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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Jd Webb
Monday, September 14, 2009

Rakim once stated “I know you got soul,” and although he said that line back in the 80’s it would be no surprise if he repeated it upon meeting Jd Webb. At first glance Webb may look more like a pop singer, but if you choose to judge this book by its cover you’ll miss out on one of the freshest voices to hit the R&B/soul scene in a long time. After listening to Webb’s solo debut, The Introduction, I sat down with him to find out more about his musical history, which essentially dates back to his birth, why he decided to go indie after having label deals as a part of two groups, and his interesting choice in hobbies that would make Evil Knievel proud.

Adam Bernard: Why don’t you start off by telling everyone a little bit about yourself and where you’re from. Did you grow up in a musical household?
Jd Webb: Yes, I grew up in Hawaii, Oahu, in a very musical family. My mom and her sisters had a group, The Davidsons, and every summer my mom and my sister and I would head to the mainland and hop on a tour bus. We’d go from church to church with my mom and her sisters performing, so music was a huge part of my family and huge part of my life growing up. I did my first concert when I was three. I started playing piano at six and I started playing drums for them at ten. I think they knew pretty early on that it all came pretty naturally to me.

Adam Bernard: I would have never guessed you’re from Hawaii. What you do is not Hawaiian music in the least.
Jd Webb: No {laughs} and that’s why I had to move. I had two choices, I was either going to sit around with a ukulele and play on the beach, or at a hotel, for people, or I was gonna do the kind of music that I love. Even though I love and miss Hawaii I had to make the choice. Now I live in LA.

Adam Bernard: It seems like you had some opportunities to release your solo debut, The Introduction, with a major label. Did you make the decision to go independent because you didn’t like anything that was being offered, or was it a control issue?
Jd Webb: It was a combination. I had already been in two major record deals. I was an EMI artist when I was in a band called Raze and then I was in a gospel group on Warner Brothers called Oasis Praise. When the bidding war started for my solo project I was just like, if I could just do it the way that I know in my heart and soul that it would be right, if I could have a team of people that have all of the experience and know-how of the majors, but the creativity and the freedom of an independent, then that’s the route I’m gonna go. So that’s what I did.

Adam Bernard: Musically, what were some of your initial goals when you were putting the album together? What did you want to get across? What kind of album did you want to make?
Jd Webb: The reason for the title The Introduction is even though it’s not my introduction into the music world I really feel like it’s the introduction to really see my artistry and the kind of music that I want to do. I wanted to make a CD where it covers the gamut. You can put it on if you’re getting ready to go to a club, if you’re chillin at the house, or you want to put on some music to romance the person you love. I also really wanted to have an album that you could listen to from beginning to end and not be like “oh, there are only two songs that I like on this whole thing.” So that was really the goal, to create music that would be around and that would basically stand the test of time.

Adam Bernard: Other than timelessness, what do you feel you’re bringing to people that’s gonna make em be like “I really need to hear Jd Webb sing this,” rather than somebody else?
Jd Webb: I really feel like I’m bringing back true artistry. What you hear from me is all 100% real. There’s no auto-tuning, there’s no fluff. It’s music that I produced, arranged and sing, and I play most of the instruments, as well. It’s the same thing when you come to a concert, everything that you hear is going to be live. It’s really bringing back the musicality of the old Motown days where you knew that what you listened to on the record was how they were gonna sound when it was live and you weren’t wondering if it was all pre-recorded and if there was a whole bunch of bells and whistles. It was all organic. That was really my mission and I think that’s what a listener can take away, knowing that it’s really a return to artistry.

Adam Bernard: What are your feelings on the “blue eyed soul” tag you will inevitably get?
Jd Webb: I’m definitely a soul/R&B artist and I’m completely happy with the blue eyed soul title. I totally welcome it. There are some amazing greats that were considered blue eyed soul. To me that’s a compliment.

Adam Bernard: Very cool. So, finally, outside of music, what do you enjoy?
Jd Webb: Right now it’s pretty much entirely music, but I’m definitely an extreme sports junkie, so anything that’s risky or daredevilish I’m all about. The next lull that I have I definitely want to go and do something extreme in a foreign country, just live on the edge.

Adam Bernard: I want to see you on Ninja Warrior. G4 holds tryouts.
Jd Webb: {laughs} I’m gonna have to totally look into it. That would awesome. I’d be all about it.

Related Links

Website: Jdwebbmusic.com
Twitter: twitter.com/jdwebb
Facebook: facebook.com/jdwebb
MySpace: myspace.com/jdwebb


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:14 AM  
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