makes it impossible to dislike him. You can sense the love for music he has when he’s playing the bass. The joy he has on and off stage is inspiring. A very postive spirit who won’t let himself get caught up in negativity.

Melvin’s new album Genre: Music Chapter 2 (Joni) is out now!

 

Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga

Pictured: Melvin Lee Davis

Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga

Pictured: Me, Melvin Lee Davis & my mom

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Being social without a phone.

In January I was visiting Berklee because Patrice would be there an entire week to teach various classes. It was the first day for me at campus and the students gathered in the Palau waiting for the presentation to start. Like always I was just sitting in the audience when suddenly this girl with a big smile came up to me and the first thing she says is: “I like your pants”. (I was wearing the Pharell G-Star pants and they do stand out, just a bit....lol) Those 4 words were the start of a special friendship. We talked more about pants and of course music. She was in Valencia for the “Master of Music in Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games” graduate program.

Pictured: Me & Karlyne Felix

Along the way I found out that everyone at campus knew who she was and vice versa. She has an honest and sincere interest in each person she meets, she talks to everyone and if you didn’t know her yet then she would make sure you would never forget her. 

At a time where people are pretty much obsessed with their phones so they can focus on social media and their network, Felix has a whole different approach. Yes she has a phone.......that doesn’t work. She can only receive stuff, but she can’t send nor call. So if there’s an emergency then we wish her good luck....lol.

But how is it possible that someone without a phone nowadays creates connections so easily? “It’s not that difficult”, she explains. “I surround myself with people who have a phone and I just ask them to use theirs to send only the quick necessary messages. By doing that I’m surrounded by people all the time”.

It’s true cause I’ve seen it and experienced it. People actually let her use their phones without hesitation and during my stay in Valencia I always got a response from her, regardless the time.

Felix is besides a very social and uplifting person also a very honest one willing to help others out when needed. The interview gives an insight on how she experienced her year at the Valencia campus. If there’s something she doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like she’ll speak up even for the people who don’t have the guts to do it themselves.

Her smile, her positive drive and the way she approaches everyone the same way makes me understand why people would lend her their phones.......and besides that she’s really good at music scoring.

Her appearance on stage during graduation was one to remember for sure. She was literally dancing her way to her diploma. Thank you Felix for letting me be part of that celebration.

Read the interview with Karlyne Felix @ The Future of Music section or just click here.

 

 

Pictured: Karlyne Felix & Patrice Rushen

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Yes I did that!!

I met Melvin Lee Davis at a Lee Ritenour concert many years ago. My dad is a huge Ritenour fan and asked me to join him and my mom to see the show. After the show there was an opportunity to meet with Lee, so we waited in front of the stage. While waiting I asked Mel to take a picture with me which he did by actually laying down on the stage....lol. We started talking and he asked us if we could help him sell his CD’s. We were happy to help out and before we knew it they were sold out in no time. Being so focused on selling the CD’s we lost track of time and missed out meeting Lee, turned out that he already left.....lol. Mel said he would make it up to us and ever since we’ve stayed in touch.

Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga

Pictured: Melvin Lee Davis

A couple of months after our first meeting Melvin had to perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival with Lee Ritenour again and this time we got to finally meet Lee. After telling Melvin that I just graduated from my Music Management study, he asked me to be his manager. At first I thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t. Being new to the world of music I started my own little company called LittleWing management. I began designing Mel’s website, promoted his music and ended up organizing various clinics for him at conservatories throughout Holland.

In 2003 Melvin released the album “Nature’s Serenade”. I still remember the time he was recording and working on the project, cause part of the work he did at our house in Oosterhout. He stayed in my brother’s tiny room and even though the room was so small, he really loved it. My cousin even brought a bass amp so Mel could record and play at our house. I still recall my cousin (who is a fan) sitting in the living room in front of the stairs just listening while Mel was playing bass in the room upstairs. 

Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga

Pictured: Melvin Lee Davis, me & Matt Goss

The project was almost finished, but he still needed to put together the booklet and find a design for the album cover. When I told him I wouldn’t mind helping out, I started putting down ideas. This however wasn’t a guarantee he would actually use my work.

A couple of weeks later I met up with Melvin in London. He was performing with Matt Goss, who was the opening act of Mariah Carey’s Charmbracelet World Tour. During my stay in London I came up with different ideas and made various designs and pictures for the project, never expecting he would actually pick my work.

When Melvin released Nature’s Serenade I was surprised, happy, proud and also very honored to have been part of this project. Because not only did he use my pictures and design for the cover, he also mentioned me, my family, my company and even referred to his room in the booklet.

Melvin has always been special to me and my family. He actually is family. There are no words to describe the bond we have, but as long as he knows and we know, it’s all good.

Thank you sweet Mel for being the best big brother ever, for actually believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work on the Nature’s Serenade project!

The interview I did with Melvin about how he ended up the music industry will be online later this week.

 

Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga
Stephen Webber, Liz Teutsch, me, Patrice Rushen & Maria M. Iturriaga

Pictured: Nature’s Serenade cover (above) and the mention in the booklet (below)

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