When you been doing something your entire life, it no longer is something you do, it becomes something you are. Vocalz Iz has been a singer from as far back as he can remember, and he will forever be that.
Vocalz Iz, a New Orleans native, like all other New Orleanian’s was immersed in music from a young age. At any given moment a 2nd line could start up, playing music and jamming through the neighborhoods. This music touched him down to his soul.
He started singing in his church choir at the tender age of 3 years old. The choir director saw something in him, an ability to mimic all of the parts being taught to the adults. She encouraged him to stretch his limits and grow his ear for music and eventually his voice. He soon began leading songs at the age of 4 years old across all the choirs within the church, children’s to adult’s.
This love of music continued to grow. Vocalz Iz would gorge on all genres of music; Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Soul, Hip Hop, and Gospel. He would annoy his mother by listening to songs over and over to hear the nuances and to just enjoy those artists. He eventually began mimicking his favorites while developing his unique style. His musical collection consisted of Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Take 6, Boyz II Men, Commissioned, Brandy, Anita Baker, etc., etc.
One day in high school some friends who were forming a singing group asked him to suggest some songs they could sing, and when Vocalz Iz sang Please Don’t Go, by Boyz II Men, they immediately invited him to join. So began a journey of making music in general, and singing specifically, a career. Hanging with his friends and singing songs everyday was so exciting to him. From Jodeci to Mint Condition, he enjoyed learning new songs.
As the group improved they began performing all over the city at talent shows, small clubs, and local tv shows, which increased his love and hunger for more music. He started going to private voice lessons, and taking vocal performance courses at a university nearby, as a way to improve his gift. The group began to make a name for themselves and starting opening for major acts like Silk, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, and more. Radio appearances, tv shows, and major club performances became the norm, so the group set out to finally secure a record deal. Vocalz Iz began to dream and hope that music, which had been his life for so long would finally become the way he could take care of his family and himself.
After flirtations with several local record labels, his group, after an amazing performance with Jesse Powell began talks with a large regional company for their first big deal, when disaster struck. Hurricane Katrina devastated and destroyed New Orleans, leaving Vocalz Iz displaced, separated from his family, friends, and especially his group. He didn’t know what was next. Should he, could he, rebuild his life in New Orleans? Should he make a new life somewhere else? Could he function with his group nearby? These questions all lingered in his mind. Then a call came from his manager that some producers in NYC were interested in working with the group, all they needed to do was pick up and move to New York City. And move to New York City they did.
It was a whirlwind few years of doing TV shows, radio interviews, performances, and recording with many of the biggest artists of the time. He even had the pleasure of competing on Amateur Night at the Apollo and the nationally syndicated It’s Showtime at the Apollo. Being able to work with WBLS, one of the largest and oldest R&B stations in the country, and doing events with THE Wendy Williams and radio pioneer Ms. Jones made the time fly by. After working with several major record labels, like all groups eventually do, his group began to crumble, and Vocalz Iz had to decide what he was going to do. With a heavy heart and broken spirit, he left New York and moved to Texas to build a better life for, and be closer to his family
Years passed and creating music seemed to be something he would never do again. He felt a part of him was missing, like he had lost a friend. When his mother, a driving force in life, unexpectedly passed away from cancer, he felt the best way to honor her was to continue sharing the gift she helped him foster. So he pushed his fears, disappointment, and apprehension aside and started creating again. While she was unable to see her son release his solo music, he knows she is with him every time he sings a note.
While his last album, Relationship Gumbo Redux had moderate success for an independent release, Vocalz Iz will lean even more on the lessons learned by being in a singing group for all those years and will shape harmonies and create songs from that perspective, even though he is now on his own.
He is preparing an EP to reintroduce himself to the real music lovers before following up with his next album.
Get ready for Vocalz Iz: The ReBirth of Trimolo
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